Catalanesca, white wine grape native to Italy. Only since 2006 Catalanesca has been recognized as a cultivar from which to make wine; it was previously considered only as a good table grape.

Where grown | Campania: Catalanesca del Monte Somma is the main IGT wine (it can be produced in the townships around the Vesuvio volcano). The guidelines also allow for a passito, or air-dried, version to be made.

The vine | Catalanesca’s cluster is very sparse, and the berries thick skinned. It is a late ripener, rustic, productive variety but it is exquisitely sensitive to powdery mildew (oidium).

Wine style | Catalanesca is characterized by high total acidity. Very good wines, all of which seem to have an obvious mineral bent with a little bottle age, but start out life soft and fruity, with hints of pineapple, apricot, and apple.

Bibliography

See Ian D’Agata, Native Wine Grapes of Italy (University of California Press, 2014).

Italian Wine Unplugged (Positive Press, 2017), p.166.