Ampelographic studies about Grecanico Dorato
Knowledge always comes with the awareness of our own ignorance (“The more I know, the more I realize I don’t know”). Some ampelographic studies (Calò et al., 2000) highlighted the deep analogies between Grecanico Dorato and Garganega, one of the most important vine varieties of Veneto, used to produce the famous Soave. Traces of the presence in Veneto of Garganega can already be found in one of the works of the agronomist Pietro de Crescenzi, already in the XIII century. The great similarities between these two vine varieties with a very different geographical location, and the complete absence of similar vine varieties in central Italy, are intriguing questions, which have led to many theories about the birth, the spread and the evolution of these plants.
Thanks to the genetic analysis of some selected clones of the most important vine varieties, some studies, among which one of the Agrarian Institute of San Michele sull’Adige, have confirmed the genetic identity between Grecanico Dorato and Garganega. In 2003, an expert team performed a detailed genetic study on the most important vine varieties of Veneto. They concluded that one of the three analyzed clones of Garganega (more specifically the number ISV-CV84) was identical to the analyzed clone of Grecanico Dorato; the other two, instead, were slightly different.
Genetic similarities of Grecanico Dorato
This genetic analogy was confirmed by further studies, which identified also some interesting relationships between this variety and many other species widespread over the national territory, as Catarratto, Greco del Pollino, Trebbiano Toscano, Albana, Empibotte, Malvasia Bianca di Candia. Another fascinating discovery was that the genetic profile of Grecanico Dorato was identical to the one of Malvasia de Manresa, a vine variety once widespread in Catalogna that, nowadays, is no longer cultivated and almost extinct. Grecanico Dorato is, according to these studies, a very ancient vine variety, whose geographical spread is, presently, mysterious and inexplicable.
New genetic studies could explain how Grecanico Dorato came to Sicily and Mount Etna many centuries ago; if there is a relationship between this vine variety and Greeks and if they played a role in its diffusion in Sicily; and why Grecanico Dorato, with the name of Garganega in Veneto and of Malvasia de Manresa in Catalogna, appeared in ancient times in other places, but not in central Italy. We have been in contact with the institutes who carried out the more relevant researches on these vine varieties and, besides offering our vineyard to further analysis and scientific studies on Grecanico Dorato, we will try to publish on our website any findings that could shed light on these still unanswered questions. We invite our readers to contact us, should they have other relevant information on the subject.
The vines of Grecanico Dorato present some distinguishing features from a structural point of view. The plant presents a contained vigour and a late budding phase in the second half of April. It flowers in the second half of June and ripens in the second half of October. Considering the extreme altitude of our vineyard, sometimes the ripening extends to November.