Italian Indigenous Varieties: Chatus Nero

The world looks so chaotic this week following the bloody weekend news from Kenya, Pakistan and Israel, among other places, including New York City where a Columbia Professor was assaulted in what appears to be a hate crime. It takes my breath away and makes me think it is silly to continue with my wine blog when so much is happening including the UN meetings but I believe education, civility and improving people’s lives is what will make a difference. One can argue that writing about wine is totally tangential to any of this and certainly writing about obscure varieties is even more so but I think about writing about grape varieties as a way to document nature and local traditions, and culture. Respect for individuals, their culture and our differences as well as celebrating diversity is really the only anecdote I can see to hatred and ignorance. Enough said, back to Chatus.

This is a local variety from Piedmont. Often it is also called Nebbiolo di Dronero. Rarely used to make wines alone, it is often blended with other varieties and brings both body and structure to the wine. I have seen it described as a “rustic” grape meaning not refined in terms of its taste profile. It grows in most of Piedmont and is said to be relatively resistant to parasites of all types. I only found one winery that mentioned it specifically, Azienda Agricola Prever, a winery in Piedmont which is seems is run by women, another of my favorite subjects.

What would the world look like if woman were at the head of most nations? Sometimes I really wonder what the differences would be. In wineries, the difference are subtle but consistent throughout all regions and all countries I believe.

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