Pignoletto: general information

general information managed by Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie - Università degli Studi di Bologna
How to cite this source Filippetti I., Pastore C., Fontana M. - 2014 - Pignoletto In: Italian Vitis Database. www.vitisdb.it, ISSN 2282-006X
acknowledgments Fondazione AGER (AGER Fundation)
botanical information
type of origin
Vitis vinifera
variety group
not available
variety for
Registered in the National Catalogue
Official name
official synonyms (3)
synonyms reported in the National Catalogue
  • Grechetto
  • Grechetto gentile
  • Alionzina
released clones (4)
  • shoot
  • leaf
  • bunch
Historical references

 Plinio il Vecchio, in his “Naturalis Historia” (I sec. d.C.), wrote about  wine named “Pino Lieto” "it is not enough sweet to be good“, probably because the ancient romans loved very sweet wine. On this base it can be hypothized that Pignoletto was already known in the past .

Some papers (Statuti di Savignano,  1398 ) reported some varietyes “malvasia, tribiano e ruibola vel greco”. As well known the names Greco and Grechetto include varieties with different traits. Some researchers hypothize the name is been linked to their site of origin (Greece), while some others associate the name to the similarity with the wine imported during the Middle age from the east Mediterranean. Quite recently has been assessed the genetic identity among “Grechetto di Todi”, “Pignoletto” and “Rebola riminese” (Filippetti et al.,1999), while “Grechetto di Orvieto” and “Greco di Tufo” are different varieties.  

Tanara (1654), refers to some grape  “Pignole", that were grown in the hills of Bologna area.

Pasqualini e Pasqui (1978), described the Pignoletto as follow: “His name derived from the similarity of the cluster with the pine cone, with small sub round greenish berries”. The same authors assess the similarity of Pignoletto with the  white French Pinots.

In the lowlands of Bologna area Pignoletto was present with this denomination while in the hills zone was known as Alionzina, from the variety Alionza, also grown in the same area (Grilli, 1970; Faccioli e Marangoni, 1978; Faccioli et al., 1978).

During the 1970s, Pignoletto was confused with Riesling italico as consequence of wrong material from the nurserys as long as Faccioli and Marangoni (1978), characterized  Pignoletto/Alionzina and Riesling Italico, clarifying the situation. 

distribution & variation

As previously reported based on ampelographic and molecular analyses, Pignoletto (from Emilia area and approved with  Dm 22.10.1994) and Grechetto G5-ICA-PG (from Umbria where is named “Grechetto di Todi”, approved with Dm 24.11.1994), resulted belong to the same variety (Filippetti et al., 1999) and so the two denomination has been considered sinonimi, despite they are maintained respectively in each cultivation area.


Currently there are four Pignoletto clones. The main area of cultivation in Emilia Romagna are Bologna, Modena and Rimini (where is known with the denomination Rebola) but some hectars are present also in Ravenna e Forli area with a total acreage around 1700 hectars (ISTAT, 2010).

technological use

Pignoletto grapes are mainly used to produce sparkling wine traditionally consumed in the area of production (close to Bologna). Due to its large plasticity, several different types of wines are produced expecially still and sparkling wines, the last obtained by Charmat and Champenoise method. Less present is the raisin wine.     

The Pignoletto wine aroma is not intense, perhaps due to its youth and it reveals floreal nuances. In tasting, the flavor profile is characterized by firm structure with a slightly green note.


Pignoletto DOCG wines are produced in “Colli Bolognesi” and DOC in Bologna, Modena and Ravenna provinces.

bibliographies (8)
authors year title journal citation
De Crescenzi P. 1805 Trattato dell’Agricoltura.Tradotto nella favella fiorentina dallo ‘Nferigno. Vol I, Milano
Faccioli F., Marangoni B. 1978 Pignoletto Bolognese: caratterizzazione ampelografica e sua comparazione con il Riesling Italico. “La Mercanzia”, Camera di Comm. Ind. E Agr., n.1. Bologna
Faccioli F., Marangoni B., Cosmo I., Calò A. 1978 Pignoletto. Rivista di Viticoltura e di Enologia N 8
Filippetti I., Intrieri C., Silvestroni O. 1999 Individuazione di omonimie e sinonimie in alcune cultivar di Vitis vinifera attraverso metodi ampelografici e analisi del DNA a mezzo di microsatelliti, Rivista di Frutticoltura 7/8
Pasqualini A., Pasqui T. 1876 Saggi ampelografici ed analitici intorno a sei vitigni romagnoli -
Pasqualini A., Pasqui T. 1878 Saggi ampelografici ed analitici intorno a dieci vitigni romagnoli -
Plinio il Vecchio 1668 Naturalis historiae libri XXXVII. Ed. Lugd. Batav. Roterodami apud Hakios.
Tanara V. 1644 L’economia del cittadino in villa. Edizione del 1674 stampata “appresso Steffano Curti”, Venezia.
updated at 2015-07-17 00:47:24 (8 years ago)