Albana is among the slew of indigenous Italian white wine grape varieties whose attractive sounding name belies the rather innocuous and inherently simple wine for which it is responsible. Albana, also known as Albana di Romagna, is nevertheless fundamental to the vinous life of central Italy.
Here, high yielding vineyards that sprawl across the fertile plains, produce wine that once satisfied the everyman of the Emilia-Romagna region. Sadly, at least for the producers of Albana whose focus was firmly on quantity rather than quality, even the Italian layman is now drinking less wine of better quality. This augurs poorly for the future of this grape variety and its many clonal offshoots perhaps, although Albana's historical links to the 13th century writer Petrus di Crescentiis see many local drinkers cherish the grape. Perhaps this, rather than quality, is the reason that there are more than 4,500 hectares of Albana still planted.
The thick skinned Albana Gentile di Bertinoro is the most common clone. It renders deeply hued white wines that rely on a phenolic chew for their structure, rather than acid-driven freshness. These wines are ubiquitous in the region's trattorias, particularly as Vino da Tavola.