Aglianico: Grape Name Pronunciation Project


Since I launched the Italian Grape Name Pronunciation Project one month ago today, the most requested ampelonym has been Aglianico.

The grape name poses a challenge for non-Italophones because of the phoneme gli (in Aglianico).

In Italian, the sound that corresponds to gli is what is called a palatal lateral approximant (click the link for the Wiki page) and is represented in the International Phonetic Alphabet by the following symbol:


For the video, I have rendered the grape name as follows:


Italian speakers will note that Bruno — the nicest dude, one of my favorite growers of Aglianico, and a native of Campania where Aglianico is used to make some of the region’s and Italy’s most noble wines — pronounces gli with a softer inflection than his counterparts in the North of Italy, where a five- as opposed to seven-vowel system makes the i in gli more closed (more nasal).

Thanks for reading and speaking (and drinking) Italian grapes!

9 thoughts on “Aglianico: Grape Name Pronunciation Project

  1. @Whitney isn’t Bruno awesome? You’ve been to his estate, haven’t you? Thanks for the kind words. I’m psyched to see you next week in LA!

    @TWG who do you think Eric’s “linguistically minded friend” is? ;)

  2. What ho shout out by name? That just confirms he jumped on the bandwagon. What are the odds he’ll ref your project on the blog?

  3. 2B i knew i wasn’t crazy when i told you that it was pronounced ah-yah-nee-ko!! that’s how they say in the south, anyway :) and bruno kinda looks like jefferey rush

    cute! love it, glad we are heading south of rome :)

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