Trebbiano may refer to a number of distinct grape varieties, with at least six Italian varieties known primarily by that name. Chief among them is Trebbiano Toscano, widely planted throughout Italy and in France, where it is known as Ugni Blanc.
Where a grape is referred to as simply “Trebbiano,” it is likely to be of this variety.
Trebbiano Toscano is a high-yielding grape, with dark gold or amber-colored berries. Its wines are typified by high acidity and a rather neutral flavor profile, making them ideal for blending in still light wines or as the base wine for brandy production.
This variety of Trebbiano is found throughout Italy, especially in Central Italy. Trebbiano Toscano is permitted in more Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) wines than any other variety, featuring in many well-known Italian whites such as Frascati, Orvieto and Soave.
The Trebbiano Toscano grape travels widely. Outside of Italy, it is France’s most widely planted white wine-grape variety. Known primarily as Ugni Blanc (and to a lesser extent, Saint-Émilion), it is vital in the production of brandy in Cognac and Armagnac, and is also cultivated in Provence, Southern Rhône and the surrounds of Bordeaux.
Elsewhere, Trebbiano Toscano is grown in Portugal, under the name Tália (or Thalia), as well as Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay and various others. As is the case in France, it is used to produce brandy in Mexico.
Of the other wine grapes known as Trebbiano, the next most widely planted is Trebbiano Romagnolo. This variety is quite like Trebbiano Toscano, and is most significant in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, where it used as a blending component or in single varietal wines across the Bologna, Forli and Ravenna provinces.
The best known of these is probably Trebbiano di Romagna DOC, which produces large quantities of simple and rather neutral-flavored whites with fresh acidity.
Another variety, Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, is used in the Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DOC. The widely known Trebbiano Toscano variety is permitted and often used in the same blend. To further complicate matters, the Puglia grape variety Bombino Bianco is also permitted. It has been suggested, though not confirmed, that Bombino Bianco and Trebbiano d’Abruzzo are genetically one and the same.
Trebbiano d’Abruzzo wines are among the most exciting Trebbiano wines, showing a stronger fruit character than might be expected from other Trebbiano varieties. The high acidity often found in these wines also makes them ideal to enjoy with food.
Looking for a wine to pair with dinner? Look no further. Our expert tasters at Wine Enthusiast share their thoughts on the top rated Trebbiano wines within our Buying Guide database below.