The red grape variety originates from Italy. Synonyms are Biona, Bottascera, Botascere, Brassola, Erbanno, Slept, Margellana, Martinenca, Mergellana, Patriarca, Prevedessa, Schiava della Lombardia, Schiava di Bergamo, Schiava di Como, Schiava di Varese, Schiava Nera, Black Welsh Sciava Peloseta and Sciava Spinarola. It should not be confused with the varieties Schiava Gentile, Schiava Grigia or Schiava Grossa, despite seemingly suggestive synonyms or morphological similarities. According to DNA analyses carried out in 2013, Schiava Lombarda is one of the many descendants of Gouais Blanc (White Heunisch); the second parent is unknown. According to DNA analyses, the Rossara Trentina grape variety, which is listed as an independent variety in the Italian grape variety lists, is identical (personal information from Dr Erika Maul of the JKI). However, this is based on only 15 DNA markers (see Molecular Genetics). The medium to late ripening vine is cultivated in Lombardy (in the DOC wine Terre del Colleoni) and Trentino-South Tyrol. In 2010, only 0.1 hectares were reported in Italy, but in 2016, 701 hectares of vines were reported; the cause may be an earlier misclassification (Kym Anderson).
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