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White grape variety cultivated in Puglia

Riesling Italico b.

The grape variety Riesling Italico b., widespread in some regions of Italy, is also present in Apulia, where it is suitable for cultivation throughout the region. 

Origin and Historical Outline

The white grape variety Riesling Italico b. could be from Champagne, where it was cultivated under the name of Meslier. The adjective walsch, with which it is called in German-speaking countries and which means “foreigner”, allows the distinction with the Riesling of the Rhine.


Riesli, Risli, Rismi. 

Shoot tip: expanded, downy, white-greenish with pink shades and golden yellow margins.

Leaf: medium, circular, trilobate or pentalobate (sometimes lobeless). V or U-shaped petiole sinus. Barely marked, V or U-shaped lateral sinuses.

Bunch: small, short, cylindrical, often with a wing, dense.

Berry: medium-small, spheroidal. Pruinose, thin, golden-yellow greenish skin, plain and sweet taste.

Time of bud burst: intermediate

Flowering time: intermediate-early

Veraison: intermediate-early

Ripening: intermediate-early


GPI: 9

PGM: 6

Vigour: medium

Average bunch weight measured: 130 g (min 90 g – max 180 g)

Average berry weight: 1.3 g (min 1 g – max 1.7 g)

Number of seeds per berry: 2 4

Average rachis weight: 9 g

Fertility of buds: 1 – 2

Potential fertility: 1.8

Actual fertility: 1.6

Abundant, good-quality production; gives its best results on medium fertile, fresh, barely clayey or calcareous, permeable soils. Not suited for high training, prefers medium-short pruning.

In unfavourable conditions, it is susceptible to oidium, downy mildew, botrytis and sour rot. It is fairly resistant to spring frost, wind and drought; it is very susceptible to magnesium deficiency.

Alcoholic content: 11 – 12 % by vol.

pH: 3.2 – 3.4

Total acidity: 4.5 – 7.5 g/l

The Riesling Italico b. vine is used for vinification on its own or in blends with other white grapes.

The wine is straw yellow in colour with greenish hues; it has a vinous, fruity aroma and a dry taste.  It is slightly bitter, alcoholic, velvety and sapid. It is also well suited to the production of spumante charmat method and sparkling wine. It improves its qualities with slight ageing.

It is currently cultivated with some degree of diffusion in north-eastern Italy.

The 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 Riesling Italico 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.