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The Robola Grape

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About Robola

(Synonyms: Asporombola, Asprprobola, Asprompola, Robbola, Robola Aspri, Robolo Aspro, Robola Kerini, Robolla, Rombola, Rombola Aspri, Rompola, Rompola Kerine.)


Map showing Cephalonia in Greece

Robola is a white-wine grape originating in Greece and now grown mainly on the island of Cephalonia, with some smaller plantings on Corfu, and a couple other of the Ionian Islands. It was long thought to be the same grape called in Italy Ribolla Gialla, but modern DNA analysis has proved them to be two quite distinct varieties.

Factoid: There are two red-wine grapes, Rombola Kokkino and Mavro Rombola, that are believed to be simply color mutations of Robola.

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Some Descriptions of Robola Wines

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Some Robolas to Try

About the Co-operative

An important aspect of Robola wines is that Cephalonia is where the great majority of Robola is bottled, and about 85% of all Robola produced on Cephalonia is made by the Robola Co-operative. The Co-op members each own their own vineyards, but their grapes all go to the Co-op’s wine-making facility. The Co-op produces some five different bottlings of Robola, and here lies a problem for the consumer: retailers and reviewers alike tend to be rather sloppy in listing and distinguishing those wines, and it is often hard to determine which is being described unless a bottle-label image is available (and some places show the wrong label: caveat emptor!). Normally, we do not discuss individual wines other than to list them, but these are a special case.

(The Co-op has, as of 2018, started to use “Orealios Gaea” as their label title, but not all of their wines are yet so labelled, adding to the confusion.)
Label of bagged bottling

This is the Co-op’s ordinary, basic “Robola of Cephalonia” bottling; it is easily distinguished, as it comes in a burlap bag. It is fairly common, but definitely not one of their quality bottlings.

Label of San Gerasimo bottling

This is the Co-op’s “San Gerasimo” bottling; it carries the new Orealios Gaea designation. It is a decent wine but quite scarce in the U.S.

Label of R bottling

This is the Co-op’s “R” bottling. It carries the new Orealios Gaea designation, is a good wine, and is fairly widely available.

Label of Truth organic bottling

This is the Co-op’s “Truth” organic bottling. It carries the new Orealios Gaea designation. It is arguably one of their two best, but is seems completely unavailable in the U.S.

Label of Barrel-Aged bottling

This is the Co-op’s “Barrel-Aged ” bottling. Not a few feel that barrel aging does not work that well with Robola, but in any event this bottling seems unavailable in the U.S.

The List
(About this list.)

Between rising prices and falling ratings, about all we can find left to suggest is this:

Orealios Gaea [Robola Cooperative] “R” Robola
(They switched from the Co-op designation to the new “Orealios Gaea” label in 2018.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher Reviews” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks.

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For a Splurge

We could find no reasonably available Robola wines better enough than those listed above as to justify a “splurge” price.

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This page was last modified on Saturday, 30 October 2021, at 11:26 pm Pacific Time.