Ansonica: general information

general information managed by Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Agro-ambientali (DiSAAA-a) - Università di Pisa Dipartimento di Ingegneria e Tecnologie Agroalimentari - Università degli Studi di Palermo Regione Siciliana - Assessorato delle Risorse Agricole e Alimentari - Dip. Interventi Infrastrutturali per l'Agricoltura - Centro per l'Innovazione della Filiera Vitivinicola UOS Marsala
How to cite this source Scalabrelli G., D'Onofrio C., Barbagallo G., Falco V., 2015. Ansonica. In: Italian Vitis Database,, ISSN 2282-006X
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
  • Insolia
  • Inzolia
documented synonyms (2)
synonyms documented by the Istitution that appear with the eventual support of the literature
released clones (5)
  • shoot
  • shootTipUs
  • shootTipLs
  • leaf
  • leafUs
  • leafLs
  • bunch
  • berry
  • seed
Historical references

From the description of Breviglieri et al., (1965) we can infer that Alessio and Dalmasso report as follows about the origin of Ansonica variety (Ansoria, Inzolia),:
"The Old Italian (XVI) recognizes the name ‘ansoria’ to indicate a kind of grape, a name that is also recorded in the dictionaries of Petrocchi and of Tommaso Bellini. The word seems to have southern roots, and it exists still in: - Sicily: Soria (n) zòlia, nsolia, ’sort of  large grapes, sweet ,with oblong berries‘; -  Calabria:  ansòlia, nsuòlia, Insolia, anzulu, ansoliku, ansoria, species of white grapes; - Sardinia: erba insòlika, arba sòlika (from albus ’white‘)grapevine varieties with white fruit; - Tuscany: Isle of Elba ansòniko (kind of white grapevine that  makes a wine of the same name) and in the Isle of  Giglio (‘anzònaka‘ a variety of grape, ’anzònako‘ the wine). Of the above mentioned items, ansoria is attested in ancient times. So, it seems that the barycentre of its distribution has been into Sicily, whence it passed to southern Italy, Sardinia, and from there to the Isle of Elba, to the Isle of Giglio and to the coastal area of Tuscany.
This variety has been described by many authors, as it is clear from the bibliography by Molon. In the catalog of the Hortus Catholicus by Cupani (1696) there are three types of ’Inzolia‘, two of which are white: ‘Vitis mediocribus vinaceis, durulis, oblongis, candido-fulvis, sapidis, vulgo: Inzolia Vranca, Eadem racemo , et granis majoribus; flavescentibus, sapidioribus, vulgo: Inzolia Imperiali  o di Napuli’. Acerbi (1825) reported a brief description of the variety called ‘white Nzolia’ with oblong berry, while the Baron Mendola (1868) about ‘White Insolia’ wrote:: The Insolie are cultivated ‘ab antico’ in Sicily. They have the common wood vigour, copy and robustness of capreoli, jagged leaves. The most fruitful and mostaia is the golden white that  likes to the mouth and abounds in all the vineyards from Marsala to Catania.
Nicolosi (1869) called it "beautiful quality of grapes, gives much fruit, and produces  a generous wine, has a nice flavor; these qualities make it highly sought after."
Paulsen (1904), in his monograph ,gave also detailed information on its behavior to grafting with American rootstocks.

distribution & variation


Ansonica is among the Sicilian wine varieties with white grapes by extension of cultivation: it ranks third, after ‘Catarratti’ and ‘Grillo’. It has greater importance in the Trapani and Agrigento province, where, with ‘Catarratti’, forms the basis of the production of white wines, but is also cultivated in all the others Sicilian provinces. In the province of Palermo, the ‘Inzolia’ was cultivated anywhere, but now it is diffused for about 500 ha. In Sicily, in the year 2000 Inzolia was cultivated in about 11670 ha, in 2014 for 5500 ha corrisponding a5 5,3% of sicilian viticulture surface.
In Tuscany it is widespread particularly in province of Grosseto, especially (Orbetello, Monte Argentario, Giglio and Capalbio) and in Livorno province (Val di Cornia and Elba).
In Italy, the area planted to this grape variety, has decreased from 9.518 hectares in 2000 to 6.975 hectares nowadays, while in Tuscany, the area has risen from 723 in 1990 to 189 in 2008.




