Additional Lesser Known White Grapes & Wines


Aravelle is white wine grape is a cross between the famed Vitis Vinifera variety Riesling and Cayuga White. The latter is a cross between hybrids Schuyler and Seyval Blanc and was created by Cornell in 1972.  Aravelle, meaning “grace,” “favor” or “an answer to prayers.”  First developed by Reisch at the school of Integrative Plant Science within Cornell University’s College of Agriculture in 1981,

Hybrid varieties, however, are commonly bred for their hardiness, particularly in the face of the Northeast’s cold winters and humid summers, means growers can use far fewer synthetic sprays like fungicides.

While sharing Riesling’s racy acidity the variety shows more overt fruit (think apricot, peach and tropical fruit), floral, muscat and honeyed characters than its famed parent variety, and in intriguing textural component, too.


Arbane (or Arbanne) is a white French wine grape variety that has been historically grown in the Aube region of Champagne, but has now all but disappeared from the vineyards with less than 1 hectare (2.5 acres) left in France in 2006. Despite its rarity, it is still permitted grape variety to be blended with Chardonnay, Pinot noir and Pinot Meunier and other varieties in the Champagne cuvée.

Hybrid varieties, however, are commonly bred for their hardiness, particularly in the face of the Northeast’s cold winters and humid summers, means growers can use far fewer synthetic sprays like fungicides.

While sharing Riesling’s racy acidity the variety shows more overt fruit (think apricot, peach and tropical fruit), floral, muscat and honeyed characters than its famed parent variety, and in intriguing textural component, too.


Aromella is a white hybrid grape variety. It is a cross of Traminette and Ravat 34. It produces an aromatic white wine that range from ‘floral’ to ‘muscat,’ Aromella is highly winter hardy and productive, with own-rooted vines. Valvin Muscat produces wines with a similar range of muscat flavors, but Aromella is both more productive and more winter hardy.


Biancolella is a white Italian grape variety that produces dry white wines that are light, acidic, and fruit forward with a nutty finish.  It is used as a primary grape variety or blended with other white wine grapes.  Biancolella can be found in its most authentic form in the DOC region of Ischia, an island off the coast of Naples in Italy’s Campania region.  The grape does well in Ischias volcanic soils, high elevations and steeply slanted vineyards.


Cimixa is a white wine from Liguraia region of Italy. Bright straw yellow color. Fruity bouquet, in its youth expresses strong tendencies of tropical fruits that, when ripe, take on a complexity that expresses extremely elegant vegetal notes. Taste: expresses itself with a feeling of freshness and warmth; this impact, supported by a high sapidity and minerality give the wine a thick and long gustative persistence. It goes well with fish dishes and medium aged cheeses, white meats.”


Emir is a white grape variety indigenous to Anatolia in central Turkey. Its name is a Turkish word for “order” or “command”, which is thought to stem from the wine’s popularity at the tables of aristocracy since Roman times.  Still wines tend to be crisp light and quite delicate, with flavors of green apple, citrus and pear. Most wines made from Emir are intended for early consumption, and do not tend to match well with oak aging. Emir’s high acidity makes it suitable for sparkling wine production as well. That style that is becoming more popular among Turkish producers.

Emir is often counted as one of Turkey’s most renowned grape varieties. The variety finds its home in the high volcanic terroir in Anatolia, where altitudes reach as high as 1,200 meters (4,000ft) above sea level. The variation between day- and night-time temperatures that this altitude causes helps the grapes ripen more slowly. This contributes to the high acidity and mineral qualities the typical Emir wine exhibits.

Synonyms include: Akuezuem.

Recommended food pairings include; Sushi (sparkling), Ceviche (sparkling or still), Grilled codfish with Swiss chard and sultanas (still).

Source: Wine Searcher

Est! Est!! Est!!! Di Montefiascone DOC

Est! Est! Est! is the most famous white wine of Montefiascone, Italy. It got its name from the story of a German Bishop who sent his servant ahead to taste the wines along his route of travel, leaving messages on the walls of inns and taverns to tell his master whether he should drink the wine or avoid it. “Est” (it is) meant the wine was good, while “Non est” (it isn’t) told the Bishop to move on. It is clear that the servant saw considerable virtue in the wines of Montefiascone, as indicated by his “Est! Est! Est!!! scrawled on the wall.

Today’s Est! Est! Est! is based on Trebbiana and Mavasia bianca. They are typically dry but can be made in a sweeter style. The wines are mildly aromatic and are classically paired with fritto misto or deep-fried artichokes.


