ERBALUCE [air-bah LOO-chay]
Among Piemonte’s most ancient high-quality white grapes, Erbaluce produces wines that are fresh and mineral-driven. This cultivar has almost translucent green grapes that are “pale as the dawn’s light.” As a finicky, virus-prone variety, Erbaluce reaches its full potential in the hamlet of Caluso, which has uniquely nutrient-poor sandy and gravelly soils. A small amphitheater, just a couple miles long, houses the best sites.
In the 19th century the white wines from this area sold for more than ten times that of the local red wines. Caluso was designated Piemonte’s first DOC for white wines in 1967 and won DOCG status in 2010. In addition to still, dry wines Erbaluce’s signature high acid make it a standout for sparkling and sweet (passito) renditions.