(Ansonica pronunciation: An-SOH-neeka)
Ansonica is the Italian white wine grape grown primarily in Sicily and Tuscany. When grown in Tuscany the grape is referred to as Ansonica, but when grown in Sicily, it takes on a different name, Inzolia.
While the Inzolia or Ansonica grape is known to have originated in Sicily, it has since become widely popular in Tuscany as well. The Ansonica varietal is said to be related to the other Sicilian varietals, Grillo and Merello Mascalese. In Tuscany, the Ansonica is planted in coastal locations, one being the small island, Giglio. The wine produced on this island even gets labeled after it, given the name, Ansonica Giglio.
In Italy, Ansonica wine was first used most often in combination with Grillo and Catarratto to produce Marsala wines. Today, you are likely to find Ansonica on its own as a fuller-bodied white wine, however it is also permitted as a blending grape. Ansonica Elba is a version of the wine made from 85% or more white Ansonica grapes, resulting in a pale to moderately golden wine with a powerful aroma.
Ansonica wine is generally a deep golden greenish color, crisp and dry, and displays nutty, citrusy, and herbal notes, specifically that of almonds, lemons, and tarragon. Of course, the flavors can vary depending on the way the winemaker produced the wine. For instance, some winemakers experiment with the fermentation process by keeping the skins in to alter the flavor profile.
Ansonica is highly tannic and pairs wonderfully with a variety of lighter meals, including: mushroom risotto, light pasta dishes, and vegetables. The wine also pairs well with virtually all seafood, especially: salmon, crustaceans, and steamed buttered clams.
While not a very common grape in the US, we are happy to be importing it directly from the Italian winery, Santa Lucia, located in Maremma, Tuscany. We are very excited to offer this unique varietal to our International Wine Club members who will have a chance to experience this grape in its finest form. Cheers!