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Pignola Valtellinese

The red grape variety originates from Italy. The name probably derives from the elongated grape shape (pigna = pine cone). Synonyms are Groppello di Breganze, Paganona, Piccolo Spanna, Pignola, Pignola della Valtellina, Pignola Nebbiola de la Sierra, Pignola Spanna, Pignolo Melasca, Pignolo Spanna and Pignolo Spano. It should not be confused with the varieties Groppello dei Berici, Groppello di Mocasina, Groppello di Revò, Groppello Gentile or Pignolo, despite seemingly suggestive synonyms or morphological similarities. According to DNA analyses, there is a parent-offspring relationship with the Rossolino Nero variety, as well as a relationship with Nebbiolo. The medium-maturing vine is susceptible to powdery mildew and botrytis, but is quite resistant to downy mildew and frost. It yields red wines with high acidity and tannins. 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 2016, 28 hectares of vines were reported in Italy, with a strong downward trend (Kym Anderson).

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