Other wines




Area (ha)





































Agronomic characteristics

It is a vigorous variety with an abundant and generally regular production, with average fruit set, position of the first fruit-bearing shoot on the second bud, with an average of two inflorescences per shoot.
It prefers medium or low expansion training systems (Guyot and alberello) with short or mixed pruning. It adapts well to  hot-arid environments of central and southern Italy. It tolerates drought but is sensitive to the maximum temperatures of the summer, shows a moderate sensitivity to Plasmopara viticola and Oidium. There are five released clones, four of which selected in Tuscany (Scalabrelli et al., 2012).

technological use

In the past, it was also used as a table grape in Sicily, in the Isle of Elba and in Giglio. It was used for making ‘Marsala’ wine and numerous Vermouth. For several decades it was vinified alone or in blend with other grape varieties: in Sicily with ‘Catarratto bianco comune’, ‘Catarratto bianco lucido’, ‘Grillo’ and also with ‘Chardonnay’). The yield of juice is good, as well as the percentage of sugars. The wine obtained  is straw yellow with greenish reflections, with a characteristic aroma (vegetable, fruit, dried fruit) on the  whole it is harmonious and pleasant. It is also used for the production of raisin wine in the Islands and in the Tuscan coast.
The variety is is allowed to cultivation for the production of DOP and IGP wines derived from grapes harvested in Basilicata, Calabria, Sardinia, Sicily and Tuscany.
There are numerous DOP where this variety is planned pure (both as Inzolia that as Ansonica).
In Sicily there are the denominations ‘Alcamo’, ‘Monreale’, ‘Contea di  Sclafani’, ‘Contessa Entellina’, ‘Delia Nivolelli’, ‘Mamertino di Milazzo’ or ‘Mamertino’, ‘Erice’, ‘Menfi’, ‘Santa Margherita di Belice’, ‘Sciacca’.
In Tuscany we find it  especially in the coastal zones of the provinces of  Grosseto and of Livorno, on the Island of Elba and of Giglio, where it  participates in the production of DOP wines such as ‘Ansonica della costa dell’ Argentario’, ‘Elba (Passito too)’, ‘Val di Cornia (Passito too)’, ‘Parrina’, ‘Capalbio’.

bibliographies (7)
authors year title journal citation
Acerbi G. 1825 Delle viti italiane, ossia materiali per servire alla classificazione, monografica e sinonimia, preceduti dal tentativo di una classificazione delle viti. Vol. I -Ed. G. Silvestri - Milano
Breviglieri N., Casini E., Mazzei A., ZappalĂ  A. 1965 Ansonica Ministero dell’Agricoltura e delle Foreste - Principali vitigni da vino coltivati in Italia - Volume III
Cupani F. 1696 Hortus Catholicus Napoli
Mendola, A. 1868 Estratto dal catalogo generale della collezione di viti italiane e straniere radunate in Favara Tip. Parrino e Carini, Favara (AG). Annali di Viticoltura e di Enol., vol. II, 1874.
Nicolosi, A. 1869 Trenta varietà di vitigni siciliani Giornale Industriale Italiano, Forlì
Paulsen, F. 1904 Inzolia In Viala et Vermorel, Ampélographie - tom. VI, Paris: 229-230
Scalabrelli G., Ferroni, F., D’Onofrio C., Borgo M., Porro D., Stefanini M. 2012 La selezione clonale del vitigno Ansonica in Toscana. Italus Hortus, 3/5: 451-455
updated at 2018-11-15 12:33:13 (5 years ago)