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Italian wine and grape guide : Susumaniello

Susumaniello

The grape Susumaniello, probably of Dalmatian origin, has been growing in Apulia for a long time, mainly in the province of Brindisi. The name comes from its abundant yield that allowed, literally, to “load the donkey” (caricare il somaro).

The high productivity of this grape falls drastically with the age of vine, up to reach, with the maturity of the plant, the maximum amount of not more than 1-1.2 kg per vine. The high productivity of young vines was, in the past, used for the production of sweet extract purchased by wineries in northern Italy but following the disappearance of the demand for these products, the Susumaniello started to disappear. In recent times, due to mature vines giving low production, high sugar content and a good acidity grape, it had a comeback, vinified on its own or in blends - mainly with Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera di Brindisi.

The Susumaniello berry is black, medium, spheroid with waxy, medium thick but not very consistent, bluish skin. The bunch is medium, pyramidal, composed, elongated and compact with a medium, pentagonal, five lobed leaf.

Susumaniello grape produces intense ruby red wine with a high alcohol content, with a fruity and vegetal nose. The palate is full, good tannins and acidity suited to ageing.

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