Saturday, October 28, 2017

An Indigenous Grape In Risk of Extinction: 10 Key Facts About the Saccola Grape Variety

A few days ago I have been harvesting the saccola grape in the Illasi valley, in the Veneto region, in a volcanic hillside area at 600 metres of altitude and discovered many things about this unique volcanic grape. Only a few plots of this grape are left and the Consortium Lessini Durello is involved in a project aimed at identifying and evaluating the potential of this rare grape variety. Let's have a look at 10 key facts about saccola:





1. It is an extremely rare red grape variety

2. Historically present in the Durello area

3. Climate: temperate humid climate with rather hot summers

4. Certain historical data regarding its origin date back to 800's

5. Terroir: hill and low mountains

6. Soils of volcanic origin

7. Taste profile: aromas of mulberry and raspberry

8. It has great ageing potential

9. Large and round grapes.

10. Nowadays vineyards are found sporadically and semi-abandoned




This grape can lead to long-lasting and very good wines, so it would be a shame if producers no longer invest on it. I know there are some drawbacks (i.e. productivity and manual labour). Indeed, harvesting this grape on steep slopes, I have noticed how hard it is to work the vineyards. Also, its low yield led many local producers in the past to rather focus on international varieties as merlot. However, being an important part of the local viticultural heritage, it is important to avoid its extinction and the work being carried out by the local community and the consortium is of vital importance. Hopefully in the next years we will see Saccola wines being appreciated and sold even outside the Veneto region.
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