Synonym: Aglianica, Agnanico, Gnanico, Ellenico, Ellanico, Agnatico di Castellaneta, Agliano, Gagliano, Aglianico triangarulo, Agliantico, Tringarulo, Glianica, Ghianda, Uva dei cani, Uva di Castellaneta, Ghiannara, Ghiandara, Olivella di S. Cosmo, Aglianicuccia, Aglianichella, Aglianico mascolino, Spriema, Cascavoglia, Fresella, Cerasole, Ruopolo, Aglianico nero, Aglianico femminile.
Commonly mistaken for: Aleatico, Pignolo, Aglianico forte, -rosso, - di razza o - di Porzia, - di Somma o - tosto, - lungo, - sorcella, - dolce, - piccolo.
Origin: It was probably introduced in southern Italy from Greece, in the Tirrenica coast (region of Campania) during the VI and VII century b.C., when the Greek made their colonies. This can explain the synonyms of “Ellenico” and “Ellanico” (Hellenic), subsequently modified in Aglianico, during the Spanish domination (XV-XVI century). In fact the double “ll” in Spanish gives the sound of “gli” in Italian; or an other explanation can be the Spanish word “llano” that means plain/lowland, where this vine was initially growing.
Agronomic and environmental aspects: It has a preference for deep grounds, friable, fresh and of volcanic origin with a good percentage of clay, but in general this variety can adapt to many types of soil. In Italy, in some viticultural zones (Taurasi, Vulture), it can grow at 700-900 meters altitude.
Diseases, pests and disorders: Good resistance to the most important pests and diseases, especially to powdery mildew; susceptible to botrytis with humid and wet seasons. It has same problems with high temperature and drought.
Growing Tip: Fully open, cottony, of green or copper yellow colour.
Leaf: Medium-small size of blade, pentagonal, 3-lobed or 5-lobed. Has a closed V-shaped petiolar sinus with lobes slightly overlapping, lateral sinuses shaped like a closed U. The profile is flat with a medium blistering of blade in the upper surface.
Bunch: Medium-small, of conical or cylindrical form, with or without wings, medium density.
Berry: Medium-small dimensions, round; skin of uniform blue-black colour, medium thick covered by abundant bloom.
Type Aglianico del Vulture (zone of selection Vulture): Vine characterized by high vigour and productivity, bunches medium-large, loose density. the berries are large with a slightly anticipated maturation.
- Aglianico VCR 11:This clone has been selected in Venosa (Potenza, southern of Italy). Vine with a good fertility and good vigour, bunches of medium-large dimensions, semi-compact, with berries of medium size.
- Aglianico MAT 2:This clone has vines of medium vigour and high productivity. The bunches are of medium-small dimensions, semi-compact, of pyramidal form. This type of bunch prevails in the zone of Vulture. Usually shows a physiological alteration: “hen and chicken” (green millerandage). The berry has large dimension.
Type Aglianico del Taurasi (zone of selection Taurasi): vines of medium vigour and productivity, their bunches are of medium size, of cylindrical form and with an evident wing. The berry has a tick skin, but full of colour. Sometimes the bunches can show “hen and chicken”.
- Aglianico VCR 23:Bunches of small size, medium-loose density, of cylindrical form, with a short wing; berry of medium-small size, the skin shows an uniform colour. Good resistance to the most important pests.
- Aglianico MAT 3:This clone has vines of medium vigour and productivity, their bunches are of medium-large size, of cylindrical form and with an evident wing; this type of bunch prevails in the zone of Taurasi, it doesn’t show “hen and chicken”, typical of Taurasi’s clones . The berry medium-small size, the skin shows a uniform colour.
The wine has an intense ruby-red colour, fresh taste, fruity, well-balanced in tannins and acidity, full-bodied and harmonic. With ageing the wine acquires delicacy, developing fragrances to become an aristocratic wine, reaching the highest levels of the classical Italian wines. Bottled as a stand-alone varietal, in the Basilicata region as DOC Aglianico del Vulture and in the Campania region as DOCG Taurasi, after 3-5 years of ageing.