Aleatico: general information

general information managed by Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Agro-ambientali (DiSAAA-a) - Università di Pisa Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie e Forestali, Università della Tuscia, Viterbo
How to cite this source Scalabrelli G., D'Onofrio C., Muganu M., 2015. Aleatico. In: Italian Vitis Database,, ISSN 2282-006X
acknowledgments Fondazione AGER (AGER Fundation)
botanical information
type of origin
Vitis vinifera
variety group
variety for
Registered in the National Catalogue
Official name
documented synonyms (6)
synonyms documented by the Istitution that appear with the eventual support of the literature
wrong denominations (1)
wrong denominations indicated by the Istitution that appear with the eventual support of the literature
released clones (5)
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Historical references

Aleatico is a variety of ancient cultivation whose presence in Tuscany dates back to the 1300 when, according to De Crescenzi, it was known as Livatica. The first report on the production of Aleatico red wine in Tuscany is of Trinci (1778): ‘its wine is few colorful, loose, thin, very witty, with a delicate smell, grateful and tasty, perhaps more than Moscadello’. Other authors have praised the good qualities of Aleatico grape, including Malenotti (1831) and Gallesio (1839) who describes at length the ‘Liatica’ or ‘Aleatico of Florence’, considering it a ‘real Muscat’, supposing that it may have originated in Tuscany by seed from muscatel grape. In particular, he indicates that Aleatico is cultivated throughout Italy and in Tuscany where it give a "liqueur wine" highly sought after.    

Molon (1906) reported the Aleatico as a wide Tuscan variety with the most famous cultivation area  in Florence and Siena, but also spread to other regions: Romagna, Marche, Umbria, Lazio, Campania, Molise , Abruzzo, Apulia, Sicily and Corsica finally. Molon also reported some information of the grape variety committees specifying its characteristic aroma that sets it apart from any other grape, but sometimes confused with the Black Muscat in Marche region, Negroamaro and Lacrima. Currently, in Tuscany the main area of cultivatio in Elba Isle. In addition to the Island of Elba, the presence of this variety has also been reported on other islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea and particularly in Corsica, where it was traditionally used for the production of "Rappu", a wine of great structure and alcohol, used as an aperitif (Dovaz et al., 1990).

In the Italian official ampelographic description of Aleatico(Breviglieri and Casini, 1962) there are a number of synonyms like ’Aleatico di Portoferraio‘, ’Uva Liatica‘, ’Leatico‘, ’Aliatico‘, ’Aleatica’, ‘Aleatico nero di Firenze‘, ‘Aleatico gentile’.

The recent DNA molecular analyses have shown that ‘Aleatico’ is synonyms   of Blacan and Pelaverde (Cipriani et al., 2010), and according to the study on microsatellite molecular markers  (Crespan e Milani, 2001; Scalabrelli et al, 2009; D’Onofrio et al. unpubblished data) Scalabrelli e D’Onofrio (2012)  suggested that Aleatico could be a natural cross between  ‘Moscato bianco’ and a proles pontica variety.


distribution & variation




This grapevine variety is registered in the Italian National Catalogue (code 9) and is allowed to the cultivation for production of DOP and IGP wines in Basilicata, Campania, Latium, Marche, Piedmont, Apulia, Sardinia, Tuscany and Umbria. Outside Europe, it is slight cultivated in Central Asia (Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan), Chile, California (Sonoma) and in Australia.

In the past Aleatco was also used as table grapes, but certainly the use that has made it more famous is the production of a sweet wine with a particular aroma, high alcohol content, a beautiful ruby color and sweet flavor.

The area of cultivation of this variety diminished a lot; it decreased from 2120 ha in 1970 to 171 ha in 2010.This trend was also recorded in Tuscany where it has gone from 182 ha in 1982 to about 99 ha in 1990, that was equivalent to 0.18% of total vineyards for wine production in this region (ISTAT, 1991). And according to the regional data, this area was only about 60 ha in 2008, located mainly along the Tuscan coast (provinces of Livorno and Grosseto) on the islands of Elba and Capraia. Aleatico is also present in many other regions of central and southern Italy like Marche, Umbria,  Lathium, Campania, Sicily and Apulia. In the latter region it is located mainly in the province of Bari and in Salento area. This variety has also a small area of cultivation in Corsica and Sardinia.



area (ha)



area (ha)






















Five clones have been recently approved in Italy, whilst 8 clones were approved in Corsica (Bagard et al., 1995; ENTAV, INRA, ENSAM, ONIVINS, 1995; IFVV, INRA, 2007), whose morphological, agronomic and quality characteristics are not yet known. The clonal selection carried out in Tuscany, has led to the approval of a new clone and 2 other clones identified on the Island of Elba (Scalabrelli et al., 2002; Borgo et al., 2009) are in submission for approval.




