Facts on Vermentino
While its origins might be disputed, there’s no argument over Vermentino’s refreshing appeal.
Slowly but surely the ‘new wave’, ‘alternative’ or should we say ‘new Australian’ grape variety movement is stitching itself into our wine psyche.
More and more wineries are adding these varieties to their portfolio as we, the wine loving public, continue to seek out these delicious and exciting wines.
Vermentino is one of the most popular of these varieties and is quickly filling the glasses of Pinot G and Sauvignon Blanc drinkers.
Italy and beyond
Italy is the spiritual home of Vermentino, however, many refer to it as a Mediterranean variety, with a lot of truth. There is speculation as to where the variety originated, with the Italians, French and even Spanish suggesting it is their gift to the wine world.
It is found in Provence and other southern French regions and it is the major white variety on the island of Corsica. In Italy, Vermentino is found in Liguria and Piedmont in the north, Tuscany in the centre and excels on the island of Sardinia.
Here at home, Vermentino was one of the first ‘new wave’ grape varieties to gain traction with grape growers and winemakers.
Its ability to thrive in hot and dry climates makes it perfectly suited to many of our wine growing regions. This attribute has been put to the test over the past few drought influenced years that Australia has weathered.
The fact that it ripens slowly and ripens late is another ace up its sleeve in the fight against warmer and earlier vintages.
McLaren Vale has excelled with Vermentino, but keep an eye out for examples from across the country.
Did you know?
Vermentino can be found under many different names and guises. Most probably due to the squabbling over the grape’s historical roots.
The French use the name Rolle, however the use of Vermentino is becoming more popular. The Italian region of Liguria calls it Pigato, while in Piedmont it is referred to as Favorita.
The key characters of Vermentino are stone fruit, citrus peel, dried herbs and a signature saline or sea spray character.The variety is high in acidity so the wines all have a refreshing and nervy acid backbone. They can be made in a number of styles.
The lighter aromatic styles made by gentle pressing and a cool fermentation highlight the variety’s fruit and acidity. Perhaps the most exciting development has been the willingness of Australian winemakers to experiment and embrace practices such as skin contact, natural fermentation and old oak to not only craft wines of fruit power and brightness, but also to harness Vermentino’s textural intrigue.
Hailing from the Mediterranean, it makes perfect sense that Vermentino is a natural pairing for all types of seafood. One of the classics matches is with sardines.