It bears witness to an ancient production history and has traveled a long journey from Greek lands to reach us: we're talking about Grechetto, a white grape variety with a name that evokes strong imagery. This variety, not coincidentally, is part of the family of grapevines used since the Middle Ages to produce wines similar in characteristics to those typical of the Eastern Mediterranean or Magna Graecia. Today a symbol of Central Italy's whites, Grechetto is also synonymous with Umbria and is the pulsating heart of soft and elegant wine and food pairings. What are the main characteristics of this wine and the grape variety it is based on? Let's discover together in this overview that will take us to Còlpetrone, the estate of Tenute del Cerro nestled among the Umbrian hills.
Grechetto Grapes: the grapevine of umbrian lands
Although it is a grape variety found in various regions of Central Italy, Grechetto characterizes productions localized in the Umbrian territory: here, this variety is considered native and represents the distinctive note of a great local white wine that bears the same name as the grapevine. In strictly ampelographic terms, Grechetto grapes are characterized by a medium-short cluster in which the distribution of leaves and berries follows a fairly compact pyramidal shape with two small wings at the ends. The berries are not particularly large, ovoid, and covered with a thick skin of yellow-green color. The grapes of this variety usually ripen in the second half of September.
The Grechetto Family
What we generically call Grechetto is a grapevine that is divided into two further sub-varieties: Grechetto di Todi and Grechetto di Orvieto: the two clones will officially be considered two different grapevines when the National Register of Vine Varieties accepts the request for registration as two distinct and separate varieties. In any case, when speaking generally of Grechetto, we refer to the one from Orvieto. The one from Todi, on the other hand, is also known as Grechetto Gentile. The most obvious difference between the two types is related to the yield: that of the Orvieto variety is higher due to the heavier cluster. Another key element that sets it apart from Grechetto Gentile is the structure: the cluster is less compact but boasts more substantial berries, a characteristic that makes this clone less susceptible to fungal attacks (responsible for potential rot) and therefore particularly suitable for the typical processing of dessert wines, such as late harvest and passito.
Grechetto wine: characteristics and best food pairings
Characterized by an intense straw yellow color with unmistakable greenish reflections, Grechetto wine is appreciated for its good structure and the aromatic profile it expresses: when vinified in purity, it presents distinctive aromas of apple, pear, hazelnut, and tropical fruit accompanied by floral notes of hawthorn, broom, chamomile, and acacia. On the palate, this wine is alcoholic, dry, with moderate acidity and structure. Grechetto is particularly suitable for aging in wood: in this case, the perception of acidity is reduced while the soft notes and the vanilla and toasty aromas are accentuated. It is also used in blends with other grapes, such as Chardonnay. Perfect for pairing with fish dishes, especially soups and cod, Grechetto also pairs perfectly with white meats and soft to medium-aged cheeses.
Discovering Grechetto from Còlpetrone
Savoring a wine means connecting with its production area; wine tourism enthusiasts know this well: the experience is not complete without a full immersion in the cellar. The best place to meet Grechetto is the Còlpetrone Estate: we are in the heart of Umbria, in the town of Montefalco, the headquarters of the eponymous DOCG production, which extends along the profile of the Umbrian hills, in the portion of territory between the municipalities of Bevagna, Gualdo Cattaneo, Castel Ritaldi, and Giano Dell'Umbria. Those who arrive at the estate have the opportunity to appreciate Grechetto Umbria IGT paired with cured meats and cheeses from the rich local gastronomy.
Following the paths of Grechetto allows you to take a journey through time from Magna Graecia to the present day: this ancient and versatile white grapevine is now the aromatic heart of wine productions in Central Italy and particularly in Umbria, a land that tells the story and flavors. Are you curious to taste it?