Drupeggio (aka Drupeccio in Orvieto), is an Italian white wine grape varietal which is principally grown in the central wine regions of Orvieto and Tuscany. The grape is often confused for the Tuscan white varietal Vernaccia di San Gimignano, and can sometimes be mistakenly included as one in the same in blends.
Drupeggio is permitted to be planted and used in several DOC wine regions - for example Orvieto in Umbria where it is typically blended with Grechetto and Malvasia Toscana, can make up to 20-30% of the final blend along with Trebbiano (50-65%) and Verdello (15-25%). Outside of Umbria, it is found in the provinces of Firenze, Grosseto and Pistoia where it is permitted to be blended with Malvasia and Trebbiano in several Tuscan DOCs.
In the Carmignano wine region, up to 10% of Drupeggio is permitted in the red and rosé wines of the classified D.O.C. of ‘Barco Reale di Carmignano’ where it can be blended with Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Canaiolo Nero, Trebbiano and also Cabernet Franc.
Drupeggio is a mid to late ripening grape varietal, with a relatively thick skin. It is also a permitted grape varietal in the production of ‘Vin Santo’ wine, but the berries limited ability to raisin appropriately for the use in passito or straw wines production makes its use in these Italian dessert wines limited and rare.
The first recorded mention of Drupeggio was in Tuscany where it was recorded being used in wine production as early as 1817. The exact origins and parentage of the varietal are still not exactly known but DNA profiling completed in 2011 showed that at least six different white varietals grown in Tuscany have been variously labelled as potentials (watch this space for further news as it comes in). The most notable link is with the Vernaccia di San Gimignano varietal that is widely used in the (D.O.C.G.) of the same name. Other varietals which are sometimes confused with Drupeggio include Vermentino and the virtually extinct Tuscan grape varietal Zuccaccio.
Drupeggio is predominately planted across the central part of Italy in the region from the Molise and Marche of eastern Italy to the Lazio, Umbria and Tuscan regions in the west. Due to its confusion with other grape varietals, as I mentioned particularly Vernaccia di San Gimignano, it is difficult to get an exact number of vine plantings with the 2000 grape census recording 674 hectares and likely including some of the Canaiolo Bianco vines in the total - which DNA profiling has shown is a different grape varietal.