Dorato is an ancient vine variety, whose origin and geographical spread were surrounded
by mystery. Until a few years ago, its origin was thought to be Greek. Greeks
had brought to Sicily many vine varieties since the VII century BC: that seemed
also the case of Grecanico Dorato. Besides the obvious reference to Greece in
the name of this variety (“Greco” means Greek in Italian), its Greek origin was
justified also because it was common in Sicilian areas with many traces of
Greek agricultural settlements.
However thanks to DNA typing studies in 2003 and 2008 ampelographers have
confirmed that the Grecanico Dorato (Grecanico) grape of Sicily is identical to
Garganega. Already before these studies, ampelographers believed the grapes to
be related due to the similarities of clusters, berries and leaf
characteristics. Veneto and Sicily, separated by Italy's full 600-mile length,
are collectively home to more than 11,000 ha (27,000 acres) of Garganega vines,
making the variety one of Italy's most widely planted, in every sense.