Italian wine: The autochthonous grape, pecorino, and its revival

Aug 21, 2015 613

WTI Magazine #66    2015 August, 21
Author : Jennifer Gentile Martin for      Translation by:


In a recent tasting I sampled an indigenous and native white grape, known as autochthonous grapes, to central Italy, specifically Abruzzo and Marche regions. This grape I'm sharing today is pecorino. Pecorino is an early ripening grape that is produced in low yields. If you remember the Italian Wine Word I shared with you last issue, fresco = crisp, this wine is another one to consider that is typically a light to medium bodied style wine that is crisp and clean with hints of nuts.

The name derives from the Italian word pecora, meaning sheep, and is believed to derive from the sheep that were raised the area in where the grape grows. Another grape of Italy that almost faced extinction according to Pecorino Vitigno E Vino site, pecorino was reborn by Guido Cocci Grifoni. The pecorino grape grows the best in the Piceno area of the Marche region. It's stated that from their site that the research that Guido did "revealed that north of the river Tronto, near Arquata del Tronto, there was a tiny, virtually abandoned vineyard, owned at the time by an eighty year old gentleman; the ancient grape vine known as pecorino grew in this vineyard." They were replanted in the northern part of the land and to this day the pecorino has flourished from its days of extinction.

2014 I Lauri Avalos Pecorino Colline PescaresiI've spoken about this producer before, I Lauri. They are located in the hilltop town of Loreto Aprutino in the Abruzzo region at the foothills of the Gran Sasso Mountain. The 2014 I Lauri Avalos Pecorino Colline Pescaresi IGP was a medium bodied dry wine with an aromatic, florally nose and notes of apricots and tropical fruit backed by good acidity.

It's amazing to me how many grapes in Italy have almost gone extinct and what a shame it would be to not be able to experience grapes like pecorino in this world. Have you tried pecorino yourself?

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