Barbassese: general information

general information managed by Istituto per la Protezione Sostenibile delle Piante - CNR
How to cite this source Raimondi S., Ruffa P., Schneider A., 2014. Barbassese. In: Italian Vitis Database,, ISSN 2282-006X
acknowledgments Ager Foundation
botanical information
type of origin
Vitis vinifera
variety group
not available
variety for
Registered in the National Catalogue
documented synonyms (2)
synonyms documented by the Istitution that appear with the eventual support of the literature
  • Carica l'asino (Rocca Grimalda, Alessandria province)
  • Uva della Madonna (Castelnuovo Bormida, Alessandria province)
released clones
  • shoot
  • leaf
  • bunch
Historical references

There is no trace of Barbassese in the historical records prior to "Ampelografia della provincia di Alessandria" by Demaria and Leardi (1875). In fact, although a variety named ‘Carica l’asino' (‘Load the donkey’) is cited by Gallesio in his journal of travel (Baldini, 1995) it is likely that he was referring to Barbera bianca also sometimes called – as is the Barbassese – with this curious name.

The first two authors indicate that the Barbassese variety is mainly present in the surroundings of Acqui Terme and from which you get " good quality slight table wine."

distribution & variation

Currently Barbassese seems to have virtually disappeared from the traditional cultivation area, but in a recent past was still sporadically grown in a small hilly area in the provinces of Asti and mainly Alessandria, where he was also locally called Carica l’asino (because of its generous productivity) or Uva della Madonna (Holy Mary's grape), probably for its early maturing time, perhaps at the time of the catholic feast of the Nativity of Mary, the 8th of September.

technological use

By a preliminary evaluation of production characteristics, Barbassese proves to be a cultivar of some interest: despite its productivity is sometimes abundant (but also characterized by a certain alternation), this variety synthesizes a good amount of sugar and acidity (especially malic). Further investigations and especially winemaking tests will indicate whether it is desirable to enrol the Barbassese in the National (Italian) Register of Grapevine Varieties.

bibliographies (2)
authors year title journal citation
Demaria P.P., Leardi C. 1875 Ampelografia della provincia di Alessandria Ed. Negro, Torino.
Gallesio G. 1995 I giornali dei viaggi A cura di E. Baldini. Accademia dei Georgofili, Firenze.
updated at 2016-11-14 12:05:55 (7 years ago)