How Scientists Are trying to Save The Most Ancient Grapes From Pantelleria

How Scientists Are trying to Save The Most Ancient Grapes From Pantelleria

Grapes in Pantelleria

In the Sicilian island of Pantelleria, vineyard workers are today harvesting a variety of Zibibbo grapes which can go through extinction soon.
Most people know it as Muscat of Alexandria, as it originated in the Egyptian city, and the grapes are used to make Passito wines, considered one of the Italian most popular dessert wines.
Over the last five years, scientists have been scouring remote outposts across the Mediterranean basin in search of endangered strains of this ancient vine, removing vines from overgrown estates and remote mountain tops in Spain, Italy, Greece and France and cultivating them on test plots on Pantelleria.
In September, for the first time, fruits of their labour are being harvested from 2,117 vines scattered across the remote volcanic island. Surely a first important step in preserving vines that are some of the oldest in existence.

Receive More Stories Like This In Your Inbox



Leftover Wine? Don't waste it, make ciambelline al vino!

L eftover wine from that party last eve? Don’t toss it – make these simple Italian cookies instead. I first came to learn of these wonderful little...

Aperitivo time: Aperol Spritz

I t is all manner of libation which has been delivered to my table after having asked for “ Spritz, please ,” still white wine mixed with sparkling...

Alto Adige Pinot Noir

Chances are good you’re aware that Italy’s northernmost province of Alto Adige, the self-governing region tucked away in Italy’s northeast,...

Vino for serious “Sangweech”

In your neighborhood, it may be called a “sammich.” But, in the mash-up of English and southern Italian dialect we grew up with, it’s referred to as...

Alto Adige Whites: Simple

Prelude: Tonight, my wife caught me with my hands all over Fiona. That’s what we call our refrigerator. Fiona Frigidaire, actually. Caught in the act...

Weekly in Italian

Recent Issues