Approval of Grape Variety Lambrusca di Alessandria
Lambrusca di Alessandria has been approved as a recognized varietal by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau for use in the United States.
Lambrusca di Alessandria is an autochthonous grape of Italy. It was first described and recognized by name by Count Giuseppe Nuvolone , Vice Director of Piedmont Agricultural Society , the Royal Academy of Agriculture where in 1798 he read his celebrated “Instructions for the Cultivation of Vines and the Best Method for Making and Storing Wine”. It is most likely native to the area of Alessandria and Pavia in Piedmont, Italy. The name Lambrusca or Lambrusco comes from Latin “labruscum” meaning fruit of the wild grape. There are many grape varietals with the word Lambrusco in their title. For instance, it is used to identify many grapes in the Emilia Romagna area of Italy which are used to produce a wine called Lambrusco. These Lambrusco grapes and Lambrusca di Alessandria are genetically different which was evidenced by Italus Hortus (Mar-Apr 2006) Lambruschi from Piedmont: historical investigations, fingerprinting and genetic relationships with other autochthonous Italian grapes [Vitis vinifera] J Torello, Marinoni D., Raimond, S., Boccacci P., Schneider, A.
Current findings indicate the first documented Lambrusca di Alessandria vine in the United States was in 1983 when donations were made to the National Clonal Germplasm Repository Davis, California by Bioletti, F. University of California andOlmo, H., University of California from the Vititculture Dept. vineyard location while under their care.
The vine samples (assumed to be Nebbiolo) submitted by Pete Anderson of Eusinus Vineyards to the Plant Identification Lab at University of California, Davis Foundation Plant Services for DNA analysis matched the Lambrusca di Alessandria reference profile of the NCGR collection. The lab director, GS Dangl, advised that the Lambrusco vine listed in the FPS registry is not Lambrusca di Alessandria. This was further confirmed by Dr. Anna Schneider CNR, Istituto di Virologia Vegetale Sezione di Grugliasco, Torino, Italy. who reported the profile perfectly matched the Lambrusca di Alessandria in her database.
The commercial potential of Lambrusca di Alessandria if based on the commercial sales and wine competition awards that were achieved by wine made from this grape when it was misidentified as Nebbiolo then the potential is exceptionally high. A list of wineries and vineyards in the United States that are currently growing and producing wine made from the newly identified Lambrusca di Alessandria grape are:
Cougar Vineyard & Winery cougarvineyards.com
Temecula Valley AVA
39870 De Portola Road Temecula, CA 92592
1 (951) 491-0825
Eusinus Vineyard 4870 Kelly Dr, Carlsbad, CA
San Diego County
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