The Famoso is a white grape variety that was rediscovered in Emilia Romagna after years of neglect thanks to some producers who believed in it and it is now making a return in the wine offer of the region. The Famoso, famous in Italian, is known for its “strong” nose, characteristic that had made winemakers abandon the grape for more “anonymous grapes”. Nowadays, its characteristic nose is what is making winemakers to rediscover the grape and is becoming more and more popular. The Famoso grape produces a pale straw yellow wine, which can take green reflections, with a very intense fruity and floral nose that reminds of the moscato grape.

Greco di Tufo

Greco di Tufo is a white grape (a clone of Greco Bianco) and a wine from Campania Italy. The name Tufo refers not only to one of the villages from which the wine comes, but also the type of rock on which the village was built. Known as tuff in English – but distinct from limestone tufa – it is made of ash ejected during an eruption which then compacts. Greco di Tufo wines stand out thanks to the unique characteristics of the sulfur- and tuff-rich volcanic and clay soils; it is believed that these lend the wine its perfume and mineral complexity.

The refreshing, crisp white wines are known for their aromatic notes of lemons, pears and toasted almonds and a lingering mineral finish. The wines are generally at their best within three years of bottling. The wines must contain a minimum of 85 percent Greco di Tufo grapes. Up to 15 percent of Coda di Volpe Bianca is also permitted. A sparkling Greco di Tufo spumante variant can also be made, and must be aged for at least three years prior to release.



Picardan or Picardan blanc is a white wine grape which is one of 13 permitted blending grapes within the Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC in Rhône wine region in France, although very little planted. It was apparently more common before phylloxera’s arrival in the 19th century. There are small production both in France and California

The Picardan grape can produce a complex, savory nose of lime, peppery citrus leaf, and briny oyster shell. On the palate, very bright with flavors of lemon and fresh green herbs, crushed rock, and sweet spice. It offers zippy acids and lingering saline minerality.


Pošip is an indigenous white wine grape that is primarily grown in the Dalmatian region of Croatia on the island of Korčula, Smokvica although small amounts are also being grown on the Pelješac Peninsula. It producer wines with golden hue and citrus guided touches with the flavors of baked apple, quince, hint of vanilla and toasted bread.  The rich mouthfeel is balanced by bright acidity that lifts and maintains freshness on the long finish with flavors of dried almonds and apricots.

Suggested food pairings include seafood dishes, particularly with fish and roasting meats.

Madeleine Angevine

Madeleine Angevine is a white wine grape from the Loire Valley in France that is also popular in Germany, Kyrgyzstan and Washington state. The early-ripening grape is a cross between Madeleine Royale and Malingre Précoce grapes that grows well in cooler climates. Madeleine Angevine makes an attractive fruity wine with a flowery nose, similar to an Alsatian Pinot blanc. It is crisp, acid and dry and pairs particularly well with seafoods such as crab and oyster.

In Washington State, the grape has developed a cult following in the Puget Sound region for its floral character and easy-drinking nature.

Madeleine Royale

Madeleine Royale is a variety of white grape. It is mostly grown for table grapes or ornamental purposes, but is notable as a parent of Müller-Thurgau and Madeleine Angevine. In Washington State, the grape has developed a cult following in the Puget Sound region for its floral character and easy-drinking nature.

Malingre Précoc

Malingre Précoce is a white variety of grape of French origin used primarily as table grape and to some extent for wine. It was first cultivated by a French gardener named Malingre in the vicinity of Paris around 1840, who created it from seedlings of unknown origin.


Nascetta is a white grape grown around Novello in Piemonte Italy. It is considered to produce the most complex, ageable white wine of the region thanks to its densely complex fruit and spice aromas and texture.

Nascetta presents an incredible cluster of stone and tropical fruits, fine herbs, and river pebble minerality. Flavors include grapefruit pith, juicy mango, and tarragon. It’s part Riesling, part Chenin Blanc, part white Rhone, part Sémillon: alive, tightly packed, and clearly ageable. The ripe fruit notes now will undoubtedly turn to honey, dried fruit, and pecan with a few years of aging. Full body, clear acidity, with a smooth texture at first that gives way to a fine grainy mouthfeel as it dissipates on the finish.

This wine is perfect for most any shellfish dish, but is also great for any lighter meal.

Source: The Wine Guild Charlottesville, VA

Oltrepo Pavese Sparkler

The  Oltrepo Pavese Metodo Classico is an Italian spumante sparkling wine made in the traditional method (metodo classico) whereby Pinot Nero (Noir) is vinified as a white, with the possible additions of up to 30% Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay. Sparkling Oltrepo Pavese Metodo Classico was awarded its own DOCG classification in 2007.

