Trebbiano is an Italian wine grape, one of the most widely planted grape varieties in the world. It gives good yields, but tends to yield undistinguished wine. It can be fresh and fruity, but does not keep long. Known as Ugni Blanc in France, it has many other names reflecting a family of local subtypes. Its high acidity makes it important in Cognac and Armagnac productions.
Trebbiano may have originated in the Eastern Mediterranean, and was known in Italy in Roman times. A subtype was recognized in Bologna in the thirteenth century, and Ugni Blanc possibly made its way to France during the Papal retreat to Avignon in the fourteenth century.
Ugni Blanc is the most widely planted white grape variety in France, being found particularly along the Provençal coast, in the Gironde, Occitanie, and Charente. It is also known as ‘Clairette Ronde’, ‘Clairette de Vence’, ‘Queue de Renard’, and in Corsica as ‘Rossola’.
Under the name Saint Émilion, Trebbiano / Ugni Blanc, is important in brandy production, being the most common grape variety in Cognac and Armagnac. In the Armagnac / Côtes de Gascogne area it is also used in the white Floc de Gascogne.
The Trebbiano family account for around a third of all white wine in Italy. It is mentioned in more than 80 of Italy’s DOCs (“Controlled origin denominations”), although it has just seven of its own : Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Trebbiano di Aprilia, Trebbiano di Arborea, Trebbiano di Capriano del Colle, Trebbiano di Romagna and Trebbiano Val Trebbia dei Colli Piacentini and Trebbiano di Soave.
Perhaps the most successful Trebbiano-based blend are the Orvieto whites of Umbria, which use a local clone called Procanico.
Trebbiano is also used to produce balsamic vinegar.
The vine is vigorous and high-yielding, with long cylindrical bunches of tough-skinned berries that yield acidic yellow juice.
Ugni Blanc’s aromatic palette is primarily fruity, with citrus notes, such as lemon, as well as quince. Often, we can detect a hint of balsamic pine resin, especially in wines produced near the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
This variety gives pale yellow wine, rather fine with hints of banana. When blended, winemakers use this grape for its high acidity to bring a touch of freshness to their wines. In the warmer regions such as Aquitaine and Occitanie, it gives very smooth and aromatic wines and when in mouth full bodies with a vibrant finish.
An excellent aperitif, Ugni Blanc also pairs well with light pastas, poached fish, spicy meals, appetizers, chicken breast, squid, light fish, shrimp, crab, lobster, lemon, grapefruit, eggplant, basil, parsley, dill, tarragon, ginger, mild mustard, white cream sauces, and sushi.
Production area en 2018: 82 200 ha (203 121 acres)