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Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato, a rare indigenous wine, is produced in a limited area of the Monferrato Astigiano, in only seven municipalities including and centring on Castagnole Monferrato, which more than any other is blessed by the sun which bathes its hills. The dry, calcareous soil makes this area ideal for the cultivation of this indigenous variety. There are no reliable records which recall the origin of the name (Ruchè), but the most credible theories have it that Ruchè arrived in Piedmont in medieval times, brought from France by monks who planted it around a monastery of which there is no trace today, but which was a holy place dedicated to San Rocco. Some contend that the name derives from "roncet", an infectious degeneration of the vine which in past times struck all the local grape varieties save for bar one resilient type which would be called Ruchè. From recent studies run by MONTALBERA and thorough analysis of the variety (DNA study carried out in cooperation with scientific centre BIOESIS) and its organoleptic characteristics, it seems plausible that it has its origins in the ancient vines of Haute Savoie. From time immemorial, it has been unique to the Asti district and is, to all effects, given its centuries-old tradition, an Asti district variety. DOCG status was bestowed on the wine with its 2010 vintage, this a further recognition of the great qualities of this rare local varietaL.
Medium intensity gaudy-red with slight violet reflections when young, tending to garnet after fining.
Warm on the palate, harmonious, good body and balance, slightly tannic.
Intense, persistent, half-aromatic, fruity with hints of rose petals and violets in the first years, developing spicy notes over time.
DOCG Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato
Castagnole Monferrato, Piedmont.
Traditional red method with pomace soaking 10-12 days in the must.
Sistema di allevamento Guyot basso con 8-9 gemme sul capo a frutto.
Maturation in stainless steel tanks and subsequently in the bottle positioned horizontally for at least 3 months. Longevity of 3 to 5 years.
Castagnole Monferrato, Piedmont.
Address: via Montalbera, 1 - Castagnole Monferrato (AT)
Web site: www.montalbera.it
Year of starter:
The Agricola Montalbera farm was born at the beginning of the twentieth century in an area between the municipalities of Grana, Castagnole Monferrato and Montemagno.
By the mid-1980s, the Morando family adopted a policy of expansion not yet completed, with the acquisition of adjacent land and the direct planting of new vineyards, predominantly Ruchè. Today, the farm is surrounded by vineyards of a single-circular shape, entirely hilly, with different exposures and soils ranging from clay to limestone. One of the peculiarities that always distinguishes Montalbera in the Piedmontese landscape is to be a reality between the two large wine areas of Piedmont: the Monferrato and the Langhe.
In the Monferrato the vineyards cover six hills, while in the valley there is the cultivation of typical Piedmont hazelnuts. Vineyards vary from 7 to 30 years old, the cultivation form is the low guyot and every cultivation operation is done by hand. 82 hectares are planted in Ruchè, corresponding to 60% of the total name. Other varieties are Barbera d'Asti, Grignolino and Viognier.
In the Langhe 15 hectares of vineyards in a single plot, placed at 408 m.s.l and planted in Moscato d'Asti. The roots of the Morando family leave from here.