Vernaccia is a white grape of Italy. Several varieties share the name Vernaccia but they are completely different from one another, having in common only one characteristic: they are always to be found in well-defined geographical areas and are not easily exported elsewhere.
Many legends abound about the origin of the word Vernaccia. Some experts argue that the name is derived from the Latin word vernaculus, meaning a place or locale. Others say it is derived from the name of a Ligurian town in the area of Cinque Terre, Vernazza.
In support of the second explanation, numerous experts say that the variety originated in Liguria and was successfully introduced into Tuscany at San Gimignano.
Vernaccia di San Gimignano was highly appreciated in the past. Among its admirers was Pope Martin IV. It appears that the pontiff was extremely fond of a dish based on eels and Vernaccia.