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The red grape variety originates from Italy. Synonyms are Arlandino, Balestra, Barbesino, Barbesino Nero, Barbesinone, Barbezina, Barbisino, Barbisone d'Espagne, Berbesino, Barbosina de Bologne, Chiavennaschino, Grignolino Fino Nero, Grignolino Grosso Nero, Grignolino Rosato, Grignolino Rosso, Grugnolino, Grugnolino Pisano, Nebbiolo Rosato, Pollasecca, Rossello, Rossetto and Verbesino. Nothing is known about a possible relationship with the white variety Biancone di Portoferraio (synonym Grignolino Bianco). A document dated 7 November 1249 mentions that the church of Sant Evasio in the municipality of Casale Monferrato in Piedmont has a piece of land planted with "good Berbexinis vines". Italian ampelographers agree that this means Grignolino (and not, say, Barbera), because Berbesino is still a synonym today. In any case, a "Grignolerii" is mentioned in 1337, attesting to the great age of the variety.

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