Vermentino: general information

general information managed by Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Agro-ambientali (DiSAAA-a) - Università di Pisa Agris Sardegna Servizio RFOOVE
How to cite this source Scalabrelli G., D'Onofrio C., 2013. Vermentino. In: Italian Vitis Database. ISSN 2282-0062010
botanical information
type of origin
Vitis vinifera
variety group
not available
variety for
Registered in the National Catalogue
Official name
official synonyms (2)
synonyms reported in the National Catalogue
  • Favorita
  • Pigato
documented synonyms (4)
synonyms documented by the Istitution that appear with the eventual support of the literature
wrong denominations (4)
wrong denominations indicated by the Istitution that appear with the eventual support of the literature
  • Vernaccia
  • Malvasia du Douro
  • Canaiolo bianco
  • Agostenga
released clones (16)
  • shoot
  • shootTipUs
  • shootTipLs
  • leaf
  • leafUs
  • leafLs
  • petiol sinus
    petiol sinus
  • bunch
  • berry
  • seed
Historical references

There is no certainty about the origin of this variety, although several assumptions have been made, including one its origins in Spain and subsequent spreads along the Mediterranean coast and onto some islands. Certainly, the use of naming wines with the name of their zone of origin makes it difficult to establish the link between production areas and the first reports of the name used to indicate the variety with which certain wines are produced. From this point of view, Vermentino offers a lot of material to be discussed (Calò and Costacurta, 2007), having been indicated as Vernaccia di Corniglia (Gallesio, 1839). We know that the Vermentino wine already had a good reputation in the nineteenth century as Gallesio said: the Vermentino grape is the favorite of the Genovesato, and has the reputation of being one of largest varieties that is grown from Ventimiglia to Sarzana. The fertility, earliness and sweetness of its grapes, and the quality of wine that it produces, form a set of qualities hard to come by in a different grape.

The first mention of Vermentino (as Fermentino) would be from 1658 and would relate to Montaldeo, in the province of Alessandria (Robinson et al., 2012). In France, the first mention of Vermentino seems to be the one from  "L’Agriculture" (Petit-Lafitte, 1841), where the introduction of Vermentino directly from Corsica is certified. In Sardinia the first mention seems to be from  Angus (1840), which locates it on La Maddalena island.

There are many names which indicate Vermentino and could vary from one area to another, such as ‘Piccabon’ in the Cinque Terre, ‘Rolle’ in Nice, ‘Verlantin’ at Antibes, ‘Malvoise a gros grain’ in the South of France, ‘Malvasia gross’ and ‘Carbesso’ in Corsica. Only later it was reported the cultivation in Piedmont (Alba, Mondovi and Cuneo) as ‘Favorita’ (Molon 1906) and in the province of Savona as the ‘Pigato’ (Carlone, 1965). ‘Vermentino’, ‘Favorita’ and ‘Pigato’, were reported in the National Register of Grapevine Varieties as different varieties and only later was clarified that they are biotypes belonging to the same variety-population (Schneider and Mannini, 1990) indication successively confirmed by DNA molecular markers.

distribution & variation



The total area planted with Vermentino in Italy is around 6,000 hectares (UIV 2017). The region where it is most cultivated is Sardinia with about 4500 hectares (UIV and Laore 2017), followed by Tuscany with 653 ha and Liguria 554 ha (UIV 2017).


 The table below shows the trend of Vermentino cultivation area in Italy from 1970 to 2017




Area (ha)*

Area (ha)



















 *data include  Vermentino, Pigato  and Favorita


As to  Tuscany, the cultivated area increased by one fifth compared to the 544 ha reported by Fregoni 2007, but decreased in the province of Massa Carrara, with the abandonment of marginal vineyards and those located in steep field, while increased along the coast (from Livorno and Grosseto), also following the enhancement project developed on this grape variety (Scalabrelli, 1997; Scalabrelli and Di Collato, 1999, Scalabrelli et al., 2002; Nunziatini et al., 2010).

In Sardinia Vermentino area  increased by one third between 3,300 ha in 2009 (Convisar 2011) and the current 4500 ha. 

Vermentino is also widespread in the south of France (just over 6000 hectares), located in Provence, Corsica, where it is the most important white variety, and in Languedoc-Roussillon. Vermentino is located in Malta and is present in the Bekaa valley in Lebanon. In California, the US state where it is most cultivated, Vermentino covers a total area of ​​about 90 hectares (California Department of Food and Agriculture). But this grape is also present in other U.S. states, such as Nevada, Texas, North Carolina and Virginia. In Australia, Vermentino area is approximately 120 hectares (  and it is present in South Australia, in Victoria, in Hunter Valley, in King Valley, in Barossa Valley.

There are 16 homologated clones in Italy, most of which were recently obtained from the selection of populations present in Sardinia, Tuscany, Liguria and Piedmont. A dozen clones have also been approved in France following the clonal selection made in Corsica (INRA, 2007)


