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Black grape variety grown in Apulia

Aglianico n.

Important ancient wine grape variety cultivated in South-Italy, historically present in Apulia, with greater diffusion on the border with Campania and Basilicata.

Origin and Historical Outline

Aglianico n. is an important vine of ancient cultivation, particularly in Campania, Basilicata and Puglia. Some believed that it would be introduced by the Greeks in the VII-VI sec. a.c. Today, following the studies of DNA and comparing the data-base at international level, no correspondence has been found with vines cultivated in other countries. The origin of his name is uncertain. Recent studies (Del Lungo S., 2016) report that the Aglianico grape can be the grape cultivated in Val d’Agri in the second century A.D. by the important Roman family of Alli, hence the origins of the name as “Alli grape” then Allianica. The original name (Allianica, Allianico) was probably changed in present-day Aglianico during the Aragonese domination during the 15th century, due to the double ‘l’ pronounced ‘gl’ in the Spanish phonetic use.


Aglianica, Aglianichella, Aglianico femminile, Aglianico mascolino, Aglianico Tringarulo, Aglianico Zerpoluso, Aglianoco nero, Aglianicuccia, Agliano, Agliatico, Agnanico, Agnanico di Castellaneta, Cascavoglia, Cerasole, Ellenica, Ellenico, Fresella, Gagliano, Glianica, Gnanico, Grancia, Olivella di San Cosmo, Tringarulo, Una dei cani, Uva di Castellaneta.

Shoot tip: open, fluffy, green or bronze-coloured.

Leaf: medium to medium-small, pentagonal, trilobate or pentalobate. V-shaped petiole sinus with slightly overlapping blades, sometimes presence of a tooth along the leaf; lyre-shaped upper lateral sinuses or with overlapping blades; U-shaped or open V-shaped lower lateral sinuses, if present.

Bunch: low weight, short-medium, cylindrical or conical, plain or winged, medium dense.

Berry: low weight, spherical, uniform blue-black colour. Medium thick skin, not very compact, extremely pruinose.

Time of bud burst: intermediate

Flowering time: intermediate

Veraison: late

Ripening: late

Vigour: medium-strong

Average bunch weight: 200 g (min 140 g – max 290 g)

Average berry weight: 1.8 g (min 1.5 g – max 2.3 g)

Number of seeds per berry: 2 – 4

Average rachis weight: 15 g

Fertility of buds: 1 – 2

Potential fertility: 1.8

Actual fertility: 1.4

Aglianico has good adaptability and enables good oenological results to be obtained even in a hilly environment.

Alcoholic content: 11.5 14.5 % by vol.

pH: 3.05 3.40

Total acidity: 6.5 10 g/l

This grape is used in Apulia for the single-variety wine QWpsr “Castel del Monte”. Its colour is a more or less bright ruby red or even vivid garnet, with orange glints after ageing. Vinous bouquet with a typical delicate scent, improving with ageing. Dry, sapid, balanced taste.

Aglianico is one of the most important wine grapes in Apulia. Some of its synonyms (Agnanico di Castellaneta, Uva di Castellaneta) witness its ancient Ionian presence. It is also grown in the hilly areas of Foggia and Bari. It is registered among the varieties suitable for cultivation throughout the region of Apulia.

Antonacci Donato

The data sheet of the Aglianico n., revised and updated, is extracted from: Antonacci Donato (2006). Viti di Puglia, Adda publisher. Its use is granted by the author citing the source.