The Grechetto Grape

September 23, 2013 2 Comments

Grechetto Grape

Grechetto Di Todi Superiore

If you are a wine drinker, I’m sure you’ve heard of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling but have you ever heard of Grechetto?

I didn’t either until this weekend when I sampled a 2011 Grechetto Di Todi Superiore made in the Colli Martani DOC. I was very excited by what I tasted. I’m wondering how I never heard of this grape before now. It is incredible!

Grechetto Bianco

Although Grechetto is a white grape variety that may have originated in Greece, it is mostly known as a native of Umbria in central Italy. If you’ve ever enjoyed a dry, semi-sweet Orvieto, you’ve tasted Grechetto. Blended with Trebbiano and a few other native grapes, Grechetto is a main component of the popular peach scented Orvieto.

The Grechetto grape is low- yield variety with a thick skin that in the past has only been used as a blending grape but more recently has been growing in reputation as a fine white wine variety. It didn’t hurt that in 1997, the Assisi DOC or Denominazione di Origine Controllata was created to cover the Umbria wine region and the wines associated with them including those made with Grechetto.

If you’re reading this and thinking you’ve heard of Assisi before, think of patron saint of animals, the environment and stowaways Francis of Assisi whom San Francisco was named after. He was born Giovanni Francesco di Bernardone.

About the Grape

Grechetto is a low yielding white grape with a thick skin. Because of the thick skin, it is an ideal grape for late harvest wines because of its resistant to mildew.  You may be familiar with the Tuscan dessert wine Vin Santo where Grechetto grapes are used. I’ve also read Grechetto is often used as a blending grape because it can add “herbal and nutty flavors to” other wines.

Collenobile  (Grechetto Di Todi Superiore D.O.C.)

Todi is located just 12 miles from the southwestern town of Perugia where my wife and I visited on our honeymoon. It is a beautiful region and a great place to go wine tasting while dining at incredible family run restaurants.

The wine I enjoyed Saturday night was the Cantina Tudernum Colle Nobile Grechetto di Todi Superiore. Now that’s a mouthful. Let me see if I can break this down:

Cantina Tudernum – one of the largest wineries in Umbria

Colle Nobile – I’m guessing this is just the name of the wine. At the vineyard’s website, they spell it Collenobile.

Grechetto di Todi Superiore – Grechetto is the grape we’re talking about and Todi is a DOC created in 2010 as well as a town and commune of the province of Perugia. It looks like Grechetto di Todi is a “sub-variety of the standard white Grechetto grape.”

Confusing to say the least.

According to their website, Collenobile is made with “100% Grechetto di Todi grapes that are selected by Cantina Tudernum exclusively from vineyards belonging to their consortium.”

The Cantina Tudernum website also says the wine is aged in “newly-made casks to initiate the alcoholic fermentation process that lasts between 20 and 25 days.”

Serving temperature – 50° F – 54°F

Color – intense straw yellow

Nose (Bouquet) – intense, fruity with apples and caramel scent

My Impressions

First of all, I really enjoy Orvieto wine so I’m not surprised that I liked this wine as much as I did. To me, it had the fullness you might find in a Chardonnay but without the big oaky, buttery flavors associated with it.

Think Chardonnay meets Pinot Grigio

I’m writing about this wine because I wanted to let you know about a wine that’s new to me and may be new to you. I find myself tending to buy and drink only wines I’m familiar with and would like to get out of that habit. There are so many great wines on the market these days including wines from regions most of us are not familiar with.

The other advantage of learning about new wines from various grape varietals is cost. This Colle Nobile Grechetto di Todi cost about $11 – $13 but tasted like something twice as expensive. My wife purchased this one after reading about it online. It received great reviews so she thought lets give it a try and I’m glad she did.

Last modified on Thu 19 December 2013 12:54 pm

Filed in: Wine & Alcohol

Comments (2)

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  1. ruth bailey says:

    Thank you so much for your information about this unusual white wine. I recently shared a bottle of this wine from Umbria at an outdoor cafe in Rome. I want to find it at a local wine store, and your description will help.

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