Agronomic characteristics

The bud break is average-early and the ripening in Maremma and on the Island of Elba takes place between late August and the first half of September. The vegetation trend is assurgent, with medium-high vigour, easy suckers' issue. It has medium basal bud fertility and therefore is likely to be pruned to spurs, clusters of conical shape, generally compact.

The most common training systems are  spur-cordon and Guyot, while the alberello, representing the type of cultivation more prevalent in older vineyards, persists in the less fertile areas. The cultivation of this variety requires moderate or low fertility soils, well exposed and ventilated, warm, dry climate, due to its good drought tolerance (Scalabrelli et al., 2011). It is sensitive to wet spring, during which it is subject to the phenomenon of poor fruit set (shot berries). It's quite sensitive to fungal diseases and requires a good pest management plan and a careful canopy management. As the grapes have to be subjected to dehydration, the priority must be given to all agronomic techniques which give loose and healthiest bunches, and it is also necessary to select the bunches at harvest and during the dehydration process.

technological use

The prevailing attitude that made this variety famous is withering, also available on the plant in a suitable environment. Generally, the grapes are picked not too much ripened, selecting bunches and trying to avoid damage during handling. The traditional withering took place in the sun on mats while today special covered and ventilated places are used.

This grapevine is used for the production of DOP and IGP wines from grapes harvested in the regions of Basilicata, Campania, Lazio, Marche, Piedmont, Puglia, Sardinia, Tuscany and Umbria. This variety is the basis of dessert wines some of which contain the type in purity or a variable percentage from 85 to 100% and precisely:

a) as Dop: Elba aleatico passito, Aleatico di Gradoli, Aleatico di Puglia;

b) as varietal type of Dop: Gioia del Colle, Rosso Orvietano, Pergola, Salice Salentino, Sovana, Terra d'Otranto (opinion of 30/9/2011), Val di Cornia.

It is also admitted in the production of the following wines:

 c) as varietal type of Igp: Costa Toscana, Toscana, Maremma toscana, Allerona, Umbria, Colli Cimini, Lazio, Daunia, Murgia, Salento,Tarantino, Valle d'Itria, Puglia, Basilicata, Barbagia, Colli del Limbara, Marmilla, Nurra, Ogliastra, Parteolla, Planargia, Provincia di Nuoro, Romangia, Sibiola, Tharros, Trexenta, Valle del Tirso, Valli di Porto Pino, Isola dei Nuraghi;

d)as type with name of 2 or more varieties of Igp: Allerona, Colli Cimini, Costa Toscana, Daunia, Lazio, Maremma toscana, Murgia, Puglia, Romangia, Salento, Tarantino. Toscana, Umbria, Valle d'Itria.

The use of this variety is included in the list of aromatic varieties for the production of ’sparkling aromatic wines‘, with and without DOP, subject also to the specific exemptions listed in the Regulation no. 606/09. It is included, finally, in the list of liqueur wines Dop ’naturally sweet wine‘ (Regol. n. 606).

With grapes, both dried and fresh, you get a wine, pleasantly aromatic, with a delicate fragrance. The young wine has a beautiful ruby red color with light violet, which evolves toward amber tones with ageing. Nose reveals an intense and wide range of aromas ranging from floral (violets, roses), fresh fruits (black cherry, plum and dried cherry, red and black berries, exotic fruits such as lychees) to over ripening notes (jam). Depending on the duration and type of ageing they may emerge hints of spice and minerals.

It is a dessert and conversation wine, to be tested alone or paired with pastries or chocolate desserts.



DOP wines

a) DOP






Type, alcohol (% vol.)


