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White wine grape variety grown in Apulia

Greco b.

The ancient Greco b. vine, a white wine grape, has been cultivated in Apulia for a long time and is mainly present in the central-northern area of the region.

Origin and Historical Outline

The origin of the Greco b. vine dates back to ancient times. According to Carlucci (in Vialà-Vermorel, 1909), it seems to have been cultivated on the slopes of Vesuvius and described with the name of  Aminea Gemella by the Latin georgists.

It is present in Apulia, arriving there from Campania, the land of choice for this vine, specifically from Tufo and Solopaca. It is mainly grown in certain areas in the north of Bari (Gravina di Puglia) and in the Foggia area (along the Campania border).


Greco di Tufo, Grecula, Grieco 

Shoot tip: globular, fluffy, whitish-green with yellowish edges.

Leaf: medium to medium-small, circular, mostly trilobate or sometimes pentalobate. Open U, brace-shaped petiole sinus; U-shaped upper lateral sinuses; not very deep, open V-shaped lower lateral sinuses. Hairless upper side, arachnoid bottom side.

Bunch: medium-small, dense, conical, with a highly developed wing, up to the point of forming a double cluster.

Berry: small, spheroidal, with fairly pruinose, soft and thin grey-yellowish skin, covered with brown spots.

Time of bud burst: intermediate-early

Flowering time: intermediate-early

Veraison: intermediate

Ripening: intermediate

Vigour: medium-good

Average bunch weight: 220 g (min 180 g – max 290 g)

Average berry weight: 1.1 g (min 0.8 g – max 1.4 g)

Number of seeds per berry: 1 3

Average rachis weight: 10 g

Fertility of buds: 2 – 3

Potential fertility: 1.7

Actual fertility: 1.4

Prefers deep, loose, fresh soil rich in calcium carbonate, yielding a more scented and well-balanced wine, with the typical fineness marking it. Being a robust vine with a good vigour, it generally prefers abundant pruning. Its production attains good standards.

Alcoholic content: 11.5 – 13 % by vol.

pH: 3.0 – 3.4

Total acidity: 6.5 – 9.5 g/l

In Apulia, the prized Greco b. grape allows the production of quality wine both when vinified as a single variety  and in blends with other grapes, giving rise to various wines, including prestigious ones.

The wine is of a beautiful pale golden yellow colour, very pleasant, with an intense perfume. It has a good alcohol content, not very rich in body, sapid and velvety. It can be used as a “dessert” wine if made spumante.

The Greco b. vine is especially present in the central-northern part of Apulia and is important in other regions of central-southern Italy, such as Campania.

In Apulia it is registered among the varieties suitable for cultivation in all production areas.

Antonacci Donato

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