Colorino is a red Italian wine grape variety planted primarily in Tuscany. The grape is known for its deep dark coloring and is used primarily as a coloring agent in red blends. In the history of Chianti it played a minor role, mostly for its affinity and use to the governo winemaking technique. Like Canaiolo, Colorino did not rot easily while going through the partial drying process to later be added to the fermenting grape must. However the grape did not provide the same level of fruit and softening effect that Canaiolo did and fell out of favor. In the late 1980s, there was a surge of interest in the variety among Tuscan winemakers who saw in this local grape variety similarity to the role Petite Verdot plays in Bordeaux blends. Colorino was planted and used to add darker colors and structure from phenolic compounds in the grape's thick skin without the overpowering aromatics that Cabernet Sauvignon could add. This enthusiasm was short lived and by the turn of the 21st century Colorino returned once again to a minor role in Tuscan wines.
Sure of Tuscan origin, since ancient times, it seems (De Astis, 1937) is the result of the gradual domestication of wild vines. This has often likened to Lambrusco , which is also synonymous. In Tuscany it grow two types: Colorino Valdarno , recognizable by the leaves and branches with obvious reddish, and the skin of plenty of colored (hence the name) and the other, less common, is almost devoid of these characteristics. For many decades, this vine has been used in dried form as a companion of the Sangiovese grape, to give more color to the Chianti. Currently it is significantly reduced through the use of a greater selection of Sangiovese, but also at the composition of non-native Chianti grape such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Some producers have been able, however, thanks to careful clonal selection, to obtain some important results from Colorino, using it also in purity.
In addition to Tuscany, the grape is also found in the Umbria region of Central Italy. It is a principle grape variety in the Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) wines of Montecarlo in Tuscany as well as Rosso Orvietano and Lago di Corbara in Umbria
Viticulture and winemaking
Orbicular leaf, occasionally pentagonal, average, small leaf, three lobes or five lobes, with an upper surface which is lightly crimped and dark green. The clusters are small to average sized, slightly loose, cone-shaped, with side bunches or one or two shoulders. The berries are small-to-medium sized. The skin is thick, of a blackish to deep purple color, rich with bloom.
Colorino is generally used to blend with other varieties. It gives, as the name suggests, a good color to the wine.
Environmental and cultural characteristics and needs:
He leaves medium-small, orbicular or pentagonal, three-lobed or five lobes; cluster medium or small, conical, with one or two wings, semi-loose or compact; berry medium or small, spheroidal, with waxy skin, thick, black- purple. He has medium vigor or low, steady production and good; preferred forms of cultivation medium expansion, it is not suitable for certain rootstocks.
Diseases and adversity:
Has little ability to defend against ' powdery mildew , and has good resistance to most pests.
Follows, by region, a list of all DOC and DOCG where the use of this vine is allowed
Monaco - 10 ÷ 15%
Lake Corby - 0 to 30%
Orvieto Orvieto Rosso or Red - 0 to 30%
Colorino is known under a variety of synonyms throughout Italy. These include Abrostine, Abrostino, Abrostolo Dolce, Abrusco, Abrustano Nero, Broustina Rose, Colore, Canino, Colorino di Lucca, Colorino di Valdarno, Colorino Pisano, Jomarello, Lambrusco, Raversusto and Tintiglia Ii