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White wine grape variety grown in Apulia

Mantonica b.

The grape variety Mantonica b. has Calabrian origins; it has been successfully tested in Apulia. It is distinguished by the significant content of organic acids when ripe.


Origin and Historical Outline

The interesting white wine grape variety Mantonica b., has been selected within the vineyards of ancient cultivation in Calabria and from this introduced, in the last century, after appropriate experiments, in Apulia. Some researches (Antonacci D., Pedone L., Placco L., 1986) have shown that this grape is different from Montonico bianco b. and Montonico pinto b.

Researches conducted with molecular markers (Bergamini et al., 2012) have made it possible to ascertain that Sangiovese and Mantonico di Bianco (synonymous with Mantonica b.) originated by crossing the Gaglioppo grape varieties of Cirò, Mantonicone and Nerello Mascalese.


Mantonico, Mantonico di Bianco, Mantonica vera.  

Shoot tip: open or fan-shaped, green-whitish, fluffy, with a light anthocyanic pigmentation along the edge.

Leaf: medium, circular or pentagonal, pentalobate. Closed lyre-shaped petiole sinus with overlapping lobes; open U-shaped lateral sinuses.

Bunch: medium-small, medium-short, coneshaped, plain or winged, medium dense.

Berry: medium-small, elliptical with circular crosssection; yellow-green epidermis, or amber, slightly reddish on the side exposed to the sun. Moderately or slightly pruinose, thick, compact skin. Juicy flesh with a neutral taste and a high juice yield.

Time of bud burst: intermediate

Flowering time: intermediate

Veraison: intermediate

Ripening: intermediate

Vigour: medium

Average bunch weight: 210 g (min 170 g – max 250 g)

Average berry weight: 2 g (min 1.7 g – max 2.3 g)

Number of seeds per berry: 1 2

Average rachis weight: 8 g

Fertility of buds: 1 – 2

Potential fertility: 1.3

Actual fertility: 1.1

Vine with an intermediate phenology; stable production. Suitable for high training, with medium or long pruning.

Alcoholic content: 11 – 12.5 % by vol.

pH: 3.0 – 3.2

Total acidity: 7 – 11 g/l

The Mantonica b. vine has an important distinguishing feature compared to many other white grape varieties in the area in its high content of organic acids when the grapes are ripe. It thus offers interesting production opportunities, as well as requiring a careful choice of harvest time depending on the production objectives chosen or any planned blends. In the area of origin, it is traditionally used for the production of raisin wine, obtained from the harvesting of late-ripened grapes and then drying in the sun on racks. In Apulia too, some trials of raisin wine production have given very interesting results.

Good results were also obtained in studies to examine the suitability of the Mantonica b. vine for the production of spumante charmat method wine. With well-ripened grapes, after the acid content has fallen to technologically correct levels, it can also be used to make good quality table wine, straw yellow in colour, with a neutral taste.

The Mantonica b. vine is present in Calabria and in the Apulia region. In the latter, it is considered to be one of the varieties suitable for cultivation in the areas of the Central Murgia and Capitanata, with the (incorrect) synonym of Montonico bianco.

Antonacci Donato

The data sheet of the Mantonica 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.