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Wines with Chatus grapes

by | Aug 23, 2016

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Chatus is a black grape variant which is exclusively used in the process of red wine making. This grape, also known as Bournin (in the Piedmontese dialect) or Nebbiolo di dronero, is known by different synonyms depending on where it grows.

Chatus grapes

This grape goes by the name Brunetta or Scarlattinin in the Val Di Susa region or Branchet in the Canavese region.

This grape being called as Nebbiolo di dronero is totally unrelated to the grape cultivated by the famous winemaker of Langhe and hence, to avoid any sort of confusion is referred to as Chatus.

Wine grape varieties

Origin of Chatus grape

Scientists are still trying to figure out the origin of this grape, whether it belongs to the France’s Ardeche, or the Isere region, and therefore being traditional to Piedmont or it travelled in the other direction, making it a rather traditional and not so native variety of France.

When it comes to Italy, documents have been found where the family of Nebiolus belongs to the region of Dronero.

And it is thought that this grape is actually Nebbiolo. Relative to France, the mention of Chatus has been made in Italy long before and besides this grape is exclusively used for parenting several different species of grapes.

As a result of this, the common belief is that this grape belongs to Italy, and is native to Piedmontese region.

Region where Chatus grape is grown

This grape variety was once very common specie in both France as well as Italy. Now, this specie is found only in the lower Val Maira region mainly around the hills of Saluzzo and Pinerolo.

When it comes to France, this variety is practically disappeared, only to be found in Ardeche and that too in very miniscule quantities.

However, with the effort to revive this variety, this grape is planted in the regions of Roziere and Largentiere.

Characteristics of Chatus Grape

Chatus grape is currently only cultivated in Italy and its existence is almost wiped out in France.

However, Chatus grape has been used in both Italy as well as France to create varieties of grapes which are hybrids, such as Sereneze de Voreppe of France, which happens to be a crossing of Chatus and Gouais Blanc, or the varieties of Albarossa, Nebbiera, Cornarea, San Martino, Passau, San Michele, Valentino Nero and Soperga which happen to have one parent as Chatus and are exclusively cultivated in the laboratories of Italy.

Viticulture of Chatus Grape

A mutation of Chatus grape known by the name of Nebbiolo Pairole or Pirole or Paiolo is a grape which is characterized by a little black bottom such that it looks like a dark pot.

In France, this mutation is apparently known as Noir de Maure. This grape variety which is an easy variety to grow is very sensitive to hail storms and slightly sensitive to Oidium.

This grape also offers resistance to grey rot and several fungal infections.

This grape variety is very vigorous and very productive, but it has a bad basal bud fertility which calls for the necessity of green harvests, especially on the fertile flatland soils, where, quality of wines produced using the Chatus grapes is average.

Characteristics of Chatus Wines

The wine made from Chatus grape is often blended with local varieties such as the Neretta Cuneese or the Barbera helping them get a body and a structure.

Since the Chatus wines contain very less sugar levels, these wines tend to have a less alcohol content.

This grape, which grows in the form of small berries has plenty of polyphenols (which includes both anthocyanins as well as tannins) producing wines which are well structured and deeply hued, almost looking purple black when it comes to the colour.

Chatus wines tend to have a delicate spicy taste giving out herbal aromas which are complicated by the hints of prunes and blueberries.

These wines tend to have a savory taste and appear full bodied when it comes to the structure.

Food Pairings with Chatus Wine

This wine is usually paired with foods that can hold its own.

And hence this wine is best suited with Italian food. The wine goes well with roasted vegetables and spaghetti or grilled foods.

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Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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