Vespolina is a red wine grape variety native to Italy, a progeny of Nebbiolo. ‘Vespolina is the most important red wine grape in Piemonte after Nebbiolo,’ (Ian D’Agata: Dec 2015).

Synonyms: Ughetta. | Uvetta di Canneto.

Where grown: Piemonte (‘Piedmont’): Vespolina is blended in small amounts in Boca DOC, Fara DOC, Ghemme DOCG,  Lessona DOC and Sizzano DOC, with varietal wines often labelled as Coste della Sesia DOC or Colline Novaresi DOC. | Lombardia (Lombardy): Oltrepò Pavese DOC.

Viticulture: Vespolina is susceptible to vine diseases and yields irregularly. Vespolina can suffer magnesium deficiency (Ian D’Agata: Dec 2015).

Wine style: Medium colour and body. Bright red fruit and sweet spice (black pepper) aromas. This is because Vespolina is one of the 4-5 grapes–Syrah, Schiopettino are others–which have rotundone, the molecule for black pepper,’ (D’Agata: Dec 2015). In Piedmont, it is often used in Nebbiolo-dominant blends to give a spicy kick. Poor examples have rough tannins.

Bibliography

See Ian D’Agata, Native Wine Grapes of Italy (University of California Press, 2014), p.475–477.

Ian d’Agata, Vinitaly International Academy tasting, Signorvino, Veneto 01 Dec 2015.

Italian Wine Unplugged (Positive Press, 2017), p.140-141.