Agronomic characteristics

In Tuscany, Vermentino has an average earliness of developing buds, about 5-7 days before the Trebbiano toscano, which is about in the last week of March along the coastal area, while a delay of about 7-10 days occurs in more internal areas.
It ripens earlier (one to two weeks) than Trebbiano toscano, being in the first week of September along the coastal areas of Tuscany and two or three weeks later in the inland areas.
The grapevine has medium vigour and a sufficient fertility of basal buds that allows it to take a spur pruning. The average weight of the bunch is highly variable depending of biotype and clone.
The forms of farming adopted vary in different areas of cultivation according to the eco-pedologic soil conditions. It goes from, ‘alberello’ in the driest areas (Corsica and Sardinia) to ‘Guyot’, that is undoubtedly the most widespread, and the  ‘cordon’, which are both used in almost all areas of cultivation. Finally, the ‘tendone’ is used in irrigated areas of Sardinia, while the ‘high cordon’ is taken in some areas of Sardinia and Tuscany, while the ‘pergola’ is typical of Cinque Terre.
The adopted rootstocks depending on the environments. In Corsica the 110R is widely used, which has yielded good results even along the Tuscan coast (Ferroni et al., 2010), while in most environments the 1103P is mostly used. In Liguria the use of SO4, has yielded good results by maintaining a good level of titratable acidity, which in this variety is very important to maintain, being occasionally subject to an excessive drop in consequence of late vintage.
The Vermentino prefers sunny places and infertile soils. It has good tolerance to salty winds and dry climates, fertile soils and fears damp places where it is more easily attacked by botrytis. It is sensitive to moths and mildew, especially in dense foliage conditions and is moderately tolerant to powdery mildew.

technological use

It is a grape variety that in relation to the degree of maturity is suitable for the production of different types of wine: fresh and fruity wines, medium bodied wines with a high alcohol content and late harvest wines. This diversification is linked to the production area, the age of the vineyard, the type of farming adopted, the productive load and the degree of ripeness of the grapes that are taken to fermentation.
The winemaking technique is usually short pellicular maceration (sometimes using a cold maceration technique), followed by fermentation in steel and less frequently oak barrels. Recently, they are trying to adopt winemaking technologies minimizing the contact with air, to prevent oxidation and loss of aromas. The wines of greater tasting value benefit of the aging technique on nobles lees after stirring and placed on suspension of the same lees (batonnage).
Vermentino wines have a sensory profile that can be summarized as follows: pale straw yellow, sometimes with light green reflexes, fruity (ripe fruit or exotic fruits), with hints of citrus (orange, grapefruit and lemon), mediterranean spices (sage, thyme) and flowers (acacia), full-bodied and balanced, sometimes with a slight bitter taste. The wines are always characterized by a good balance, finesse and charm, even if the alcohol strength has increased in recent years. With aging, the sensory profile evolves with the appearance of notes of dried fruits, dried flowers and minerals. The wines are excellent to accompany with seafood dishes.
This variety is used for the production of DOP and IGP wines from grapes harvested in Abruzzo, Latium, Liguria, Marche, Apulia, Sardinia, Sicily, Tuscany and Umbria. More than 50 types of white wines are produced in Italy with Vermentino having 22 denominations, 11of which are located in Tuscany, 6 in Liguria and 2 in Sardinia (one of which is, Vermentino di Gallura, is DOCG), followed by Piedmont and Umbria with 1 denomination.

On the tables below, the production of Vermentino wines in Tuscany and Sardinia




DOC/DOCG (.000 hl)

Other wines (.000 hl)

Total (.000 hl)




















DOC/DOCG (.000 hl)

Totale (.000 hl)


Vermentino di Sardegna





Vermentino di Gallura









bibliographies (11)
authors year title journal citation
Calò A., Costacurta A. 2007 Dei Vitigni Italici. Ovvero delle loro storie, caratteri e valorizzazione Matteo editore.
Carlone R. 1964 Vermentino Principali vitigni da vino coltivati in Italia. Volume III. Ministero dell'Agricoltura e delle Foreste
Ferroni G., Scalabrelli G., D’Onofrio C., Di Collalto G. 2010 Comportamento produttivo del Vermentino su dieci portainnesti. Simposio “Il Vermentino, un vitigno mediterraneo: peculiarità viticole ed enologiche”, Alberese 26-27 maggio 2010, Abstract pg.47.
Fregoni M., Fregoni C., Lorieri P., Marenghi M. 2007 Il Vermentino, un vitigno che sente il mare. Bandecchi & Vivaldi Editore.
Gallesio G. 1839 Pomona italiana, ossia trattato degli alberi fruttiferi. Capurro N., Pisa, 1817-1839
Molon G. 1906 Ampelografia. vol. II - Hoepli, Milano.
Nunziatini V., Fabbri F., Scalabrelli G., Di Collalto G. 2010 Un progetto di ricerca per la valorizzazione del Vermentino in provincia di Grosseto Simposio “Il Vermentino, un vitigno mediterraneo: peculiarità viticole ed enologiche”, Alberese 26-27 maggio 2010, Abstract pg.48
Scalabrelli G. 1997 Attività di ricerca del Dipartimento C.D.S.L. dell'Università di Pisa sul vitigno "Vermentino". Il Vermentino “Studi e ricerche su un vitigno di interesse internazionale” A.R.S.I.A. pp. 26 - 47.
Scalabrelli G., Di Collalto G. 1999 Selezione clonale del Vermentino: risultati conseguiti in Maremma Toscana nel quinquennio 1995-1999 In “ Rinnovamento e Valorizzazione della viticoltura della provincia di Grosseto”. Provincia di Grosseto. ARSIA. Regione Toscana: 31-36.
Scalabrelli G., Ferroni, F., D’Onofrio C., Borgo M., Porro D., Stefanini M. 2002 Clonal selection of ‘Vermentino’ grapevine variety in the tuscan coastal area Acta Horticulturae VII th Int. Conf. On Grape Genetics and Breeding. Kecskemét, Hungary. Acta Hort. 603 (2): 641-649.
Schneider A., Mannini F. 1990 Indagini comparativa su "Vermentino", "Pigato" e "Favorita" in Piemonte e Liguria. Informatore Agrario, 8: 103-108.
updated at 2020-01-31 13:55:52 (2 years ago)