Trebbiano is the second most widely planted grape in the world. Trebbiano enjoys the title of 'Italy's most commonly planted white grape'. There is no disagreement that Trebbiano is a native grape variety to Italy. Trebbiano (also known as Ugni Blanc) is also France's most widely-planted white vine, a phenomenon arising from its migrating to the southern Rhone when the Vatican moved the Papal seat to Avignon in 1305. Under the name 'St. Emilion,' Trebbiano is important in brandy production, being the most common grape variety of the Cognac and Armagnac.
An Italian study published in 2008 using DNA typing showed a close genetic relationship between Garganega with Trebbiano and several other grape varieties.
It is therefore possible that Garganega is one of the parents of Trebbiano, however, since the parents of Garganega have not been identified, the exact nature of the relationship could not be conclusively established.
It is mentioned in more than 80 of Italy's DOCs, although it has just six of its own: Trebbiano d'Abruzzo, Trebbiano di Aprilia, Trebbiano di Arborea, Trebbiano di Capriano del Colle, Trebbiano di Romagna and Trebbiano Val Trebbia dei Colli Piacentini. Perhaps the most successful Trebbiano-based blend is the Orvieto whites of Umbria, which use a local clone called Procanico. Trebbiano is also used to produce balsamic vinegar.
Because it yields a wine of such neutrality, it is more often blended with other grapes, especially to bolster acidity. Notable among these are Soave, in which it is blended with Garganega; in Frascati, with Malvasia; in Verdicchio, with Verdicchio and Malvasia; in Orvieto, with Verdello and Grechetto; and with Malvasia in Vin Santo, a 'passito' in which the grapes are dried to a semi-raisin state and fermented to produce a sweet wine.
A classic Trebbiano table wine is crisp and refreshingly high in acidity. Typical tasting terms associated with the variety include references to citrus fruits, white floral notes (such as magnolia) and mineral components, depending on the terroir of origin.