Pallagrello is an indigenous Casertan varietal, older and more well-known than Casavecchia, whose origins date back to ancient Greece.
The name Pallagrello derives from “‘u pallarell,” Casertan dialect for “small ball,” a reference to the grape’s tiny, round shape.
It was highly prized by Ferdinand the Fourth of Bourbon, who reserved a place for it in his Ventaglio Vineyard, preferring it to the wines of Vesuvius. It became the King’s wine.
The Pallagrello grape cluster is distinguished above all by its very short shape.
It is a vigorous varietal, producing small grapes with a high sugar content and restrained acidity. It yields about 7000 to 8000 kilograms (approximately 15,500 to 17,500 pounds) per hectare.
Native to the hills around the Campanian town of Caiazzo, Pallagrello is referenced in numerous historical texts, dating back, according to some, to the Roman “Pilleolata” referenced in the work of Pliny the Elder.
Widely famous until the nineteenth century, Pallagrello became one of the favorite wines of the Bourbons, who held it in high regard.
They offered it as a precious gift to their guests and included it, under the name “Piedimonte rosso” (“Piedmont red”), among the wines presented on menus and wine lists for special occasions, next to the most esteemed French wines.