This red grape is widely diffused through northwestern Italy.  The first historical reference to this varietal dates to the 18th century.  The wine produced by this grape has strong admirers and detractors whose discord seems easily explained by the wide range of characteristics the wine offers, depending upon the terrain in which the vine grows and climate of the zone. One of the oldest grape varieties that seems to have a relationship with Nebbiolo. The wine is light and fragrant and sometimes lightly sparkling.

Some growers distinguish two sub-varieties, Freisa Piccola and Freisa Grossa. The difference was first noted by Count Nuvolone, deputy director of the Turin Agrarian Society at the end of the 18th century. Cultivation of the variety and its production is quite diversified. There are now two types produced: one dry and the other, sweetish and bubbly.