Native grapes or international grapes? what are the main differences? Very often we find ourselves in front of a shelf full of labels and we are confused by the vast choice; knowing the origin of the grape is an excellent starting point for knowing how to choose a good wine. In this article we want to explain to you what are the characteristics of these different types of vines, in order to help you to make the best choice of wine you meet to know the followings.

Piedmont has a great winemaking tradition and, thanks to the characteristics of its territories, has a few excellent native grape.

The history of Italian native grapes, and in particular those of Piedmont, is a theme that is increasingly engaging the world of wine. As Goethe said “life is too short to drink mediocre wines”, so let’s start from the origin of our wines to get closer to the art of good drinking. In this article we want to explain to you in a simple way the main characteristics of some native Piedmont grapes (those we planted in our estate located in the Gavi area, part of Monferrato)

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The vitis vinifera is the origin of the wine

From which vine was obtained the wine they drank in ancient Greece or ancient Rome? What we will tell you will amaze you! If you are wondering from which grape the wine we drink for millennia is obtained, the answer is only one: the Vitis Vinifera. A vine with a very ancient history, whose diffusion has been massive in the Mediterranean area. The Vitis Vinifera, through endless hybridizations, gave birth to over 12500 varieties with different characteristics in terms of bunches, berries, leaves, and type of wine obtained. The history of wine originates from this vine, a story that has influenced the uses, customs and traditions of entire civilizations. It is no coincidence that Christianity has associated bread and wine with the Body of Christ.

International vines:

What are the international varieties and what characterizes them? the international vines are those vines that, cultivated in various parts of the world, have always given quality wines so that they have spread everywhere and represent most of the vineyards in the world. The main grape varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay, Grenache, Pinot Noir; in Italy the Sangiovese, the Montepulciano, the Glera from which comes the Prosecco ..          

Obviously, although the wine comes from the same vine, the results obtained may differ according to the wine-making process, the use of barriques, the cellar technologies. The excessive use of international vines can lead to the approval and standardization of wine; this to the detriment of the made in Italy that makes its fortune on the quality and typicality of the product.

Native vines:

If you are looking for a wine that best represents the history and the Genius Loci of a territory then your choice will have to fall on a wine that comes from a native vine. What is a native vine? What characterizes it? A vine is defined as a native grape variety that has a limited diffusion in a small territory that constitutes its historical zone of origin with the characteristics of the bunch, the grape, the leaves, which distinguish it from the other vine varieties.

When we talk about native vines we refer to vines not transplanted from another areas. The wine obtained from native vines is clearly different from that obtained from international vines in terms of structure, acidity and sensory characteristics. The ideal choice for those looking for a wine that best represents the territory from which it comes.

The history of Italian wine and its territories is characterized by these vines. There are almost 350 varieties of native grapes, all with unique and peculiar characteristics that make our wines among the most appreciated in the world. In Italy we can boast a heritage made up of native grapes from long wine-growing tradition,, some very well known, others nearly completely lost. Fortunately, wines produced with native grapes are trendy today, because they are rich in personality and represent a good alternative to the international taste offering a really unique sensation. These grapes are expresses at his best the diversity of italian territory which, in terms of climate and geographical layout, among hills, mountains, plains, coastal maritime areas, presents a variability of situations that has no equal in the world. In recent years, research institutes in the wine sector have worked hard to search on remote areas and make wine from forgotten indigenous vines, verifying whether the wines obtained had particularly interesting characteristics such as to express at the highest level the typicality of the area of ​​origin.

Being our estate in the territory of Gavi, we will limit to write about the characteristic of the Piemontese native wines that we produce; these wines are part of the winmaking tradition of excellence in Piedmont.

Piedmontese white wines:

Among the most famous and qualitative Piedmontese white wines we have the Gavi or the Cortese di Gavi, despite being widespread in various areas of Piedmont, it is certainly the best in the area. in which the Tenuta La Marchesa is located.

Gavi DOCG Marchesa:

it is a white wine that allows you to fully appreciate the elegant and fruity aromas of the grape combined with a dry background with a contrast that makes it a modern wine, this thanks to the low level of total sulphites less than 100 mg / lit, even lower than the levels of sulphites used in organic wines.






Piedmontese red wines

Piedmontese red wines are world famous with the apex of Barolo, Barbera known everywhere as an absolute excellence. At Tenuta la Marchesa, Barbera enters, together with Merlot and Albarossa, in the red Monferrato doc Marchesa, a wine born with the aim of combining the typicality of vines well known with the peculiarity of a native vine, the Albarossa in a particular and unique blend.

Tenuta La Marchesa - Albarossa

Albarossa (Red Sunshine):

Albarossa, a Piedmontese native grape variety obtained from a cross between Nebbiolo and Barbera in 1938, partially forgotten and rediscovered in recent years for its great qualities that in 2011 led to the recognition of the DOC. The Albarossa grape has small berries that require special attention during pressing, fermentation and aging. The berries, rich in sugars, anthocyanins and polyphenols, give a bouquet of great structure, ruby ​​red in color with purplish shades, with a complex bouquet rich in fruity sensations and spicy notes, harmonious, velvety with excellent persistence and hints of minerality.

Albarossa Doc Piedmont Marchesa:

At the Marchesa we chose not to make a pure albarossa, we also discarded the common assembly with other international varieties (Cabernet, pinot nero …) 85% of Albarossa and 15% of Pelaverga another native Piedmontese grape variety, which we will see later , in a single combination on the market that enhances the typical spicy notes of Pelaverga, an unaltered fruit of the characteristics of Albarossa. The refinement is private in steel, the softness of the wine is verified and the typical notes of the wood are excluded which could cover the varietal notes.


is the typical Piedmontese native black berry vine; abandoned in 1800 due to the phylloxera, it was recovered in the last century for mainly peasant local consumption. In purity it gives a wine of light color between orange and rosé with intense aromas of mixed white pepper a note of black currant which concerns a real rarity.

Pelvaro Marchesa Doc Monferrato Rosso.

At the Marchesa we planted a hectare of Pelaverga a few years ago with the aim of creating wines with unique assemblages that create excitement in the consumer. The most interesting example of this book is the Pelvaro, a Monferrato Rosso derived from 80% of Pelaverga and 20% of Albarossa. The reason for the story is wine making was to preserve the intense aromas of Pelaverga pepper and blackcurrant combining the characteristics of Albarossa with the structure, color and tannicity of the wine. Also in this case the refining in steel without any use of the barrique, the low level of the sulphites and the vinification techniques make the maximum extraction of the perfumes, forming an elegant, harmonious and unforgettable wine !!.

The knowledge of the native vines must be deepened throughout Italy. We invite you to visit the site of our company located in Rome, the Tenuta di Pietra Porzia where you will discover new fantastic scenarios of viticulture in central Italy with other indigenous and international vines.

We also remind you that on our estate there is one of the most beautiful historic residences in Piedmont that can be visited completely and where there is the possibility of organizing events.

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