Known under a variety of names depending on the area of cultivation, Brachetto is widespread and appreciated in Piedmont. In the area of Canelli, it is known as Borgogna, while it is called Brachettone in the Roero – because of the significantly larger size of its bunches – and Brachèt in the Canavese area: each place has lovingly named these aromatic grapes differently.
Brachetto is predominantly grown in the provinces of Alessandria and Asti. The ideal terroir for this varietal are the hills between the Belbo and Bormida rivers. The province of Cuneo also has a few Brachetto vineyards, although their surface area is less than in the two other provinces. Outside Italy, Argentina is the country where this varietal is most intensively cultivated.
The leaves are orbicular and medium-sized. Generally trilobate, it has a hairless lower page and a thick, bullate surface.
The bunches are medium to medium-small. They are cylindrical and winged, neither loose nor tight, with many well-separated berries. Green pedicel of medium length.
The medium-sized berries are ellipsoid. Their skin is firm, bloomy, dark-colored (blue-black with purple streaks).
Budbreak: Early (first ten days of April).
Ripening: Early (first two weeks of September).
Brachetto vines have medium to moderate vigor; this ensures regular fertility, but low volumes. Its favorite training method are espaliers with Guyot pruning, although different methods can be found, with taller and more extended canopies and shorter pruning. Early ripening preserves Brachetto from molds and rots, while it is more prone to viral infections and the like (e.g. leafroll).
Brachetto grapes are particularly suited for making sweet, aromatic, sparkling or semi-sparkling wines. Brachetto passitos are also noteworthy because of their distinctive aromatic characteristics and rich range of evocative aromas.