ERBALUCE

Although it cannot be considered a native grape in the true sense of the word, Erbaluce is of historical importance in the province of Torino because its presence is limited to the northern part of Piemonte and the Canavese hills in particular, where it has prospered, finding the best environmental conditions for its development. It is now the most important grape in this area in terms of cultivated surface and the commercial value of the wine. Erbaluce is a very vigorous grape but good fertility is limited to the last buds of the shoot, two elements that mean that it has to be grown using a horizontal system such as the traditional pergola used in the Canavese hills. This method, which is unique in Piemonte, takes the form of a pergola (known locally as a “topia”), with supporting poles and cross beams, generally made of chestnut wood, which can be up to metres (6 ft) tall, to support the ripe fruit. The bunches are of average size, cylindrical, slightly elongated, compact but occasionally more sparse. The grapes are spheroid in shape with a thick skin and when ripe they acquire a particular amber colour if they have been exposed well to the sun. The Erbaluce grape goes into several types of wine, from intense dry spumante, or sparkling wine, to still wines and excellent passito, all thanks to its grapes that have a high level of fixed acidity and dry very well.

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