Pallagrello Nero is a red Italian wine grape variety that is grown in Campania. The grape has a long history in the region and, like the similarly named Pallagrello bianco, was one the varieties planted in 1775 by architect and engineer Luigi Vanvitelli in the fan-shaped Vigna del Ventaglio vineyard created for the royal palace of King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies (Ferdinand IV of Naples) in Caserta. Following the phylloxera epidemic of the mid-19th century and the economic devastation of the World Wars of the early 20th century, plantings of Pallagrello Nero declined greatly and the variety was thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered growing in an abandoned Campanian vineyard in the 1990s by Italian vine grower and former lawyer Peppe Mancini, who has since replanted it and the Pallagrello Bianco variant. Despite having similar names and both varieties originated in Campania, Pallagrello nero is not a color mutation of the white Campanian wine grape Pallagrello bianco though DNA profiling has not determined yet if the two varieties are closely related. There is some DNA evidence to suggest that Pallagrello nero maybe related to an old red Campania variety grown in the province of Caserta known as Casavecchia but the exact extent of that relationship is not yet known.
Today Pallagrello nero is
grown almost exclusively in the Campania region, particularly in the province
of Caserta. The majority of the grapes plantings can be found around the
communes of Alife, Alvignano, Caiazzo and Castel Campagnano. Outside of
Caserta, some minor plantings can be found in the provinces of Avellino in
Campania and Campobasso in Molise. Pallagrello Nero Grapes
Pallagrello Nero makes very
good wines, making it a fortuitous discovery and lately wines made from Pallagrello
Nero gapes have attracted attention for their full body, soft tannins and flavor
intensity.The Pallagrello grape cluster is distinguished by its very short
shape, it is a vigorous varietal, producing small grapes with thick-skinned
berries that have high sugar content and restrained acidity that make for an
intensely flavored wine with reasonably high alcohol and surprisingly gentle
tannins. Pallagrello Nero wines typically exhibit black fruit aromas such as
plum and blackberry along with chocolate and some peppery notes.