Looking for Nebbiolo Rosé vines in California; (I know where to find it in Italy.)

This is incredibly geeky but I think I may have come to the right place. I’ve been trying to track down some extant Nebbiolo Rosé vines in California, as I would like to trial them in my vineyard in San Juan Bautista. This is what I know (or imagine I know about the grape: It was until recently believed to be a clonal variant of Nebbiolo but has been shown to be a distinctive variety, the offspring of Nebbiolo and something else. It is known to be significantly lighter in color than Nebbiolo, ripening to a higher alcoholic degree and possessing a greater aromatic intensity, slightly lower in acidity. Anecdotally (not confirmed): Some bunches do not color up at all, greater basal bud fruitfulness, higher yielder. There is some speculation that the variety may be identical to what FPS had until recently called Nebbiolo Fino, now FPS Nebbiolo Clones 1 and 9. Nebbiolo Fino was a term used way back when (100+ years ago) in describing the “different” variant of Nebbiolo in California, but it does not appear to be a term used any longer in Italy; the name Chiavennaschino is sometimes used as a synonym - also as a synonym for Grignolino. (That’s confusing.) In speaking to FPS, they could not confirm whether Nebbiolo Fino and Nebbiolo Rosé were or were not identical. I don’t know this for sure but I suspect that they may not have the satellite DNA markers for Nebbiolo Rosé in their data base. At some point, the National Germplasm Repository held something called Nebbiolo Rosé in their collection but it does not appear to be there any longer. Some more details: Back in the day, Martin Bros. likely had something called Nebbiolo Rosé planted in their vyd. in Paso Robles; “Stay away from Nebbiolo Rosé,” Nick counseled me back in the day. (The vines were removed a few years back.) I suspect that Lucas and Llewellyn may have Nebbiolo Rosé planted in their vyd. (formerly Joe Carrari’s) in Los Alamos but it would be good to confirm that with a DNA test, (again) if FPS or some other lab has that capability. I remember buying Nebbiolo fruit from Joe one time, which he personally delivered to Santa Cruz and there was a lot of uncolored fruit in the mix (as well as an ungodly amount of canes, leaves and MOG). I have heard a report that Barboursville Vyd. in VA may have Nebbiolo Fino, but they haven’t returned my call, and again, we don’t know for sure if it is selfsame with Nebbiolo Fino. If anyone has any more information on the subject, I would be greatly appreciative. Time is marching on to get some pruning done (if it ever stops raining). Thanks.


Glad to see you here, Randall.
So is there anyplace that has the DNA data to ID Nebb Rose if you get some plant material?? Apparently they don’t at FPS, but they should be able to get that data from the source in Italy.
I think NickMartin’s first Nebb at Martin Bros was taken from the Lodi/CentralVlly vnyd that he first made in 1972. He then got some of the first Nebbiolo Michet (or Lampia) release from FPS & produced his first one in about 1976. I was clearly better than the Nebbs that he released up until that point.
Have you been in touch w/ Ian d’Agata on source of Nebb Rose?
Did you follow up w/ SamBilbro on Nebb plant material out of FoxHill??
The big question is how do you identify as Nebb Rose any plant material you get ahold of.

Whilst your pursuing obscure Nebbiolo, you might want to consider Prunent. Winemongers carries the Cantine Garrone Prunent. It is quite good. TN posted above.
Most sources dismiss Prunent as the local name/synonym for Nebbiolo in the Valli d’Ossolane in the Northernmost reaches of Piemonte and label it a clone of Nebbiolo. But there is some belief that Prunent was the original Nebbiolo that evolved in the Piemonte. And the Nebbiolo in the rest of Piemonte came originally from Prunent.
Just a suggestion… as if you don’t have enough projects in the fire already.

I’ve heard that L&L was Nebbiolo Rose as well. Doesn’t confirm the genetics, but maybe Steve Clifton would know. I believe I heard that in the Palmina tasting room many years ago. He and Joe went back a ways.

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The only Nebbiolo Rose I know of is made by Seth Kitzke of Upsidedown Wines in Washington.

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You might check with Nathan Kandler at Thomas Fogarty. During a visit with him about ten years ago we checked out their tiny Nebbiolo block near the winery:

There we got out and walked a few hundred feet to Walker’s Vineyard, Thomas Fogarty’s Nebbiolo block. Only about ¼-acre in size, this was planted about 1999 in sandstone soil, on a southwest-facing slope. Nathan told us that the original planting was all Nebbiolo Rosé clone but most of the block has since been grafted to a variety of clones, and these older vines are being dry-farmed.

So it sounded like there were still some Nebbiolo Rosé clone vines there at that time. Worth checking about with Nathan.

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Great lead to contact Fogarty. I’m on the hunt.

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Good luck Randall. Keep us posted please. And will this eventually endnup in the Language of Yes line up?

Also, have you asked the folks at Gallo for assistance - especially some of their viticulturalists who have been with them for awhile?


I believe the Martin Brothers selection originated at Montevina, was brought to the Martin brothers and years later when Montevina/TDO had since removed they returned to get cuttings from the Martin brothers. I believe that the selection that they had was a suitcase selection from Italy. I believe Nebbiolo Rose and Nebiolo Fino were used interchangeably.

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Might also be worth getting in touch with Darrell Corti to see if he might have any info.

I did send a note to Ian d’Agata but haven’t heard back. I did follow up with Sam and he graciously offered some material from FoxHill. I need to reach someone at FPS - maybe I’ll just call the Director - to see if they could access the DNA ID somehow. I’m told that there’s this thing called the internet; shouldn’t be impossible. (I sent a note to Anna Schneider but haven’t heard back from her. Today I’m following up with Fogarty, who might have some as well as with Montevina, who might as well. And of course, Lucas and Llewellyn’s material may well be the right stuff.

Thanks for the lead. I’lll call Montevina after daybreak. My guess is they may well have replanted the Michet clone from Martin Bros., but we shall see. Darrell is of the opinion that Fino is in fact Nebbiolo Rosé. He’s likely correct as he is about most things but it would be good to get DNA confirmation.

Don’t think that Neb. is destined for LOY; I’m thinking to grow it at Popelouchum. I am due for a call to Nick Dokoozlian in the next day or two; I’ll ask him about Nebbiolo. Peter Cousins would also deserve a call.