Italian wine and grape guide : Pignola


The Pignola grape is a native Valtellinese red variety, found mostly in the municipalities of Villa di Tirano and Bianzone. Its origin is very old and seems to have come originally from Piedmont. Its name comes from the fact that the cluster remotely resembles a pine cone, which it has in common with other varieties such as the Pignolo Friuli or Pinot Noir. With the latter a further element of affinity is constituted by the fact that the Pignola Valtellinese lends itself well to the white vinification. In fact, the pulp of the grapes is perfectly white, for which a light pressing allows to obtain colorless musts. It is vinified in red blends and takes part in the composition of the Valtellina rosso doc. The berry is black medium small, spherical with waxy, thin, black-blue skin. The cluster is medium-small, cylindrical or pyramidal elongated short, very tight with a medium, pentagonal, five-lobed leaf. The Pignola grape has good vigor and late ripening. This variety, vinified in red, gives a ruby red wine, with a good fragrance, fresh, a bit tannic, with an average alcohol content and body, savory. Vinified in white it shows as persistent and intense, with fresh and floral aromas, the taste is soft and pleasantly dry. The Pignola grape vinified in white is also an ideal base for the production of sparkling wine with fermentation in bottle.

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