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home > food & wine dictionary > Trebbiano

Food and Wine Dictionary

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 Trebbiano    [treb-BYAH-noh, treh-bee-AH-noh]

A very important white-wine grape, not because it produces great wines, but because it's so extensively planted. Estimates indicate that Trebbiano produces more wine than any other variety in the world even though the AIRÉN is planted on more acreage. However, these rather neutral wines have high ACID, medium ALCOHOL, and very little discernible aroma or flavor. The Trebbiano grape is most often blended with varieties exhibiting more dominant traits. Originating in central Italy, Trebbiano spread throughout that country and across the border to become France's most important white variety as well. In Italy it's so extensively grown that in some areas it's difficult to find a bottle of white wine that doesn't contain some Trebbiano. In TUSCANY, the laws controlling wine production specify that a certain amount of Trebbiano and MALVASIA (another white-wine grape) be blended into their red wine CHIANTI. There are many different Trebbiano clones, Trebbiano Toscano and Trebbiano Romagnolo being the most important. Trebbiano Abruzzo, however, is actually a different variety-BOMBINO BIANCO. In France, where this grape is known by various names including Ugni Blanc and Saint-Émilion, large amounts of Trebbiano wine is processed into brandy, including the finest from COGNAC and ARMAGNAC. Other French names for this grape include Clairette Ronde and Clairette Rose-sometimes confusing because there's an entirely different variety called CLAIRETTE. Trebbiano is also planted in eastern Europe, Australia, South America, and Portugal, where it's called Thalia. It's known as Saint-Emilion in California and planted mainly in the SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY, where it's primary use is in the production of brandy.

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Material adapted from the The New Food Lover's Companion

© Copyright Barron's Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on
THE FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.

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