Indigenous Varieties: Neretta Cunese

This week’s indigenous variety is called Neretta Cunese. It hails from the province of Cuneo in Piedmont, a town that I have never been to but one that has always interested me for personal and professional reasons. Someone I have been close to for many years was born in Cuneo. She often tells stories about how she grew up there living with her very strict grandmother. Here is some interesting information about the area from a website for tourism. Cuneo is very famous for it’s chocolates Apparently producing more than any other area of Italy. Hazels are also a delicacy with the Gentile Trilobata’ getting a PGI or (Protected Geographical Indication)  designation.

Back to our grape variety which is a red one that produces a rustic wine with moderate alcohol. Not often seen on its own, it is usually blended with other grape varieties.

Neretta Cuneese is often blended with another indigenous or autochthonous variety called Avanà and can be used in the Valsusa DOC. These wines from the Collini Torinesi can be produced from vineyards in the following areas: Almese, Borgone di Susa, Bruzolo, Bussoleno, Caprie, Chianocco, Chiomonte, Condove, Exilles, Giaglione, Gravere, Mattie, Meana di Susa, Mompantero, Rubiana, San Didero, San Giorio di Susa, Susa and Villarfocchiardo.

Valsusa DOC got its denomination in October 1997. Yet grape vines have been in the area for centuries thanks to the diffusion of the wine through the monasteries on the Via Franchigena – the road that leads throughout Italy and that pilgrims have followed to Rome. The  Benedictine Monastery in Novalesa was founded by an Abbot named Abbone who listed grape vines among the property of the Abbey in 739.

I found an interesting website dedicated to wines from the Torino area. I found a producer who makes Valsusa wines, even Ice wines, using Neretta called Casa Ronsil.

Torino is a truly interesting city and one that should be visited by all.I meant to go this summer with my son but didn’t make it. It’s definitely on my radar for my next trip.

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