Italian wine and grape guide : Verdea


The Verdea is a white grape variety spread in Lombardy but likely with Tuscan origin. It is supposed that the Verdea name derives from the Latin “viridis verde”, meaning green, for the color of the grapes or wine in some greenish reflections. Dalmasso in 1937 reported a note from the 14th century novelist Francis Sacchetti who spoke of a grape Sancolombana that was supposedly the Verdea. It is also said that it was the Irish man, St. Columban that brought it to Milan when he arrived to Christianize this land devastated by the barbarians, teaching the inhabitants of Colle about grape farming. The vine has indeed found its wider dissemination in Piacenza and in the Lombard provinces of Milan and Pavia, in particular in the DOC San Colombano area. However, Verdea can still be found in Tuscany (the first mentions date back to the 14th century), where it is known as Colombana. Being ideal for drying it is not uncommon to find it in sweet wines, but also vinified alone. Verdea has a white berry, medium sized, oval with skin that is slightly covered with bloom, thick, firm, yellowish-green in color. The bunch is medium, conical-pyramidal, short and stocky, with one or two wings, not compact and the leaf is medium, pentagonal, three-lobed or five-lobed. The vine has Verdea constant and abundant production. The wine made of this grape is pale straw yellow colored with not very intense, neutral flavor.

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