Bianco d'Alessano is a new Italian white wine variety to Australia. It burst onto the scene in spectacular fashion at the 2010 Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show.
Bianco d'Alessano is grown almost exclusively in the Italian region of Puglia where it is found in blended dry white wines in a number of DOCs including Gravina, Locorotondo and Ostuni. Its blending partners in these white wines include Verdeca, Greco, Malvasia and Fiano.
This variety is very late ripening and is renowned for its ability to retain acidity in hot conditions.
Some synonyms for the variety include Acchiappapalmento, Bianco di Lessame, Bianco di Valdigna and Verdurino.
Salena Estate entered their 2010 Bianco d'Alessano in the AAVWS in 2010. It's probably fair to say that the judges were unaware of the variety before this show. But they were obviously impressed as the wine won trophies for Best White, Best Italian Variety and Best Wine of the Show.
In Australia Bianco has the potential to join Vermentino, Fiano and Greco as emerging varieties to produce medium bodied wines which will perform well in warm to hot regions.
Salena Estate in the Riverland Region of South Australia certainly showed just what is possible. In more recent years a couple of other wineries have made wine with the variety.
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