‘Albarossa’ is an Italian red grapevine variety obtained by Professor Giovanni Dalmasso by crossing ‘Nebbiolo di Dronero’ by ‘Barbera’. Its cultivation has been experimentally introduced in a warm area of South Italy. In this environment, ‘Albarossa’ was very appreciated for its medium-low vigour, good balance between vegetative and reproductive activity and a high photosynthetic capability; this latter was obtained with a low stomatal aperture, allowing the maintenance of a medium water stress in spite of a very little irrigation water supply. Differently from many cultivars, ‘Albarossa’, when growth in a warm area, reached a ‘natural control’ of the vine productivity thanks to a low cluster weight. Phenol content in the grape and in the wine were very appreciable and even greater than in the selection area; the low berry mass and the high berry surface:volume ratio likely contributed to give these results. The wine sensory evaluation were very positive, even when the wine was compared with those obtained, under the same experimental conditions, from the main local d.o.c. varieties. These results pointed out the usefulness to propose ‘Albarossa’ cultivation in South Italy. It might be a very good alternative to the ‘international varieties’ in order to improve the phenol composition of the Southern Italy wines; moreover, if the ‘Albarossa’ aptitude to give high quality grapes and wines will be further confirmed in different environments, it might be also proposed as a new ‘international wine grape variety’.
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