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From the land to the table: Fragolino wine

Bottiglia di vino fragolino - Enjoy Food & Wine
Written by EFW Staff

Fragolino wine… also called the forbidden wine

Fragolino wine is pretty light, white, red or Passito and it is traditional of the area of Triveneto and Friuli. It can be still or sparkling and it is made through the vinification of grapes variety called Vitis Lambrusca, better known as fox grape, also called American grape, Isabella, Raisin de Cassis. It is the most ancient “American wine” known in Europe.
The first news of this vine variety can be dated back in 1820 in France.

Fragolino wine: the vine variety

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It is not able to cope with the diseases caused by phylloxera and downey mildew, anyway it goes through the cold days very well, reason why this vine variety is spread on the Valleys of the Alps.
The wine produced, called Fragolino, has a characteristic aroma of strawberry and it is really sweet, that makes it suitable above all to be served at the end of the meal paired with desserts (fruit tart and dried confectionery).

Fragolino wine: veto on the selling

Because a law of the European Union that was thought to protect the health of the consumer, Fragolino wine has been converted into “forbidden wine”.
This fermented fox grape owns, in fact, a possible toxic substance called methanol.
Anyway this problem is easily solvable thanks to a careful process of vinification, that if carried out perfectly, can lower the percentage of this substance until it reaches the same quantity than in other wines.
In this way people started thinking that the law has been approved to defeat the European autochthone vine variety from the invasion of “foreign” grape and thus the real goal is to fight the selling on the European market of wine produced with non European grapes.

Why this vine variety has lost its status of “autochthone vine variety”?

At the beginning of the century, the Vitis vinifera has been attacked by a parasitic that threats its survival. For this reason it was mixed with American vine variety, able to resist to the parasitic, loosing its total European origin.

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EFW Staff