Puglia Wine World – All the Puglia of Wine in one click

Black grape variety grown in Apulia

Malbech n.

Grape variety cultivated for a long time in Apulia, mainly in the province of Foggia. Registered among the varieties suitable for cultivation throughout the region.

Origin and Historical Outline

The vine Malbech n. arrived in Apulia presumably before the phylloxera invasion. It was cultivated more extensively in the province of Foggia, particularly in the countryside of the municipality of Cerignola at the beginning of the last century, during the reconstruction of vineyards also occurred at the French hands. Its name derives from that of the owners Malbech and Luckens who first planted this vine in the Médoc. It was imported into our country by the CAV. Manfredo di Sambuy, to be grown in the plain of Marengo from where it has subsequently spread in several Italian regions and also in Apulia.


Costarossa, Malbec, Malbek 

Shoot tip: open, whitish green, with a strong, silky pubescence.

Leaf: large, circular, trilobate or lobeless. Open U or V-shaped petiole sinus; open V-shaped upper lateral sinuses, if present. Bullate upper leaf side, lower leaf side with light or medium pubescence.

Bunch: medium, pyramid-shaped, winged, medium compact.

Berry: medium, circular; compact, pruinose, black-blue skin. Colourless, soft, juicy flesh, with a very sweet and pleasant taste.

Time of bud burst: early-intermediate

Flowering time: intermediate-early

Veraison: intermediate-early

Ripening: intermediate-early

Vigour: medium

Average bunch weight: 260 g (min 210 g – max 310 g)

Average berry weight: 1.8 g (min 1.6 g – max 1.9 g)

Number of seeds per berry: 3 4

Average rachis weight: 15 g

Fertility of buds: 1 – 3

Potential fertility: 1.7

Actual fertility: 1.4

Good productivity in dry years, poor productivity in years with a wet spring. Prefers clayey-calcareous, compact and dry soils, high training, low-vigour rootstocks, long but not abundant pruning.

Alcoholic content: 11 – 13 % by vol.

pH: 3.3 – 3.5

Total acidity: 5 – 7 g/l

The Malbech n. vine is used exclusively for winemaking, either on its own or more frequently in blends with other wine grapes such as Merlot, Cabernet, Gamay.

In Apulia it is used in blends for the production of QWpsr Rosso di Cerignola and Rosso Barletta.

The wine is rich in colour and extracts, of good quality, with a herbaceous taste and little tannin. The wine is not suitable for ageing (due to low acidity).

The Malbech n. vine is present in Apulia, where it is registered among the varieties suitable for cultivation in all the production  areas  of  the region.

Antonacci Donato

The data sheet of the Malbec 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.