Grillo white wine variety

Grillo is a white wine variety from Sicily which in the past was used almost exclusively for making the alcoholic base for Marsala. It is now used to make crisp dry white wines.

Parish Hill in South Australia's Adelaide Hills  is among the pioneers of Grillo in AustraliaParish Hill is among the pioneers of Grillo in Australia

Australia is crying out for a good white wine variety, and we now have another candidate variety in production.

Grillo is a white wine variety from Sicily where its main claim to fame was its role in the production of Marsala, a fortified wine.  for several decades fortified wines generally are losing popularity worldwide, Marsala is no exception.  Many of the former producers os Grillo are now looking at different styles of wine.

Now Grillo's potential is clearly as material for crisp dry white wines.

Southern Italian White Wines in Australia

White wine production in Australia has long been dominated by French varieties, Semillon, Colombard, Crouchen, and Ugni blanc (aka Trebbiano) supplemented by dual purpose grapes such as Thompson Seedless (aka Sultana).  Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc relatively recent arrivals, there were only small amounts grown before the 1980s. The other variety of note was Riesling from France and Germany.

Only this century has there been much attention given to bringing in new white wine varieties, and a few of the more interesting ones are from Southern Italy. Vermentino and Fiano are two such varieites which are now making excellent wines in Australia. Some others include Greco Bianco, Grecanico, Bianco d'Alessano and, more recently, Grillo.

Grillo in Australia

Grillo is a late ripening variety which is suitable only for warm to hot wine regions. It is currently grown in the Riverland Wine Region of South Australia, and has potential in such areas as the Murray Darling and Riverland regions.

  • By Jingo Adelaide Hills
  • Collins and Co Wines Barossa Valley
  • Lino Ramble McLaren Vale
  • Parish Hill Wines Adelaide Hills
  • Parish Hill Wines Adelaide Hills
Updated 4 Nov 2019

Other Italian white Wine varieties in Australia

Arneis | Bianco d'Alessano | Cortese | Fiano | Friulano | Garganega | Greco di Tufo | Grillo | Moscato Giallo | Picolit | Prosecco | Trebbiano | Verduzzo | Vermentino
One of the best books about Italian wine grape varieties is Ian d'Agata's Native Wine Grapes of Italy

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Tempranillo tantalisers

This dozen contains 2 bottles from each of six different producers in several regions. It gives you a good overview of the styles of Australian Tempranillo.

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