Aleatico is a red wine grape. Ampelographers suspect that Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains may be a mutation of the Aleatico cultivar. It is notable for being the primary grape in the cult wine Aleatico di Portoferraio made in Elba, but is grown most commonly in the Puglia and Lazio regions of Italy. In Chile is known as Red Moscatel. The grape has also been cultivated at Mudgee in New South Wales and California.
During his exile in Elba, wine made from Aleatico was reportedly a favorite drink of Napoleon.
Ampelographers suspect that Aleatico may be a dark-skinned variant of the French wine grape Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, which is a member of the extensive Muscat family of grapes, believed to be the oldest family of Vitis vinifera in the world. DNA profiling conducted at Istituto Agrario di San Michele all’Adige suggests that the relationship between Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains and Aleatico may be that of a parent-offspring rather than just a mutation. Alternative theories posit that the grape is descended from Muscat Noir. Historians also disagree on Aleatico’s exact origins: the vine may have been brought to Italy by the ancient Greeks or is native to the southern Italian region of Puglia (Apulia).
During the 14th century, the Italian wine writer Pietro Crescenzi wrote of wine being produced in central and southern Italy from the “Livatica” grape, today believed to be Aleatico. In Elba, there is a long history of producing dessert wines from Aleatico. During his exile on Elba, the Aleatico wines of the island became a favorite drink of Napoleon. He was reported to have said that they were his only consolation during this time.
Aleatico wine is produced on the Salento Peninsula.