Ribolla Gialla | A high-quality white wine grape native to Italy with a long history of production and export. There are numerous spelling variants such as Ràbola, Rebolla, and Ribuèle.
Not to be confused with | Ribolla Gialla is not the same as the lesser-quality Ribolla Verde or the Rèbola of Emilia Romagna.
Wine style | Ribolla Gialla wines have high acidity. A white pepper note is typical of Ribolla Gialla (unless over cropped). Other flavours and aromas include flowers (buttercup), citrus fruit (lemon, tangerine), and minerals.
Where grown | Friuli-Venezia Giulia: Friuli Colli Orientali DOC. | Collio DOC. Renowned areas include the Rosazzo subzone of Friuli Colli Orientali DOC and the Oslavia area in Collio DOC. Ribolla Gialla is also grown across the border in Slovenia.
Viticulture | Ribolla Gialla thrives in hillside vineyards. It tends to overproduce and less characterful elsewhere.
Specific styles | Usually dry, light, and fresh, but also commonly used to make ‘orange wines’ using extended skin contact and oxidative techniques. Some producers are testing its suitability—because of its high acidity—for sparkling wine but with mixed results. Despite this the best Ribolla Gialla wines remain those from low cropping old vines, in hilltop vineyards that give classically dry, perfumed white wines.
See Ian D’Agata, Native Wine Grapes of Italy (University of California Press, 2014).
Italian Wine Unplugged (Positive Press, 2017), p.129-130.