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Know your wine grapes: Grechetto

Grechetto or Grechetto Bianco is an Italian wine grape of Greek origins. The grape is planted throughout central Italy, particularly in the Umbria region where it is used in the Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) wine Orvieto.

Grechetto or Grechetto Bianco is an Italian wine grape of Greek origins. The grape is planted throughout central Italy, particularly in the Umbria region where it is used in the Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) wine Orvieto.

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It is primarily a blending grape, though some varietal wine is also produced. Grechetto is commonly blended with Chardonnay, Malvasia, Trebbiano and Verdello. The grape’s thick skin provides good resistance to downy mildew which can attack the grape late in the harvest season.

This makes Grechetto a suitable blending grape in the production of vin santo. In Italy, the Grechetto grape is found in DOCs of the central region-most notably Umbria’s Orvieto region as well as the DOCs of Torgiano and Colli Martani. The grape has been developing more of a presence in the area as winemakers are finding more potential in the grape than in the other main Umbria white grape varieties-Drupeggio and Trebbiano. In Lazio, the grape is found in the Cervaro region where the Antinori family has actively promoted its Cervaro blend of Grechetto and Chardonnay. The thick skin of Grechetto grapes allows the grape to be harvested late with high sugar levels. This works well in the production of dessert wines. The Grechetto vine is low yielding and able to produce concentrated flavours. The grape is primarily used as a blending grape where it adds richness and structure to the wines. It is most often blended with Chardonnay, Trebbiano, Malvasia and Verdello. In Umbria, Grechetto can add herbal and nutty flavours to the wine.

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