Grechetto (or Grechetto Bianco) is a white wine grape varietal with Greek origins. Though the grape is notably planted throughout central Italy, particularly in the Umbria region, where it is used in the Denominazione d’Origine Protetta (DOP) wine Orvieto as well as the DOPs of Torgiano and Colli Martani.
Used primarily as a blending component, though some varietal wines are produced. Grechetto is typically blended with; Chardonnay, Malvasia, Trebbiano and Verdello - where Grechetto is used to add citrus and dried nut characters to a wine. The grape's thick skin provides good resistance to downy mildew which can attack the grape late in the growing season. This makes Grechetto a suitable grape in the production of 'Vin Santo'.

 

Which is a unique Italian style of dessert wine - where the grapes are dried extensively before vinification. The grape varietal has had a recent lift in popularity as winemakers are finding more potential in the grape. Compared with the other main Umbria white grape varietals Drupeggio and Trebbiano. Outside of Umbria, Grechetto is almost regualrly blended with other grapes, whereas in its homeland it is frequently used for the production of simple varietal wines. Research seems to have found the Grechetto known in Umbria is genetically similar to Pignoletto grape known in Emilia Romagna and to Ribolla Riminese. Recent DNA analysis, has established a link with the Greek Todi, Pignoletto and Ribolla Rimini, while their wines seem profoundly different to the Grechetto wines of Orvieto.

The thick skin of Grechetto allows the grape to be harvested late in the season with high sugar levels - which works well in the production of dessert wines. There are at least two sub-varietals of Grechetto; Grechetto di Todi and Grechetto Spoletino with the former being more widely planted. The Grechetto vine is low yielding and able to produce concentrated flavours. Oak barrels are used for wines in which Grechetto is blended with Chardonnay; however it is not uncommon to find 100% Grechetto wines fermented or aged in cask or oak barriques. It should however be mentioned that the majority of wine is vinified in stainless steel tanks. The Grechetto wines starting to be produced can be medium-full in style, with aromas of wild flowers and lime, and a fresh almond note finish.