What is Vermentino?
Classed as an alternative variety when planted in Australia, vermentino is growing in popularity as more people discover this dry white wine. If you haven’t tried a glass of vermentino before, here’s our short rundown!
How to pronounce vermentino: ver-mehn-tee-noh.
Origins of VERMENTINO
Vermentino, like many wine varieties, has different names depending on where it is from and there is some dispute around the variety’s origin. In France, you’ll find Rolle as the most common name. In the Liguria region of Italy it’s called Pigato.
Vermentino can also be made into wine of different styles – ranging from a lighter, more aromatic wine to more powerful and bright styles.
The grower we work with for our Vermentino is Ashley Ratcliff of Ricca Terra Farms. Here is his outline of Vermentino and how it grows in the Riverland.
“This Italian grape variety, that can be found in abundance along the Tuscan coast and on the island of Sardinia, flourishes in warm dry climates, similar to that of the Riverland. The canopy growth and our hands-on management of Vermentino provides ample protection from the blistering summer sun. The sun does though play an essential role of developing the golden colour and flavours that makes Vermentino such an amazing wine to drink.
If viticulturists and winemakers could make one single and significant contribution to help mitigate climate change it would be to plant grape varieties that best suit the Australian landscape… and Vermentino is one of those varieties!
From the very get go, we hand prune and harvest our Vermentino vines. Once harvested the grapes were transported to our close friends and running partners, Jules and Bec, in the Barossa via our refrigerated truck. To play a small part in Small Victories Wine Co means a great deal to Ricca Terra.”
Vermentino as a variety has crunchy, fresh and vibrant characteristics and we love working with it!
Jules, as winemaker, shares her thoughts on the Small Victories Vermentino and its winemaking process:
“Transportation from the vineyard in the Riverland (about an hour away from the winery) in the cool of the early morning gives the fruit a little time on skins to help develop flavour. On arrival at the winery, we aim to keep our Vermentino vibrant with immediate processing, trying to hold on to the freshness and varietal distinction.”
In 2022, the vermentino also had a short stint on lees in a stainless steel tank to enhance mouthfeel before transition to bottling.
SERVING TEMPERATURE FOR VERMENTINO?
It needs to be chilled, but not icy cold! As vermentino has great fruit characters, if it is too cold you’ll lose some of the joy of the wine!
Make sure your vermentino has been the in the fridge or esky, so it’s around 10˚C when you’re ready to drink. Straight out your kitchen fridge will be too cold, so pour your glass then let it warm up for a bit. You’ll find it interesting to see how the wine changes as it warms up!
The best food pairings for Vermentino
The acid and textural balance of vermentino makes it a great food wine. When thinking of great foods to match with vermentino, think about something you might squeeze some lemon or lime onto.
Some food pairing ideas for vermentino include:
Fish and chips with a spicy mayo that you can make at home. Check out this spicy mayo recipe. And for a vegan option, match your fave hot chips with a spicy (vegan) mayo that you can make at home – simply add siracha, sambal olek and lemon juice to Kewpie or other vegan mayos.
Continuing the fish theme, fish tacos are a great match, or you could try this version of squid ink risotto from Miguel. Maybe you’d like something with super fresh flavours – a kingfish ceviche fits this bill. And it is much easier to make that it sounds! Check out this ceviche recipe for inspo.
If you’re looking for a vegan food match for vermentino, think nachos with guacamole, black beans and cashew cream or maybe this enchilada-stuffed butternut.
Small Victories Wine Co VERMENTINO
Our Small Victories Vermentino is vibrant and fruity. Award-winning, this wine is ready to drink now and all summer long!
The 2021 vintage won the Best Single Varietal White trophy at the Melbourne Royal Wine Awards 2021. And the 2022 Small Victories Vermentino recently won a trophy at the Riverland Wine Show.
“In the glass this Vermentino is a straw colour with aromas of candied lemon, fresh lime, and honey blossom. It has a sweet and sour vibe to it… it’s definitely dry with plentiful juicy flavour and an awesome texture that covers the entire mouth with flavour. It also has a lovely lengthy finish. Very enjoyable. We had it with homemade [potato and chilli] pizza and it went down perfectly together 5 stars.” Casey Bryan, The Travelling Corkscrew on the 2022 vintage.