Terrano is a black grape from the area of north-eastern Italy and western Slovenia. It is known under many names, where Refosco is maybe the best known.
The Terrano grape is characterised by its dark colour, high acidity and high tannin levels. Flavours are of dark plums and other dark skinned fruit, accompanied by spiciness.
In spite of high levels of acidity and tannins, Terrano wines are better consumed within one year. The reason is a genetic aspect of the grape that causes its chemistry to alter after fermentation, basically killing its possibilities to age.
You will find nice Terrono dry varietal wines from all three countries where it is grown. In Italy, look for wines from the Friuli Colli Orientali DOC in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, especially from the subzone Faedis some thirty kilometers north-east of Udine. Here the variety is called Refosco.
An alternative is the Carso/Carso-Kras DOC situated along the coast line, north-west of Trieste. Here the grape is known as Terrano, and the DOC is limited to four villages: Duino-Aurisina, Monrupino, Sgonico, and the north-western part of Trieste municipality.
A Terrano dry varietal is wonderful with charcuterie, a pork or a lamb dish. The wine is best served at 16-18°C/ /61-64°F.
Where is it grown?
In Slovenia, plantings are in the western region Primorje’s two districts Kras and Slovenska Istra.
In Croatia, all plantings are reported to be on the Istrian peninsula (actually just south of Slovenska Istra).
In Italy, most plantings are reported from the districts Forli Cesena and Ravenna in the Emilia-Romagna region (more or less on the other side of the Adriatic Sea from Slovenia and Croatia). Friuli-Venezia Giulia and the very south-most Apulia also report of plantings.
- Slovenia 1.292 ha/3,192 ac (an increase with 2%), MPG 3, PTPA 8%
- Croatia 350 ha/865 ac, MPG 14, PTPA 2%
- Italy 272 ha/673 ac (an increase with 41%), MPG 137, PTPA <0,2%
Terrano was documented as early as seven-hundred years ago in the land area that now is part of north-eastern Italy (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) and western Slovenia, known also as the Kras Plateau.