Exploring the Enigmatic Allure of Ruchè Wines
In the vast world of viniculture, Ruchè may not claim the fame of some more celebrated grape varieties. Its origins are shrouded in mystery. The first documented mentions of this grape date back to the early 18th century when Monferrato farmers, nestled in the rolling hills of southern Piedmont in Northwestern Italy, crafted rustic wines for special occasions like weddings and family gatherings. In that era, Ruchè reigned as one of the most prolific and widely cultivated grapes; but its name and significance gradually faded from both maps and local traditions in the early 20th century due to the devastating phylloxera epidemic that ravaged European vineyards in the late 19th century.
Fast forward to 1964, the parish priest of Castagnole Monferrato, Don Giacomo Caudia, discovered a few lines of Ruchè vines in the small parish vineyard and, intrigued, tried to make wine from it. It is thanks to him that local winemakers began to plant it and the Ruchè grape rightfully regained its prestige through the establishment of the Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) in 2010, which underscores the grape's significance and distinctiveness.
Ruchè is today carving a niche for itself worldwide as it is celebrated for yielding wines that are aromatic, elegant, and exceptionally luscious. The uniqueness of this grape shines through in the sensory profile of its wines. A glass of Ruchè wine beckons with an enticing bouquet, where vibrant floral and earthy fruity notes intermingle, reminiscent of delicate rose petals, fragrant violets, and ripe red berries that evoke the allure of freshly made strawberry jam. These wines reveal also an incredibly smooth and elegant palate, boasting a medium-bodied structure, harmonious acidity, and gentle, caressing tannins.
Such a composition makes of Ruchè wines a remarkably versatile companion for a diverse array of culinary delights. They harmonize beautifully with Asian cuisine, particularly dishes infused with spice and rich umami flavours, as well as with raw fish. Ruchè stands out as one of the few red wines that goes extremely well with sushi.
We enjoy the thrill of discovering lesser-known grape varieties and rare wines, and Ruchè shines for its captivating character. The next time you embark on a wine selection adventure with us, consider the allure of a Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato DOCG bottle; and make sure to ask us more about this wine, its history, and its home in the enchanting Piedmont hills of Italy. Salute!