La Cascinetta

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Monferatto, Piedmont, Italy

With the help of her parents, Valentina Bortolin established the family-owned winery in 2008 from an abandoned vineyard. With a total of 7 hectares (17 acres) of property and less than 4 acres planted to the Ruchè grape, the winery is named after the old cottage on the property known as ‘La Cascinetta’. Valentina and her partner, Giancarlo, personally see to every stage of production from the organically farmed vineyards to vinification and bottling. In the hills of Castagnole Monferrato, just outside the town of Asti, the Ruchè grape receives noble DOCG status. From calcareous-tuffaceous soils, this unique and expressive grape is one of the most exciting varieties making a comeback in Piedmont region today. Ruchè is an aromatic red variety more complex than Lacrima or Brachetto and expresses strong and exotic aromas of raspberries, red flowers, and spice. Locally it was a wine reserved for special occasions, and thanks to the DOCG status granted in 2010, we are seeing a renaissance of complex, beautiful wines made with Ruchè.

Ruchè is a rare, indigenous grape found in the hills outside the town of Asti in the Piedmont region. The DOC was established in 1987 and was later granted DOCG status in 2010. The DOCG zone includes only 7 communes with less than 100 hectares (240 acres) under vine in 2015. According to Ian D’Agata, in his book “Native Grapes of Italy,” “If there is one Italian grape that wine lovers really ought to know, it is Ruchè.”

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