Ruché (roo kay) is a red Italian wine grape variety from the Piedmont region. It is largely used in making Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato, a small production red varietal wine which was granted Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) status by presidential decree on October 22, 1987. The current DOC recognized area of production for the wine, covers only about 100 acres (40 hectares) of vines around the villages of Castagnole Monferrato, Refrancore, Grana, Montemagno, Viarigi, Scurzolengo and Portacomaro. Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato is, therefore, one of the lowest production varietal wines in Italy. The grape is also grown to some extent in the neighboring province of Alessandria.
There is some debate about the origins of the Ruché grape. One theory is that the varietal is indigenous to the hills northeast of the town of Asti. Another theory is that the grape is a local variation on a French import. It has been grown in the area for at least one hundred years but has only recently been marketed and consumed outside of the immediate vicinity of its production. Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato tends to be medium bodied with notes of pepper and wild berries and floral aromas on the nose. The wine is often characterized by moderate acidity and soft tannins. In the Piedmont region it is often paired with slow-cooked beef, northern Italian cheeses and mushrooms.A rather mysterious grape which hails from Piemonte, and make a light ruby coloured wine with a distinctive perfume.
The exact origins of Ruché are unknown with ampelographers holding different theories. The two most prominent theories is either grape is indigenous to the Piedmont region or that it originated in Burgundy and was brought to Piedmont sometime in the 18th century. While not knowing with certainty the origin, we can say that the variety is cultivated since ancient times in the hills north-west of the province of Asti, in the territory of Castagnole Monferrato. His name may derive from "roncet, infectious degeneration of viral origin, for its resilience to viruses than other varieties in the area, for others it may be due to his predilection for rocks more steep and sunny. It is said, finally, that might have resulted in the Monferrato the brotherhood of the monks of San Rocco. In the early 21st century, the grape experience a slight revival of interest with the DOC wine of Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato which is sometimes marketed under the label Rouchet
The current DOC, or EU recognized area of production, covers only about 40 hectares (100 acres) of vines around the villages of Castagnole Monferrato, Refrancore, Grana, Montemagno, Viarigi, Scurzolengo and Portacomaro. Ruché is, therefore, one of the lowest production varietals in Italy.
Follows, by region, a list of all DOC and DOCG is allowed where the use of this vine.
- Ruché Castagnole Monferrato - min. 90%
Viticulture and winemaking
Ruché shares some similarities with the major Piedmontese grape Nebbiolo in that it tends to produce very tannic, light colored wines with pronounced aromas and bouquet. The wines are often characterized with a slight bitter aftertaste. Ruché is a very distinctive, medium bodied wine with clear notes of pepper and wild berries. The wine is quite floral on the nose. Its body is characterized by a pleasant acidity and soft tannins. It pairs well with slow-cooked beef and formidable northern Italian cheeses and mushrooms like gorgonzola and porcini, respectively.
Environmental and cultural characteristics and needs : it has medium leaf, pentagonal, often lobed, but also five lobes; cluster medium or medium-large, elongated and winged (1 to 3 wings), medium loose, medium berry, spheroidal, slightly waxy peel and thick. He has medium vigor and high-average production and quite regular, even if affected of the development of time during flowering. Needs of hilly, light, not very fertile, to avoid excessive force and the release of abundant shoots.
Diseases and adversity : he average resistance to mildew and botrytis , but it is more sensitive to ' powdery mildew . It has good resistance to viral phenomena of curling and tolerates little cold. The shoots, by their fragility, are easily damaged by wind. Subject to frequent damage from the attack of hornets, wasps and bees.
Rochè, Rouche and Rouchet.