There are many types of grapes out there, and all of them can be completely different from each other. The Ribolla Gialla grapes are just another example of the multiple grapes that exist around the world, and they are fairly popular due to their usage to make wines.
What Are Ribolla Gialla Grapes?
In simple words, the Ribolla Gialla is an ancient white grape from the north-eastern region of Italy. This unique grape comes from the 13th century in the province of the Colli Orientali del Friuli, but it was also cultivated in Slovenia and on the Greek island of Kefalonia. In the wine world, it’s always common to see many grapes that share similar names with other grapes. However, the Ribolla Gialla is not related in any way to the red grape Ribolla Nera, and while they are cultivated in the same Friuli region, they are different from each other.
In the past, these grapes didn’t have as much popularity as nowadays, and proof of that was what happened in the mid-1980s when many Ribolla Gialla vines in the Friuli region were replaced with more international varieties that were rising in terms of popularity such as the Sauvignon Blanc. However, years later the interest revived thanks to the indigenous varieties that appeared, and thus new plantings were developed.
Ribolla Gialla Growth and Harvest Process:
Ribolla is a grape that is distinguished for loving the well-drained and mineral soils of the Friuli region. It has a slow maturation, meaning that it can develop elegant and deep aromas that will not have sugar excess in its composition.
These grapes are planted using the “Doppio Capovolto” system which commonly has 4500 plants/ha (4500 plants per hectare). The grapes are harvested after drying them for 20 days and then after receiving the verification, they are ripped from the vineyard and sent to the cellar. Finally, all that is left is carefully selecting the highest-quality grapes that are suited for winemaking.
To prepare the grapes for the wines, they must become subject to maceration, this is only done for a short period. After they are pressed softly, the product is placed in a stainless steel container where the fermentation will take place. In the case of Ribolla Gialla wines, it generally takes at least 5 months of fermentation to obtain outstanding results that will eventually end up becoming top-notch wine.
What Wines Are Created from Ribolla Gialla Grapes?
The wines that are created from this particular grape will be immediately recognized for their fine mineral and fruit aroma that separates it from other similar samples. It is not a surprise at this point as Ribolla Gialla wines are considered extraordinary wines that come with infinite purity and elegance, making them one of the best white wines from Italy.
Ribolla Gialla started as white wine thanks to the natural compositions of the grape and the process in which it is grown and fertilized. Meaning that it was used as a wine to enjoy with family members or friends at home without any kind of compromise. However, times have changed, and in a market where popularity and demand are the most important factors, even traditions have to gradually adapt in order to overcome the modern obstacles of this era.
Nowadays, the type of wine that is created from this grape is sparkling wine as they are becoming a symbol of prestige and luxury in this modern era. Thanks to its successful and always-growing market, sparkling wines are being developed in many popular wineries, as a result of that, its popularity is always rising at a fast pace.
Some wineries in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region have been producing sparkling Ribolla Gialla with the objective of making unique aperitif wines that can be used in many celebrations and important dates or meetings around the world. The reason why sparkling wine is best suitable for this grape is thanks to its natural composition as it promotes the production of bubbles and fragrances that become an outstanding beauty inside the glassware.
While their perception and aromas might change depending on the winery, the most common array of colors is orange and yellow. When it comes to thickness and alcohol volume, the values never change, meaning that the experience could be gradually the same, making it a perfect wine for those who are not into the wine world and just want to have an enjoyable time while enjoying a majestic sparkling wine.
Keep in mind that while it is true that Ribolla Gialla grapes are being used for the development of sparkling wines, that does not mean that the original white wines variation can not be found. Even if the whole market decides to swing in favor of sparkling wines, there are many traditions that will not die that easily, and the case of Ribolla Gialla white wines is definitely one of those as they are still being made with the original taste, form, and process.
What do Those Wines Taste Like?
A well-made Ribolla Gialla wine will have many citrus aromas and delicate floral notes with a brisk and high level of acidity. In general, the taste of these wines fill feel like many other sparkling wines that have been tried before with the main difference that depending on the winery, it can come in multiple aromas and tropical flavors, meaning that is a type of wine that can be suitable for many individuals’ tastes and preferences.
It is extremely important to note that while the Ribolla Gialla is a grape that responds extremely well to aging, it does not mean that it is immune to the issues that are developed for over-aging. The features of the wine are maintained for at least five years, and sadly after that period passes, the wine could start developing a false taste that will ruin the whole experience.
It would not be the first time when an individual tastes Ribolla Gialla wine for the first time and due to an over-aging process, the wine feels and tastes weird, making the first impression a complete disaster. One of the most common mistakes in the wine world is believing that every single wine can last for a general amount of time, and while it is true that older wine tends to taste better, it can also destroy its unique nature when the wine owner is not informed enough about the aging details.
Ribolla Gialla and Food Pairings:
Thanks to its Italian origins, it is a grape that once made into wine can be paired with many dishes and ingredients without making it lose flavor. Thanks to their unique nature and composition, they can be easily paired with many fish appetizers, meaning that sushi enjoyers will have a good time knowing that Ribolla Gialla promotes this interesting combination.
Another interesting pairing could be roasted pork and chicken curry, but these combinations are not that common in parties and meetings that rely on sparkling wines. Many other dishes and foods like melted cheese, paella, spaghetti, truffles, pasta alla carbonara, mushrooms, and even fried cakes can be easily enjoyed with this type of wine.
Finally, it can also be paired with many salted vegetables and salads as they manage to go along with a taste of the wine. Peanuts and olives are not out of the question as well as they can improve the wine’s taste overall.
Do Ribolla Gialla Grapes Have A Future in the Wine Industry?
As it was previously stated, this grape counts with a history of ups and downs, making its survival a complete miracle even with the whole modernization of the wine industry. However, it will take more than that to completely kill this tradition and unique grape variety as the wines that are produced manage to deliver an exquisite and prestigious taste and aromas that would definitely overtake many popular wines around the world.
One of its problems was the fact that the white wine market offered better tastes and aromas, meaning that it was fighting a match that could not be won in the long run, but luckily, the Ribolla Gialla’s natural composition counts with more than enough quirks to be adapted into sparkling wines that have been becoming a standard of luxury and prestige over the years, and they have been well-received in today’s market, meaning that the future is golden at least for this unique yet delightful grape if things are well done and luck stays on their side.