Grechetto wine grape
There are two Italian white grapes called Grechetto; this is the main one, Grechetto di Orvieto. It is found in central Italy, especially in Umbria, where it probably originated. It’s one of several Italian varieties whose name suggests it comes from Greece but has never been found there; the
grape of Campania is another. Both may have acquired their name from their suitability for making sweet wine, in the style favoured by the ancient Greeks.
As its full name suggests, it was once the major variety used to make the famous Umbrian white Orvieto, before losing ground to the characterless (but easier to grow) Trebbiano Toscano. It has been making a comeback, however, and the best examples of Orvieto (both dry and sweet) are based on it. It is increasingly seen as a varietal wine, either as an IGT or in DOCs like Colli Martani.
The other Grechetto, Grechetto di Todi, has only recently been identified by DNA testing to be a separate variety, so “Grechetto” on a label can mean either, or a blend of both. The two are actually parent and child, though until the other parent is found it’s not possible to tell which is which, and they look sufficiently similar that they were long thought to be different clones of the same variety.
Grechetto has thick skins and so is usefully resistant to rot. It ripens fairly late and produces full-bodied wine with a citrus and white fruit character, often accompanied by herbal and almond notes. The style is quite similar to Chardonnay, with which it is often blended.
Decanting Club wines containing: Grechetto
From Lazio, Italy
Sergio Mottura, Orvieto ‘Tragugnano’
From Umbria, Italy
Antonelli, Grechetto dei Colli Martani
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