Friar and botanist Francesco Cupani was the first to mention the ͚abundance͛ of cultivation of Catarratto, in his work Hortus catholicus. Cupani traces it back to two types, Catarratto Bianco Comune (common white Catarratto) and Catarratto Bianco Lucido (shiny white Catarratto). More recent ampelographic studies and DNA analysis however have revealed that these two types are clones of the same variety. Other studies and research have also confirmed Catarratto, together with Zibibbo, as the progenitor of another white grape vine typical of the island: Grillo. At one time wine-making with Catarratto grapes gave ordinary wines. It was regularly used, blended with other grape varieties, for the production of sweet wines or Marsala.

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