Vermentino is most likely a vine from Liguria, its first land of origin on Italian soil, whose actual origins have been much and still discussed. The most recent hypothesis is the one formulated by Prof. Mario Fregoni, according to which Vermentino is part of the so-called Proles Pontica, and is originally from the Middle East. Departing from Anatolia, in fact, it would first reach the Turkish coasts and then spread to the Aegean islands, from where the Greeks would then take it to Marseille; from here the Vermentino, thanks to the work of the Ligurians, great navigators, would have spread to southern France, to the Ligurian coast – from which it would also penetrate inland as far as Piedmont – and to the Tyrrhenian, also affecting the large islands of Sardinia and Corsica. For others, however, the origin of Vermentino is to be traced back to Spain, from which it would have been introduced in Corsica as early as the 14th century and, through this island, would have subsequently landed on the Ligurian coasts, perhaps as early as 1500, and then spread to Tuscany and Sardinia. Still others, however, support the all-Italian identity of the vine, presenting research and studies where Vermentino would be present in Sardinia as early as 1300.
However, the spread of this vine in many coastal areas of the Peninsula is known and, among these, Maremma is one of the most important, with 830 hectares distributed in many municipalities of the province, primarily Magliano in Toscana, Grosseto, Orbetello and Roccastrada. that the province of Grosseto counts over half of the entire Vermentino vineyard in Tuscany. The growth of this vine is even more evident if we consider that in 2006 there were less than 140 hectares: 94.5% of the Vermentino vineyard in the province of Grosseto was planted after 2000, but 79% of the implants is even less than 15 years of age.
Vermentino is one of the vines with the greatest number of known synonyms, true or false, and is today considered identical to two other varieties, Pigato and Favorita, which however, in some cases, demonstrate genetic and morphological characteristics that cannot be compared with those of Vermentino. Among the best known synonyms, Piccabon, Uva sapaiola, Formentino, Rollo (Rolle and Malvoisie à gros grains in France).
It is a vine with a late ripening period and medium vigor, which prefers dry, shallow, hilly and sunny soils, especially those close to the sea, where it expresses itself at its best, so much so that it is easy to hear that Vermentino is a vine that needs to “feel the sea”
The organoleptic characteristics of wines obtained from Vermentino grapes vary greatly depending on the area of origin. Maremma wines are characterized by fresh and floral aromas, with notes of white and yellow pulp fruit and by a moderate acidity and freshness, characteristics that make them increasingly appreciated by the public.
Vermentino wines go well with land and sea appetizers, fish dishes, soft cheeses, cured meats, fresh cheeses such as the typical marzolino, vegetable pies and flans, sea or lake fish, crustaceans in every preparation, salmon, bottarga, sea truffles, baked fish; the more structured versions are excellent with white meats and fresh blue cheeses.
The Vermentino and Maremma Toscana DOC grape varieties:
Maremma Toscana DOC “Bianco” and “Bianco Riserva” (presence in the minimum limit of 60% alone or together with Tuscan Trebbiano and Viognier)
Maremma Toscana DOC “Bianco Spumante” (presence in the minimum limit of 60% alone or together with Tuscan Trebbiano and Viognier)
Maremma Toscana DOC “Passito Bianco” (presence in the minimum limit of 60% alone or together with Trebbiano Toscano and Viognier)
Maremma Toscana DOC “Vendemmia Tardiva Bianco” (presence in the minimum limit of 60% alone or together with Tuscan Trebbiano and Viognier)
Maremma Toscana DOC “Vin Santo” (presence in the maximum limit of 60% as a complementary white grape)
Maremma Toscana DOC “Vermentino” (presence for at least 85%)
Maremma Toscana DOC “Vermentino Spumante” (presence for at least 85%)
Maremma Toscana DOC “Vermentino Passito” (presence for at least 85%)
Maremma Toscana DOC “Late Harvest Vermentino” (presence for at least 85%)
Maremma Toscana DOC Bivarietale: Vermentino associated with another white grape variety (presence between 15% and 85%)