Friday, October 15, 2010

Greco di Tufo - the cutest grapes I ever saw...

   The cutest grapes I ever saw were a surprise.When something is simply called "Greco" you can feel pretty sure that you know where it came from. Most of these Southern Italian grapes have links to Greece, apocryphal or otherwise, but this one just calls it out. (There are other varietals that claim to be Greco as well, offering a more historical aspect than literal ampelographical - Trebbiano comes to mind).

   Here is what can be seen by the naked eye. Greco bunches are extremely small, and painfully cute. These were picked in Dunnigan where they were just reaching ripeness in equal time with Nebbiolo (!!), which is a very late season grape. The Greco canopies were still going quite strong, saying that they took heat, did not mind wind, took sun with glee, and even on sandy soil they miserly mined moisture while other vines had totally shut down. They are susceptible to mildew, but their tough skins resist damage though they may harbor the foul demon. They have very small leaves, that help form a webbing of protection around the fruit, somewhat like Montepulciano though totally different in appearance.

   Here is what they looked like In late August. Vigorous. Having only had a couple of Greco wines the varietal's profile is a little inconclusive. Medium bodied, some mineral finish, some herbal notes and citrus qualities. It certainly holds its acid well. Richly colored. It can also age and dig deep to develop interesting tertiary characteristics. Sort of a core warm-climate Chardonnay quality with a little Viognier thrown in and a touch of cold climate citrus and acid.

Keep your eyes out for the Southern Italian white triumvirate of Greco, Falanghina, and Fiano. Distribution has been increasing with Feudi San Gregorio leading the way. Incidentally they are based in Sorbo Serpico, and if I could be from one place in the universe, nothing could have a cooler name than that.

1 comment:

Novella said...

Hi Pietro, we are happy to read your words on our Winery! Let's stay connected on our Facebook Fan Page "I Vini dei Feudi di San Gregorio"...we are waiting for your opinions about our wines!
Greetings
Novella
Feudi di San Gregorio Team