Vermentino [ver-mehn-TEE-noh]

Vermentino is a late-ripening white grape originating in Spain, Madeira, or perhaps Portugal, and is now widely planted in Corsica, Sardinia, and the coastal arc running from Tuscany through Liguria and into southern France, around Nice (where it is known as Rolle). It is thought to be related to the Malvasia variety and to have been brought to Italy in the fifteenth century during the period of Spanish domination.

The vines are often grown on slopes facing the sea where they can benefit from the additional reflected light.

The most famous wine made from Vermentino is probably the DOCG Vermentino di Gallura (and Vermentino di Gallura superiore) which is produced in the province of Olbia-Tempio, in the north of Sardinia. The grape is said to have been cultivated in this part of Gallura, often under the name arratelau, since the fourteenth century. Elsewhere on the island the grape is used for a variety of white wines, including sweet and sparkling variants.

Italian DOC Vermentino include :

  • Riviera Ligure di Ponente Vermentino (Provinces of Imperia and Savona, Liguria)
  • Colli di Luni Vermentino (province of La Spezia in Liguria and the adjacent Tuscan province of Massa-Carrara)
  • Candia dei Colli Apuani (province of Massa-Carrara, Tuscany)
  • Bolgheri Vermentino (province of Livorno, Tuscany)

Wines made from this grape are best consumed fresh, complementing traditional seafood dishes of the regions in which they are grown.

Patrimonio, located in the north of Corsica, in the Saint Florent gulf, was the first region of the island to attain AC status (in 1968). Its white wine is 100% Vermentino.

In Provence, close to Nice, the grape is used for the AOC white wines of Bellet.

Vermentino was introduced to California in 1993 by Tablas Creek Vineyard and approved by the BATF for use on American wine labels in 2001.

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