Erbaluce [air-bah loo-chay]

Erbaluce is one of the oldest white wine varietals of Piedmont, Erbaluce’s origins remain unclear, but it is thought to be native to the damp, pre-Alpine valleys north of Torino. Still widely planted in Piedmont, it has remained primarily confined to that region.

The variety takes its name from the color of its berries approaching harvest (“erba/alba” = dawn; “luce” = light), which in the autumn sunlight are a luminous copper-pink shade. The medium sized, five-lobed leaves are bright green in color and the elongated, conical bunches support spherical, waxy, amber-yellow berries of medium size.

Erbaluce’s extremely high natural acidity gives it the versatility to produce both dry and sweet, “passito,” wines, the best of which are under the designations of Erbaluce di Caluso and Caluso Passito, respectively. It is also used for some sparkling wine production (spumante). The dry wines are bright, crisp and vibrant, with flavors and aromas of white fruit and apples. Ferando and Orsolani estates make dry whites with floral aromas and a minerally tingle almost like sparkling spring water.

Some compare Erbaluce to Chenin Blanc (from France) due to it's refreshing acidity present even when the grapes are made into a sweet wine.

Alternate Names: Albaluce, Uva Rustia, Erbalus, Bianchera, Bianc Roustì

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