Albana Bianco is a versatile green grape used to produce several kinds of wine – dry, sparkling, medium sweet and sweet wines – in Emilia-Romagna in Italy. Under the name Albana di Romagna it was the first white wine in Italy to receive DOCG status in 1986.
A typical Albana Bianco varietal wine displays a fairly light body with good acidity and some complexity. When produced as a dry wine, you can expect to find notes of peach and almond. As the grape naturally comes with good amounts of residual sugar it is also used to make sweet wines.
With a Passito in the glass, you can expect to find a wine with golden colour and some amber shades. To nose and palate you will find notes of ripe yellow fruit, honey, and vanilla.
The dry version (Secco) will have some 11,5% alc/vol, while the medium sweet version (Amabile) and the sweet version (Dolce) some 12% alc/vol. The Passito (very sweet) version, is made from sun dried grapes and will have up to 15,5% alc/vol.
The sparkling version is a powerful one, up to 15,5% alc/vol, and is produced under a separate DOC, Romagna Albana Spumante.
Depending on which kind of Albana Bianco you are having, the suggestions for what to pair with it will vary. A Secco (best served at 8°C/46°F – 10°C/50°F) is likely to pair well with a not to spicy chicken dish.
A well-chilled (6°C/43°F – 8°C/46°F) Amabile is likely to be a nice companion to a medium spicy dish, for example Kao Pad (Thai Fried Rice) or other medium spicy Asian food.
A Dolce or a Passito (both best served at 6°C/43°F – 8°C/46°F) will pair very well with pastry. Or, why not try them together with a cheese such as Formaggio di Fossa di Sogliano DOP.
Where is it grown?
Albana Bianco is true to its origin, e.g. only small plantings are found outside Emilia-Romagna. The areas with Albana Bianco within the Emilia-Romagna region have however decreased with forty percent from 2000. In 2010, plantings covered 1.523 ha/3,763 ac, ranking it as the fifty-sixth most planted grape in Italy. The main plantings are in the sub regions of Bologna, Ravenna, and Forlì-Cesena.
Albana Bianco is seen as native to Emilia-Romagna, and there is a documented history that goes back to medieval times.