March 22nd-Vermentino Nero

This week, I found a bottle of Vermentino Nero at my local wine shop. Vermentino is a common white grape found world wide. Vermentino Nero is a rare red grape native to the Massa-Carrara region of Tuscany in Central Italy. To date, genetic testing has yet to find familial links with other grape varieties but some hypothesize it is either a color mutation of Vermentino or closely related to the Spanish Monastrell and Parraleta grape varieties. Plantings of Vermentino Nero were mostly abandoned following WWII. In 1987, a friend of Podere Scurtarlo winery approached the winery and asked to create a single variety wine. At this point in time, Vermentino Nero was on the brink of extinction. Winemakers of the region remembered stories about Vermentino Nero from their forefathers with great fondness, which helped convince the Lorieri family of Podere Scurtarlo winery to move forward with producing this wine. The first vintage was produced in 1989. Within a few years, a couple other wineries had decided to follow suit and planted Vermentino Nero. By the year 2000, there were about 500 acres planted. 

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