The red grape variety comes from Italy. The name probably derives from the elongated grape shape (pigna = fir cone). Synonyms are Groppello di Breganze, Paganona, Piccolo Spanna, Pignola, Pignolo Melasca, Pignola Spanna, Pignolo Spanna and Pignolo Spano. It must not be confused with the varieties Groppello dei Berici, Groppello di Mocasina, Groppello di Revò, Groppello Gentile or Pignolo, even though synonyms or morphological similarities may appear to indicate this. According to DNA analyses, there is a parent-offspring relationship with the variety Rossolino Nero, as well as a relationship with Nebbiolo.
The medium ripening vine is susceptible to powdery mildew and botrytis, but is quite resistant to downy mildew and frost. It produces acidic and tannic red wines. The variety is cultivated under the various names given above in Lombardy (as Pignola Valtellinese), Piedmont (as Pignola Spanna) and Veneto (saved from extinction as Groppello di Breganze). In 2010, a total of 49 hectares of vineyard area were registered in Italy, with a sharp downward trend (statistics Kym Anderson).
Source: Wine Grapes / J. Robinson, J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz / Penguin Books Ltd. 2012
Pictures: M.I.P.A.A.F - National Vine Certification Service