Colorino: general information

general information managed by Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Agro-ambientali (DiSAAA-a) - Università di Pisa
How to cite this source Scalabrelli G., D'Onofrio C., 2013. Colorino. In: Italian Vitis Database,, 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
documented synonyms (1)
synonyms documented by the Istitution that appear with the eventual support of the literature
  • Abrusco
released clones (7)
  • shoot
  • shootTipUs
  • shootTipLs
  • bud
  • leaf
  • leafUs
  • leafLs
  • petiol sinus
    petiol sinus
  • bunch
  • berry
  • seed
Historical references

It was considered a native of Tuscany by De Astis (1937) ,although lacking of reliable scientific evidences. Breviglieri and Casini (1964) report a detailed description claiming that there has been a bit of confusion about this variety, perhaps due to the fact that for a couple of centuries, when Trinci (1726) illustrated the grape varieties grown in Tuscany, it has been included in the Canaiolo varieties a ’Canaiolo Colore’ that it should be something else.
Gallesio, describes the "Colorino" differently from ’Canaiola‘, saying that the former has small bunches and berries, sparse, with black skin, very rich in colour, ’so much that is used to give colour to wines’. Even Di Rovasenda spoke about a ‘Colorino’ (apart from the ‘Colore’) with small berries.
In the monograph on ‘Viticulture of Florence’ Fonseca report of a ‘Colour’ grape variety (syn. "Colorino", "Uva colore," "Colore Canaiolo", "Canino") that does not match ‘Colorino of Valdarno’ described by Breviglieri and Casini (1964). These authors reported that in Tuscany, as well as this variety that has red leaves and branches, there was a second variety with no reddish shoots and grapes a little less colorful. The name of this grape variety is often followed by the suffix of the area of origin or diffusion and is related to the character of a skin very rich in colour. For this reason they were called Colorino (Colorino of Pisa, Colorino American, Colorino of Lucca, Colorino of Valdarno) other grape varieties that shared the high anthocyanin content but morphologically and genetically different, as pointed out by Pisani et al., (1997). The grapevines Abrostine and Abrusco, reported in the National Register of Grapevine Varieties, have characteristics quite similar to ‘Colorino’, and the latest studies showed that the molecular profile of ‘Abrusco’  is the same of several clones of the culltivar ‘Colorino’ (Ducci et al., 2012).

distribution & variation



This variety was grown mainly in Valdarno, Val d'Elsa and Val di Pesa and usually in the provinces of Arezzo, Florence, Siena, Pistoia. It was used especially in the practice of the ‘government’ of Chianti and as an integrator of color for red wines. Currently, it is grown sporadically in other regions such as Umbria, Marche, Lazio and Liguria. The area planted with this variety has been greatly reduced, although there are statistical inadequacies, as the Artea data in Tuscany, very close to the real situation, reported more than 346 ha in 2008, while the national statistics of 2010 reported only 18 ha.




Other wines (ha)





















 Agronomic characteristics

The budbreak is rather early, while it ripens simultaneously or just after Sangiovese. It has  a limited vigour, a rather low fertility of basal buds and medium productivity. It has a medium tolerance to plant diseases except mildew to which it is very sensitive.
According to De Astis (1937) the variety has good affinity with the European-Americans and American-American hybrids such as Riparia x rupestris and Berlandieri x Riparia ones, while it is not  well adapted with Rupestris ones, especially with Du Lot.
Seven clones have been homologated.

technological use

This grapevine variety has been used in some provinces of Tuscany (Florence, Siena, Arezzo, Pistoia) for the ’government‘ of wine, especially in Chianti, or in blends to bring richness of coloring substances into the wine. It is argued, finally, that it imparts a characteristic odour to the wine, while its role in the longevity of wines and of their color has not always been unanimously shared, as it depends on the clone and the technology used. In any case, its use is interesting for the production of varietals wines that require ageing in wood, where it shows good prospects for application, as shown by the experience of some Tuscan companies.
This grapevine variety is used for the production of DOP and IGP wines from grapes harvested in Marche, Tuscany and Umbria Regions.

bibliographies (9)
authors year title journal citation
Breviglieri N., Casini E. 1964 Colorino Ministero dell'Agricoltura e delle Foreste - Principali vitigni da vino coltivati in Italia - Volume III
De Astis, G. 1937 Rassegna e revisione dei vitigni coltivati in Toscana. Progresso Vinicolo di Firenze, XV. Firenze
Di Rovasenda G. 1877 Saggio di una ampelografia universale. Tipografia Subalpina, Torino.
Ducci E. D’Onofrio C., Fausto C., Ferroni G., Scalabrelli G. 2013 Comportamento di alcuni vitigni locali delle Colline Pisane. Atti IV CONAVI 2012, Asti.: pagg 6
Ducci E., Fausto C., D’Onofrio C., Ferroni G., Scalabrelli G. 2012 Comportamento di alcuni vitigni locali delle “Colline Pisane”. IV Convegno Nazionale di Viticoltura, CONAVI.TO 2012 Asti, 10-11-12 luglio 2012.
Fonseca A. 1884 La viticoltura nel Fiorentino Napoli, Tip. Ferrante
Gallesio G. 1839 Pomona italiana, ossia trattato degli alberi fruttiferi. Capurro N., Pisa, 1817-1839
Pisani P.L., Bandinelli R., Camussi A. 1997 Ricerche sul germoplasma viticolo della Toscana: I. Vitigni ad uva da colore. Quaderno ARSIA 9/97: 17. Firenze.
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 2015-06-11 08:08:10 (8 years ago)