Ruchè is a small production red grape grown on no more than a total of 40 hectares in around the villages of Castagnole Monferrato, Refrancore, Grana, Montemagno, Viarigi, Scurzolengo and Portacomaro. It was first granted DOC status in 1987 and then DOCG status in 2010.
A medium-bodied, aromatic red, Ruchè is known for a nose full of fresh forest, roses, notes of wild berries, plums, summer cherries & spice. With good acidity and tannins, it’s made for food. Enjoy with the specialties of the region – truffles, mushroom risotto, braised meats and game, pastas.
Our featured direct import is, Agricola Luca Ferraris, whose vineyards extend in the hills of Castagnole Monferrato in the province of Asti (Piedmont), where Ruchè was born:
“To understand how the Luca Ferraris winery came about we must trace the story back to the nineteenth century when Luca’s great-grandfather Luigi Ferraris immigrated to America during the gold rush. Striking gold, he sent the money back to his wife Bruno Teresa, giving her the chance to realize her dream. After her husband passed away in 1921, she bought the house in Via al Castello that until recently housed Luca’s winery. Two years later, Luca’s grandfather Martino purchased II Casot, at the time nothing more than a simple rural hut in the middle of 40,000 square meters of land. Martino planted vines and bought barrels to make wine with his own grapes in his own cellar. He started by selling his wine to wholesalers in the area, then later began to increase his business by selling larger bottles to individuals traveling back and forth to Turin every week on horseback. Today on that land we have one of our most representative vineyards: Vigna del Casot.
Following the footsteps of Luca’s grandfather Martino, it was up to his father to decide what to do with the family’s passion for wine. In the time of the great industrialization by Fiat in Turin, he moved to the city as his peers did, but he also decided to keep his passion for the vineyards alive by collecting and giving its grapes to the agricultural cooperative in the village. That continued every year until 1999, when after graduation as an agriculturist, Luca began working at the family business, restoring the old cellar and starting to make wine from the vineyards. It was the turning point for the operation, and perhaps even for the Ruchè variety. In the area of the seven municipalities producing Ruchè, Luca was the first to thin vineyards to improve their quality. He wanted the company to specialize exclusively in high-quality production and also began to travel the world looking for new customers and markets. Production was raised from 10,000 bottles in the 2000 vintage to 60,000 in 2003 thanks to a partnership with Randall Grahm, the Californian winemaker founder of already famous for his Bonny Doon Vineyard. Today the Ferraris estate produces about 130,000 bottles of wine (about 50,000 of Ruchè) from 18 vineyards covering 25 hectares. Luca Ferraris Agricola is the largest family owned agricultural company in the seven municipalities of the Ruchè-growing region.”
We carry two Ruchè wines & a Barbera d’Asti from Luca Ferraris:
Luca Ferraris Clàsic Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato DOCG
6-9 months in oak big barrel; 3 months in the bottle, unfiltered. Ruby red color. Forest woods and rose petals. Flavors of ripe raspberries, summer cherries, spice & flowers. Enjoy with truffles, game, medium-aged cheeses, red and white meats, pasta, especially mushroom risotto.
Luca Ferraris Bric d'Bianc Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato DOCG
Stainless steel; 3 months in the bottle, unfiltered. Ruby red with purple rim. Nose of roses and cherries. On the palate: plums, ripe raspberries with hint of candied orange. Clean, dry finish. Pair with white and red meats, pasta, young and medium aged cheeses, game.
Luca Ferraris del Martin Barbera d’Asti DOCG
9 months French oak; 3 months in the bottle, unfiltered. Garnet red with violet reflections. Violets, herbs and spices on the nose. Intense flavors with ripe black raspberries, macerated cherries, spicey notes and a balanced acidity. Enjoy with white and red meats, pasta, young and medium aged cheeses, game.
Please contact us if you are interested in these wines at the wholesale level. If you would like to purchase them at the retail level, they are available at Portalis Wine Shop in Ballard and can be ordered through your favorite local Seattle wine shop.
Julie & Jens, owners
J. Strecker Selections