Wine guides

Vespaiola grape variety

Virìtigno Vespaiola - Enjoy Food & Wine
Written by EFW Staff

Vespaiola grape variety: origins and characteristics

In this article we want to guide you in the discovering of the Vespaiola or Bresparola grape variety in the hill area of Alto Vicentino, more precisely in the territory enclosed between Breganze and Bassano del Grappa.
Vespaiola is an autochthone grape variety in the wine tradition of Bassano; the name derives form the fact that wasps love the berries of this variety as they are particularly rich in sugar. The tradition in fact, wants that the moment when the wasps start sucking the precious nectar correspond to the beginning of the best period for the grape harvest of this vine variety.

Vespaiola grape variety: historical hints

The origin of this grape variety is very ancient but uncertain, and the information about it is pretty fragmented and there are traces of its presence in this area starting from the XIV century. When Charles V met the Pope Clemente VII in Bologna he received some barrels of Bresparolo wine as a gift. Whereas in 1855 in Vicenza, during the first Exposition of Primitive product of the soil, a catalogue with 120 varieties and red berry grapes and 77 white berry grapes were written, where there is also Vespaiola.
At the beginning of 1900 the diffusion of this grape variety was blocked because of the phylloxera, the world wars and the damages that affected the grapes in the first half of the century forced the peasants to place in the soil the plants of Vespaiola that in 1969 obtained the first DOC certification for the province of Vicenza.

Vespaiola grape variety: the plant

Filari di Vespaiola - Enjoy Food & Wine

Vespaiola gives its best in sunny territories of hills of volcanic and gravel origins. It is a variety of small cylindrical-conic bunches with round grapes and a thick golden yellow colour, a sugary and abundant pulp.

It has a vegetative long cycle and late maturation, around the last decade of September and it needs a long pruning because the buds of the first sprouts aren’t fertile.

Vespaiola grape variety in the glass

It is possible to find the grape variety Vespaiola in its purity in the DOC Breganze Vespaiolo and Torcolato. Vespaiola is grape variety suitable for the ageing, it is perfect also for the production of Torcolato di Breganze, an excellent Passito and intense wine obtained from grapes that wither “twinsting” the grapes (this is the origin of the name Torcolato) on two vertical ropes. Vespaiolo is a dry and full wine that thanks to its acidity it is pretty fresh.

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EFW Staff