Definition - What does Ciliegiolo mean?

Ciliegiolo is a type of red grape that is a large, sweet and fragrant variety from Italy. The grape is predominantly grown in the regions of Tuscany and Umbria, northern and central Italy respectively. The grape variety gets its name from the Italian word "cherry" because of the distinctive bright red color the fruit embodies.

History states that the grape was imported from Spain in 1870. Although both Tuscany and the Umbria regions cultivate the grape variety exclusively, both regions produce distinctly differently wines. Umbria, with its cooler and continental climate, produces light and fruity wines that are meant to be consumed at an early age, cutting down cellaring time. Tuscany, which has a warmer climate, still uses the traditional winemaking technique of stomping grapes, which produces a completely different result as opposed to Umbria's techniques.

WineFrog explains Ciliegiolo

Ciliegiolo is considered to be a rather challenging grape to cultivate. The wine it produces is ruby red in color, robust, with low alcohol content. It is also fruity and has low acidity. This grape variety is considered to be one of the parents of Sangiovese, another Italian grape variety. The use of Ciliegiolo in IGT-approved wines has grown considerably over the years.

As the grape variety offers fresh and soft textures to its wines, it pairs well with:

  • Spicy meat dishes
  • Stuffed turkey
  • Smoked herb salmon
  • Strong cheese
  • Chicken salad with pomegranate
  • Pine nuts and raisins
  • Pupusa, which is fried tortilla stuffed with ground pork and beans
  • Peking duck

The price range for Ciliegiolo blends ranges from $8.00 to $50.00.

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