Erbaluce is a crisp Italian grape variety that has been documented in Piedmont since 1606. It is used in the production of dry and sparkling wines, most famously as passito from Erbaluce di Caluso DOCG. Locally it enjoys a good reputation for fresh white wines, but it’s not widely planted outside northern Piedmont.
The origins of Erbaluce are disputed; Arneis and Greco have both been mooted as related varieties, but the genetic link has not been conclusively proven. Even the name of Erbaluce is the subject of some debate. Some say it is named after the copper color of its bunches in the alpine sun. Others say it is named after the goddess, Albaluce, who was born on a hilltop in Caluso and whose tears prompted Erbaluce vines to spring forth from the ground.
The sparkling version of Erbaluce, Caluso Spumante, is prized for its fresh and fruity characteristics, backed by strong acidity and subtle minerality. Dry wines from Erbaluce are light-bodied and reminiscent of crisp apples. Finally, passito (made from semi-dried grapes) examples are deeply colored with intense peach and almond flavors.
Synonyms include: Erbaluce Bianca, Greco Novarese.
Food matches include:
Europe: Air-cured beef salad (insalata di bresaola) (dry and sparkling)
Peaches sautéed in white wine (pesche al vino) (sweet)