Vernaccia di S.Gimignano: general information

general information managed by Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Agro-ambientali (DiSAAA-a) - Università di Pisa
How to cite this source Scalabrelli G., D’Onofrio C., 2015. Vernaccia di S.Gimignano. In: Italian Vitis Database, www.vitisdb.it, ISSN 2282-006X
acknowledgments Fondazione AGER (AGER Fundation)
botanical information
name
Vernaccia di S.Gimignano
type of origin
spontanea
specie
Vitis vinifera
variety group
not available
genera
Vitis
subspecie
sativa
variety for
wine
code
IVD-var_5
registration
Registered in the National Catalogue
yes
code
261
Official name
VERNACCIA DI S. GIMIGNANO B.
synonyms
documented synonyms (2)
synonyms documented by the Istitution that appear with the eventual support of the literature
released clones (11)
images
  • shoot
    shoot
  • shootTipUs
    shootTipUs
  • shootTipLs
    shootTipLs
  • bud
    bud
  • leaf
    leaf
  • leafUs
    leafUs
  • leafLs
    leafLs
  • petiol sinus
    petiol sinus
  • bunch
    bunch
  • berry
    berry
  • seed
    seed
Historical references

The first news of this variety was found in the municipal archives of San Gimignano and dates back to 1276, when a wine of the same name was offered to the Curia, the Casa Medici and other Italian and foreign princes. The ‘Vernaccia’ wine was praised by Pope Paul III’s bottler, ‘Sante Lancerio’ and praised in the verses of ‘Buonarroti the Younger’ and ‘Redi’.
Micheli (1679) describes the ‘Vernaccia di S. Gimignano’ as follows: the bunch weigh is one and a half pound, with smaller berries, similar in shape and size to those of "Zuccaia ", it is flaxen white in colour, sweet in taste. Molon (1906) named a ‘Vernaccia in Tuscany’ that would be a synonym of ‘Verdea of Arcetri’.
An accurate description of this variety was reported by Fregola in 1932 and later by De Astis (1937) describing the characteristics of ‘Vernaccia di San Gimignano’ stating that recent investigations tend to show the clear distinction of this variety from other Italian ‘Vernaccia’, white and black, and also from the classic Sardinian Vernaccia.
The full ampelographic description of ‘Vernaccia’ varieties, including that of ‘San Gimignano’, is in the work of Bruni et al. (1962). The term ‘Vernaccia’ defines a large group of varieties even very different, which have the common characteristic to giving a wines with similar organoleptic qualities.
As in the case of ‘Malvasia’, the wine may have given the name to the grapevine.
The etymology of the name is not univocal since it could have derived from ‘vernaculus’, the late Latin word with which it was defined everything that came from a particular place, not imported, indigenous, or from ‘Vernazza’ (Gallesio, 1839), a city of Cinque Terre (Five Lands) in eastern Liguria, famous for its white wine, a valuable trade for the Maritime Republic of Genova. In support of this hypothesis recently has been reported that ‘Piccabón’ identified in Monterosso, one of yhe Five Lands, is a synonyms of ‘Vernaccia di San Gimignano’ (Torello-Marinoni et al., 2009).
Another hypothesis is that it derived from ‘Garnacha white’, a white wine imported for nobles (Rebora, personal comunications). According to the document in the municipal archive of S. Gimignano, in 1280 a certain Perone Peroni imported some cuttings from Greece that were planted in the Pietrafitta farm, which produced for a long period a renowned ‘Vernaccia’. So, it's possible that there existed two distinct varieties, a Tuscan one and a Greek one, from which this wine was obtained and this makes it difficult to know which one came first, the one of Greek origin or the existing one (Scalabrelli, 1991).

distribution & variation

Diffusion

Currently it is mainly cultivated in the province of Siena, only recently the ‘Vernaccia di San Gimignano’ has been rediscovered and appreciated, thanks to a project in developing technology, and clonal selection.
It takes part of the specification of the DOC ‘Colli Etruria centrale’, ‘San Gimignano’, Vin Santo typology, and especially in the homonym ‘Vernaccia di San Gimignano’ DOCG. In some cases it has been confused with ‘Canaiolo bianco’.
The cultivated area in Tuscany has been increasing since the seventies up to today, testifying the effective work of recovery and enhancement of its image. In fact it is the only Tuscan white wine that has obtained the DOCG.

 

Tuscany

DOC/DOCG

Other wines

Total

 

Italy

Area (ha)

1982

513

82

595

 

1970

315

1990

 

 

762

 

1982

843

2000

727

15

742

 

1990

 

2008

 

 

807

 

2000

784

 

 

 

 

 

2010

828

 

Agronomic characteristics

The time of bud burst is intermediate between ‘Sangiovese’ and ‘Trebbiano toscano’, while the ripening is medium-late. It has good vigour and prefers a medium to long pruning with training systems of medium expansion, like the modified Guyot, or the ‘capovolto alla toscana’, providing an abundant production. To reduce the yield per hectare, spur pruning systems (not too short) were introduced to produce smaller and fewer grapes thanks to the lower basal buds fertility without the costly thinning interventions of the bunches.
It has a good tolerance to the main parasitic diseases and a good affinity with the most common rootstock. It adapts well to clayey-calcareous and siliceous-tufaceous soils with abundant framework. The production is constant and abundant.

technological use

Its wine is pale straw yellow in colour, clear, moderately alcoholic, dry, delicately perfumed, with floral, fruity and slightly herbal notes. It is a good bodied wine with a balanced acidity, and improves with ageing, acquiring more and more aromatic complexity. It is also recommended as a wine to accompany fish. In the past it was used in blends with ‘Trebbiano toscano’, while currently the main aim is the vinification in purity for the production of DOCG (now DOP) ‘Vernaccia di S. Gimignano’ wine.
This variety is used in the production of DOP and IGP wines from grapes harvested in Lazio, Sardinia, Sicily, Tuscany and Umbria regions, and it also can be found in the white wines disciplinary of the province of Siena, ‘Colli dell'Etruria centrale’, ‘San Gimignano’ and also in Vin Santo.
In ancient times ‘Vernaccia di San Gimignano’ was also made in a sweet version (‘abbocato’ wine, that is for the mouth)

bibliographies (7)
authors year title journal citation
Bruni B., Breviglieri N., Casini E. 1962 Vernaccia di S. Gimignano Ministero dell’Agricoltura e delle Foreste - Principali vitigni da vino coltivati in Italia - Volume II
De Astis, G. 1937 Rassegna e revisione dei vitigni coltivati in Toscana. Progresso Vinicolo di Firenze, XV. Firenze
Gallesio G. 1839 Pomona italiana, ossia trattato degli alberi fruttiferi. Capurro N., Pisa, 1817-1839
Micheli P. A. 1679 Manoscritti 1679-1737 - Enumeratio quarundam plantarum sibi per Italiam et Germaniam observatorum in acta Turnefortii metodum dispositarum. Tom. VIII, M.S., s.d., (b). (Inv. Istituto di Botanica 2646).
Molon G. 1906 Ampelografia. vol. II - Hoepli, Milano.
Scalabrelli G. 1991 Descrizione e riconoscimento di alcuni vitigni autoctoni coltivati in Toscana. Atti Seminario OIV, San Michele All’Adige(TN):1-21
Torello Marinoni D. , Raimondi S. , Ruffa P. , Lacombe T. , Schneider A. 2009 Identification of grape cultivars from Liguria (north-western Italy) Vitis Vitis 48 (4), 175–183 (2009)
updated at 2015-07-19 18:35:09 (4 years ago)