Aleatico is a red skinned grape variety with a paradoxical aroma akin to the pungent honeysuckle and vivid flora notes of white Muscat grape varieties. It is not to be confused with Riesling Aleatico, another grape variety sharing the name albeit, little else. Despite its colour however, Aleatico is thought to be genetically related to Muscat à Petit Grains, the more noble Muscat clone.
Aleatico is one of a slim number of dark-skinned grapes with Muscat aromas. The most well known is Moscato di Scanzo, which has its own dedicated DOCG in northern Lombardy. Aleatico is also grown in Chile, where it is called Red Moscatel, and is harvested for intra-varietal blending in entry-level, volume-driven wine styles of both colours throughout warmer regions of Australia and California.
Although a red grape capable of dry wines, Aleatico's aromatic intensity sees it best suited to fortified wines, late harvested expressions, or those made by passito, or with dried grapes. Increasingly rare, Aleatico's most notable wines are produced in Tuscany (Elba Aleatico Passito DOCG), Lazio (Aleatico di Gradoli), Marche (Pergola) and Puglia (Aleatico di Puglia) in the far south of the Italian peninsula, on its heel. Aleatico is also found in Corsica, alluding to the island's Italian history.