Light, fruity and not very deep in color, Grignolino is refreshing and should be drunk soon after the vintage. It has only two appellations: Grignolino d’Asti and Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese. Barbera and Freisa are often blended with Grignolino to boost color and structure.
Grignolino requires dry, sandy soil and a sunny exposition to ripen successfully. The vine is mainly found in the hillside vineyards of Asti and Alessandria. Depending on the soil, which strongly affects the fruit, and the density of planting, the grapes range in color from black-violet to pink-violet, and are high in both acidity and tannin.
Grignolino originated in Piedmont, Italy, in the area between Asti and Casale, where it has been known since the eighth century. The name of the vine is likely derived from a word in local dialect, grignòle, which refers to the high number of seeds in the berry.