Elba aleatico passito


 total 19 from which 12 developed (dvp)


Aleatico di Gradoli


Liquorso and  liquoroso riserva 17,5  of which 15 (dvp); passito 16 of which 9 dvp


Aleatico di Puglia


18,5 of which 16 dvp

b)   DOP Varietal wine






Passito 15 of which 12 dvp


Gioia del Colle


Aleatico sweet: 15 of which 13 dvp; liquoroso sweet 18,5 of which 16 dvp


Salice Salentino


Sweet15%, of which 13 dvp; liquoroso sweet 18,5, of which 16 dvp


Terra d'Otranto


Aleatico 15 of which 13 dvp




 Superiore and riserva 12  of which 9,5 dvp


Val di Cornia


Passito 16,  of which 13 dvp


Rosso Orvietano,


11,5, of which 9,5 dvp




bibliographies (17)
authors year title journal citation
Bagard A., G. Salva, N. Raoulx-Pantalacci, D. Vallee, L. Borde, C. Lavergne, M. J. Serpentini, M. Alberini 1995 Caracteristiques generale et aptitudes des cepages corses. CIVAM de la region Corse.
Borgo M., P. Storchi, E. Egger, G. Scalabrelli, F. Lo reti 2009 La selezione clonale dell’Aleatico. Atti Acc. It. Vite e Vino. Acc. Ital. della Vite e del Vino. Global print, Gorgonzola, Milano: 99-112.
Breviglieri N., Casini E. 1962 Aleatico Ministero dell'Agricoltura e delle Foreste - Principali vitigni da vino coltivati in Italia - Volume II
Calò A., Scienza A., Costacurta A. 2006 Vitigni d’Italia. Le varietà tradizionali per la produzione di vini moderni. Edagricole, Bologna.
Crespan M., N. Milani 2001 “The muscats: a molecular analysis of synonyms, homonyms and genetic relationships within a large family of grapevine cultivars”. Vitis, vol. 40, pp. 23-30
Dovaz M., C. Lecouty, M. Martini, S. Spurrier 1990 Enciclopedie des vins de Corse. Éditions de Fallois.
ENTAV, INRA, ENSAM, ONIVINS 1995 Catalogue de variétés et clones de vigne cultivé en France ENTAV: 345.
Gallesio G. 1839 Pomona italiana, ossia trattato degli alberi fruttiferi. Capurro N., Pisa, 1817-1839
Malenotti I. 1831 “Manuale del vignaiuolo toscano” Colle Tip. Pacini e figli.
Molon G. 1906 Ampelografia. vol. II - Hoepli, Milano.
Scalabrelli G., C. D’Onofrio, G. Ferroni, R. Vignai 2009 Indagini ampelografiche e biomolecolari sul vitigno “Aleatico”. ”. Atti Acc. It. Vite e Vino. Acc. Ital. della Vite e del Vino. Global print, Gorgonzola, Milano: 85-98.
Scalabrelli G., D’Onofrio C. 2012 L’Aleatico dai mille profumi Scalabrelli G., D’Onofrio C., 2012. L’Aleatico dai mille profumi. Ed Debatte, Livorno pagg.160. ISBN: 978-88-6297-128-7
Scalabrelli G., D. Remorini, L. Tuccio, P. Tonutti 2011 Qualità dell’uva e del vino e interventi irrigui. L’Informatore Agrario, speciale Irrigazione della Vite, 20: 38-44.
Scalabrelli G., F. Loreti, G. Ferroni 2002 “La selezione clonale dell’“Aleatico” dell’Elba: aspetti agronomici ed ampelografici” in Proc. Miglioramento qualitativo delle produzioni vitivinicole e del materiale di propagazione Conf., Siena 30 maggio 2002, pp. 49-59.
Scalabrelli G., Remorini D., Tuccio L., Tonutti P. 2011 Qualità dell’uva e del vino e interventi irrigui L’Informatore Agrario, speciale Irrigazione della Vite, 20: 38-44.
Storchi P., Pieri M., Leporini M. 2005 Aleatico. In “Il germoplasma viticolo della Toscana. 1-Vitigni ad uva nera”. A.R.S.I.A. Regione Toscana: 47-51.
Trinci C. 1726 L'Agricoltore sperimentato, ovvero regole generali sopra l'agricoltura, coltivazione delle viti, degli alberi, ecc. Marescandoli, Lucca, 1726 - Venezia, 1778.
updated at 2016-11-01 15:14:14 (6 years ago)