Petite Arvine

The Petite Arvine grape is white grape native of Valais, in Switzerland, from where it has crossed the border and spread in to the Aosta Valley. According to a study, the Petite Arvine grape derives from the grape Prié, native of the Aosta Valley and also grown in France. The Petite Arvine grape is so called because of the size of its berries, petite is small in French. The grape not only is suited, but has a knack for growing in altitude, and for that reason it is nicknamed “grape of the glaciers.” Certainly adapted to the Aosta Valley’s landscape, the Petite Arvine is a variety that is characterized by high intensity and pleasantness of its wines, as well as an inclination to ageing. The Petite Arvine berry is white, small, spheroid with thin, solid, waxy, yellowish green skin. The bunch is medium, pyramidal, elongated, often bi-winged, and compact with a medium-large, pentagonal leaf and has medium vigor and good productivity.

The Petite Arvine grapes produces straw yellow wines, with intense and complex nose, floral, with hints of violets and wisteria. On the palate, the wine fresh, refreshing, with a lively acidity and medium to full body.


Pignoletto is a white wine from  the Pignoletto DOC an Italian appellation in Emilia-Romagna from Grechetto di Todi. It was created in 2014. DNA profiling has shown it is in fact Grechetto di Todi, aka Grechetto Gentile. This raised the threat of producers in other regions and countries labelling their wines made from Grechetto di Todi as Pignoletto. Therefore, to maintain control of the “brand”, producers in the region decided that Pignoletto would now be applied to a geographic zone. From 2014 the only wines labelled with Pignoletto those from the new DOC, and those from the revised, renamed Colli Bolognesi Pignoletto DOC. The former will encompass the varietal Grechetto di Todi wines of other Emilia-Romagna designations. Three of these – Colli d’Imola, Modena and Reno – may appear on labels as subzones. Pignoletto wines may be still, sparkling, late harvest or passito in style. All must contain at least 85 percent Grechetto di Todi.

Prié Blanc

Prié Blanc is a white grape variety grown mostly in the alpine extremes of northwest Italy’s Valle d’Aosta. These high altitude, pergola-trained vines are most notable for thriving in terroirs that are resistant to phylloxera and the minerally, floral white wines they produce under the Blanc de Morgex et de la Salle DOC. In a perfect demonstration of the synergy between terroir and variety, Prié Blanc is adapted to its mountainous homeland and has been used in Aosta wines since at least the 17th Century. It thrives in altitudes that reach as high as 3,900 feet (1,200m) above sea level as it buds late, avoiding spring frosts, and ripens early. Prié Blanc is customarily trained low to the ground in pergolas to capitalize on the heat retained in the soils, helping to negate the effects of cold mountain nights. The phylloxera louse does not thrive in the sandy, gravelly soils at this altitude which means that Prié Blanc is ungrafted which is unlike almost every other Vitis vinifera variety in Europe. Vines are planted on their original rootstocks and have an average age of around 60 years, giving smaller yields that make for concentrated, complex wines.

Blanc de Morgex et de la Salle wines are usually dry and still, characterized by their bone-dry style, searing acidity and the hint of mountain herbs – not unlike cool-climate Sauvignon Blanc. A few sweet and sparkling examples exist as well. Outside of Italy, Prié Blanc is also planted in the similarly alpine vineyards of Valais in Switzerland. Synonyms include: Blanc de Valdigne, Prié, Blanc de Morgex et de la Salle.

Food pairings for Prie Blanc wines include: Gnocchi with mountain herbs, Lemon sole with asparagus and Broad bean and goats’ cheese salad.


Vitovska (aka Vitouska, aka Slovene aka Vitovska Grganja aka Garganja), is an obscure Italian and Slovene white wine grape predominantly planted in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region and the Karst Plateau in the Slovenian Littoral. The grape is now mostly found Northeast Italy. The grape produces a pale dry  lower alcohol ​white wine with a wide range of flavors. The flavors range from stonefruit, citrus, apples and cherries, to jasmine flowers and smoke. It is a cross between the Prosecco Tondo grape and Malvasia Bianca Lunga


Volits is a white French grape and is the first new grape variety by the L’Institut National de l’Origine et de la Qualité (Inao) for the production of Champagne AOC. This new breed is the first resistant grape variety to be included in a French appellation which is resistant to downy and powdery mildew. It is a trial of a grape variety with “sustainable resistance” (ResDur1) that allows drastically reducing phytosanitary treatments against fungal diseases (downy mildew and powdery mildew) in the appellation field.
Source: Vitisphere