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15 Italian Grapes Every Rosé Fan Should Know

Pink wine production is nothing new in Italy—in some cases it dates to the Middle Ages. But as global drinkers continue their infatuation with all things rosé, it’s useful to take a closer look at the differences among Italy’s pink wines, or rosatos.

Of the hundreds of grape varieties produced in Italy, a handful of them are used in rosato production, which result in very different wines. Many are the same grapes used in well-known exports like Chianti, Amarone and Barolo. Others are a bit more esoteric, but worth the discovery.

Here’s a list of some of the major rosato-producing grapes of Italy with Mediterranean origins.

Grapevine in Puglia
Pugliese grapes used to make rosato include Negroamaro, Primitivo and Bombino Nero. Photo by Getty


The thick-skinned grape behind such structured, ageworthy reds as Campania’s Taurasi and Aglianico del Vulture in Basilicata also produces approachable, ready-to-drink pink wine. These bold rosatos are rife with bright berry tones and can display floral or mineral nuances, depending on their region of origin.

Recently reviewed Agliancio rosatos are here.

Bombino Nero

Found mostly in the Castel del Monte region of northern Puglia, the bunches of this thin-skinned grape ripen unevenly. This results in juice that is high in acidity and low in sugar, welcome attributes for a zesty, light-bodied rosato. These fruit-forward wines have a wealth of watermelon and citrus tones.

Recently reviewed Bombino Nero rosatos are here.

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