Nubiola: A translation of Pietro de’ Crescenzi’s mention in context

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As it has been written so many times, one of the earliest mentions of Nebbiolo dates back to the early fourteenth century and Pietro de’ Crescenzi’s (presumed although never entirely proven) mention of Nubiola in his treatise on agriculture entitled Ruralia commoda.

Scores of writers reference the passage but I cannot find any instance where a writer transcribes or translates the original in context.

So, for your consideration, here’s my translation of the passage. I have a lot to say about it and will look forward to posting my notes in next week’s post.

Have a look and a read and we will discuss!

I’ve been researching the etymology of the ampelonym for a few weeks and I am increasingly convinced that its origin is related to the Italian and Latin for cloud and fog (as many report). I’ll address that as well in next week’s post.


And there is another type of black [red] grape, which is called Nubiola. It is pleasant to eat and it is wonderfully vinous. Its berries are a bit long and it likes rich earth that has been well manured. It fears the shadows, grows abundantly, and makes excellent wine. Very powerful and good to store. And it should not remain on its pips and skins more than a day or two. It is renowned in the City [state] of Asti and around those parts.

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