Erbaluce: general information

general information managed by Istituto per la Protezione Sostenibile delle Piante - CNR
How to cite this source Raimondi S., Torello Marinoni D., Schneider A., 2013. Erbaluce. In: Italian Vitis Database,, ISSN 2282-006X
acknowledgments Ager Foundation, Regione Piemonte
botanical information
type of origin
Vitis vinifera
species of parent 1
Vitis vinifera
variety of parent 1
not available
variety group
not available
species of parent 2
not available
variety of parent 2
not available
variety for
Registered in the National Catalogue
Official name
Erbaluce B.
official synonyms (1)
synonyms reported in the National Catalogue
  • Greco novarese
documented synonyms (2)
synonyms documented by the Istitution that appear with the eventual support of the literature
  • Greco novarese
  • Greco (Novarese)
released clones (4)
  • shoot
  • leaf
  • bunch
  • berry
Historical references

The first known quotation of Erbaluce is the one by Giovan Battista Croce (1606), in his book about the wines from the hillside of Turin (in Piedmont). The Erbaluce mentioned at that time was likely the one of today, either because of the name “Erbalus” (i.e. Erbaluce in local dialect), either for the features of the grapes which Croce described as colourful and ‘baked’ at maturity, a trait typical of Erbaluce’s grapes when are well ripe. Later, several authors tended to confuse Erbaluce with other varieties (such as Arneis and Trebbianos), though incorrectly indicated as Erbaluce’s synonyms.

References to Erbaluce become frequent in historical documents from 1800. At that time the grapes were mainly used for fresh consumption and the cultivation of Erbaluce was highly recommended in the southern part of Piemonte. Only at the end of 1800 the synonym of Erbaluce in the area of Novara, ‘Greco di Ghemme’, appeared in the ‘Saggio’ by count di Rovasenda (1877).

distribution & variation

Today Erbaluce’s cultivation is limited to Northern Piedmont, especially in the areas of Canavese, Biella, Vercelli and Novara, where it is traditionally called “Greco”. It is possible to find Erbaluce also in some old vineyard in the southern part of Piemonte, but always as few single vines.

technological use

It is an extremely versatile wine grape, suitable for wines of different styles: straw wines (passitos), still dry wines and sparklings. The flavour slightly herbaceous of all style of Erbaluce can be highly persistent, giving an exceptional longevity for a white wine. The passitos traditionally undergo an extremely long fermentation and maturation, due to a production generally unsophisticated. Together with oxidative aromas, they also show pleasant scents of fruits, vanilla and coffee.

bibliographies (3)
authors year title journal citation
Croce G.B. 1606 Della eccellenza e diversità dei vini che nella montagna di Torino si fanno; e del modo di farli. In Torino, per Aluigi Pizzamiglio.
Di Rovasenda G. 1877 Saggio di una ampelografia universale. Tipografia Subalpina, Torino.
Schneider A., Raimondi S., Gerbi V. 2005 Erbaluce Civiltà del Bere, novembre.
updated at 2016-11-17 10:05:10 (7 years ago)