Already the Roman universal scholar Pliny the Elder (23-79) spoke of a "Vinum trebulanum" from a place called Trebulanis in Campania. And Petrus de Crescentiis (1230-1320) described the Trebbiano as a noble, long-lasting wine in 1303. But actually it is wrong to speak of a grape variety. In 2001 the results of a study were published. According to DNA analyses, there are hardly any family relations between the many Trebbiano varieties. It would therefore be wrong to speak of one grape variety family (the same phenomenon also applies to the four groups of names Lambrusco, Malvasia, Muscatel and Vernaccia). However, there are similarities in terms of whitish-yellow berry colour, grape size, frost resistance and high yield. Also in taste some are quite similar - rather weak in extract with low alcohol content, but strong in acidity. Therefore they are also used for distillation.
There are many theories about the meaning or etymology of the name Trebbiano. The "trebulanum" used by Pliny is said to refer to the place Trebula, today's Treglia in the province of Caserta in Campania. The ancient place Trebulanum in Tuscany is also assumed to be Trebula. A third variant states that the variety is named after the river Trebbia in Liguria and a fourth that it is named after one of the many municipalities with the name Trebbo or Trebbio. The diversity is reflected in well over 100 names or synonyms that include "Trebbiano". The most important Trebbiano varieties in Italy are genetically very different:
In Italy, the Trebbiano varieties occupied around 54,000 hectares of vineyards in 2010. They are contained in around 100 DOC/DOCG wines and countless IGT wines and account for around 30% of Italian DOC white wine production. There is also a DOC area with this part of the name, that is Trebbiano d'Abruzzo. In the past, they were often registered together in Italy, but now they are specially designated. Trebbiano is also a more common part of many other Italian grape variety names (synonyms):
Source: Wine Grapes / J. Robinson, J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz / Penguin Books Ltd. 2012
Pictures: M.I.P.A.A.F - National Vine Certification Service