Bianchetta trevigiana is another indigenous white grape variety that can be used in Asolo Prosecco DOCG.
Harvest last week was interrupted by yet more rain. We had planned to finish up mid-week but our picking was delayed by the inclement weather. You can’t pick while it’s raining because you run the risk that the excessive humidity (and even the force of the precipitation itself) will damage the grapes.
But before the rainfall arrived, we had already finished picking the Bianchetta Trevigiana (above) from our beloved vineyard in Monfumo, where some of the vines are as much as 100 years old and where we have the true “field blend” of grapes that can be used in traditional-style Prosecco.
To be a Prosecco DOCG, the wine must contain at least 85 percent Glera grapes. But here are the other grapes that can be used: Verdiso, Bianchetta trevigiana, Perera, and Glera lunga. Up to 15 percent of these white grapes can be used by themselves or blended in various amounts depending on the desired characteristics of the wine.
Not a lot is known about the Bianchetta trevigiana grape or its origins. It’s believed to be a crossing of Durella (a white grape grown in the Veneto) and Brambana (a nearly extinct red grape). What we do know is that it is not related to other grapes known as Bianchetta in Italy, like Bianchetta genovese, to which it bears no relation.
In fact, in another era, Bianchetta was a generic name used to denote a wide variety of often unspecified white grapes. Bianchetta means literally “light white” or “slightly white” grape (from the Italian bianco meaning white). We forget that we live in an era of heightened interest in ampelography when everyone from grape growers and winemakers to sommeliers and consumers enjoy the “minutiae” of the classification of grapes.
We also know that it’s not related to Vernaccia, another generic name used to denote a wide range of white grapes across Italy.