I am Gamay del Trasimeno….
The origin of my name is a case of mistaken identity, since I have nothing to do with the Gamay cultivated in the French region of Beaujolais (an AOC, or Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée area), near Lyon.
The error was probably made when the first viticultural transcriptions started to be made by those who traded with the South of France: the vignerons of that zone were asked the name of the grape that was cultivated in the same way on the shores of Trasimeno Lake.
Because of the mistake in identification that ensued, for a long time I was grown using the alberello (bush) training system, very different from the typical “vite maritata” technique (draped between trees) employed since the time of the Etruscans in the areas around Trasimeno Lake.
Recent genetic research carried out at the University of Perugia has demonstrated, on the other hand, that I belong to the family of the Grenaches, widespread in various zones of southern France. From these studies it emerged that Gamay del Trasimeno is the same variety known in other regions of Italy as Cannonau in Sardinia, Tai Rosso in Veneto, Bordò in Marche and, in other countries, as Garnacha (Spain), Grenache (France) and in general as Grenache Noir elsewhere in the world.
According to legend, my ancestors arrived on the shores of Trasimeno Lake around 1600, when Spain dominated Central and Southern Italy, followed by the peace treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis in 1559.
In fact, it is said that Duchess Eleonora Mendozza, who married Fulvio Alessandro della Corgna, the last lord of Castiglione del Lago, in 1610, brought as part of her dowry some vines directly from Spain as a token of good luck, but also because she was apparently a great enthusiast for the wine from this variety.
Between the end of the 19th and the early 20th century, Sardinian shepherds settled near Trasimeno Lake, arriving from the west, crossing the Maremma Toscana and the Orcia Valley. The migratory movement of two Sardinian transhumances towards the mainland consolidated the presence of my ancestors in this area.
Mystery hangs over my origins, and many scholars are still trying to find out what they are. The first documents referring to me were found around 1300 in Sardinia: here, in fact, texts were discovered that predated the Spanish ones of 1613, in which Cervantes mentions “Garnacha Blanca”.
If making mistakes is human and persevering is diabolical, well, around here they’ve elevated the old adage to gospel. An entire paradigm was founded on an error, giving the keys to territorial ...
The origin of my name is a case of mistaken identity, since I have nothing to do with the Gamay cultivated in the French region of Beaujolais (an AOC, or Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée area), near ...