Erbaluce

Synonyms: Albaluce, Bian Rousti
Keywords: aromatic, passito, and white wine

Erbaluce is an ancient Italian white wine variety suitable for a variety of wine styles, including sparkling, dry, and passito. It is considered vigorous and productive in Italy, where it is traditionally long-pruned and grown on a pergola. In a San Joaquin Valley trial where the vines were trained to bilateral cordons, spur-pruned, and supported with a two-wire T-trellis, the yields were low, but fruit and wine quality were high. Simulated mechanical pruning greatly increased yields without affecting soluble solids accumulation, so adequate yields should be attainable by adjusting pruning practices.

Adaptability: warm to hot
Berry Color: White
Berry Maturity: Early Season to Mid-Season
Berry Size: Medium
Cluster Compactness: Moderate to Compact
Cluster Size: Medium to Large
Fruit Use: Wine
Product Flavor: spice, honey, figs, almonds
Pruning: Spur
Seeds: Seeded
Soluble Solids: 16-22 Brix° Brix
Species / Varieties in Pedigree: Vitis vinifera
Vine Vigor: Moderate to High
Yield Potential: Low to Moderate

Figures

A leaf of the Erbaluce grapevine variety.

A leaf of the Erbaluce grapevine variety.

A cluster of Erbaluce grapes.

A cluster of Erbaluce grapes.

Origins and History

Erbaluce is an ancient variety, first mentioned in the 17th century, and thought to have originated in the Canavese region of Torino, Italy.

Vine Traits

Erbaluce is a vigorous variety with thick skins that amber when ripe. According to Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo (VCR, 2022) Erbaluce has medium-to-large, cylindrical, winged clusters of medium compactness. The spheroid-shaped berry has an amber-yellow color, sometimes with pink shades. It has a transparent skin with persistent navel, and the pulp is slightly crunchy and simple tasting.

Vineyard Considerations

Erbaluce in the Parlier trial had outstanding fruit quality, but insufficient yields, except when subjected to simulated mechanical harvest (Table 1). Italians consider Erbaluce to have good, if variable, yield potential. The discrepancy may be due to differences in cultural practices, particularly with respect to training, trellising, and pruning. In Parlier, Erbaluce was first trained to bilateral cordons, spur pruned, and supported with a two-wire trellis, whereas that variety is traditionally “long pruned” and supported on an overhead pergola system in Italy (VCR, 2022). When subjected to simulated mechanical pruning in Parlier, yields were greatly increased.

Quality

Erbaluce is a versatile variety, used for dry, sparkling, passito, and even botrytised, wines in Italy. Grapes grown at the UC Kearney Agricultural Center in Parlier, CA (Fresno County) made excellent aromatic dry wines.

Tables

References

VCR, 2022. Erbaluce. https://www.vivairauscedo.com/en/product-sheet/erbaluce/

Robinson, J., J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz. 2012. Wine Grapes. HarperCollins, New York

Contributor

Matthew Fidelibus

Matthew Fidelibus

Cooperative Extension Specialist, Viticulture
University of California
Agriculture and Natural Resources

mwfidelibus@ucdavis.edu
Website  

Article Submitted: January 21, 2023
Article Updated: