With disputable origins (probably Greek), the Verdeca is one of the most widespread white grape varieties in the Valle d’Itria; historically cultivated in the area around Gravina di Puglia, taking its name from the greenish ‘verde’ colour of the skin. The bunch is of average size with oval grapes and with significant bloom. In the past this particular local variety was used as a base wine for sweet wines and Vermouth production, today, thanks to research and extensive commitment by some wineries in the area, it is vinified as a single-variety and as a dry wine.
Bianco di Alessano
A typical Apulian white grape variety originating from the Valle D’Itria, for many years it was vinified in a blend with Verdeca for the production of base musts for sweet wines and Vermouth. Bianco di Alessano is characterised by its orbicular leaves, with medium to large sized bunches with a cylindrical shape. The skin is ticket and straw-yellow in colour. Over the years, as a result of low productivity, it was slowly abandoned in favour of other local varieties which guaranteed higher yields. This variety is to be considered a relic of Apulian tradition, together with other minority varieties but with a definite appeal.
In ancient times known as Fiano Minutolo or Moscatellina (the true name of this white grape variety), Minutolo was used to produce wines from the PDO Locorotondo and Martina Franca, to be then replaced by the Bianco di Alessano and more particularly the Verdeca grape, because of its low yield. Almost disappearing from the oenologic picture completely, it risked extinction before being rediscovered, over the last twenty years, through a virtuous development programme. Extremely delicate and characterised by a marked and captivating aromatic quality, Minutolo is also planted in surrounding areas, such as the territory around Gioia del Colle.