Muetto, the non-existent wine from Val Borbera

Muetto, the non-existent wine from Val Borbera

Muetto is a vine from Val Borbera, for which a project called This Vivo Non Existe is underway: we will tell you its story.

Have you ever heard of Muetto ? Difficult if you are not a resident of the Val Borbera , theater of the exploitation of the territory carried out by the heroic young farmers of Cascina Barbàn . Muetto is a native vine of this valley where today serious wines  like Nibiò or Timorasso dominate. Muetto is quite the opposite, it is a semi-aromatic grape with a great yield, capable of high sugar concentrations, which gives a simple and light wine , suitable for the whole meal and which is drunk young, ” a jaunty wine ” as Maurizio explains. Carucci, promoter of the project This Wine Does Not Exist .

” Muetto is a vine that has always been cultivated here, no written documents have yet been found that attest to its cultivation and trade in more ancient times, what is known has been handed down verbally, for the moment, we know that surely the early 1900 there were large areas in the area cultivated with Muetto, and it is known that it was a vine mainly used for the blending of other wines. At a certain point, we know that its cultivation was totally abandoned, it was no longer interesting compared to other types of grapes and wines. Until we arrived – says Maurizio – we like this grape, for the way it behaves in its territory and for the wine it gives us, which we really like very much “.

The characteristics of the Muetto

The main problem is that Muetto does not exist on paper: it is a vine that has been abandoned to itself and never again cultivated in contemporary times . In 2015 Maurizio with the help of the ampelographer Stefano Raimondi surveyed all the wine varieties in the area, those that have survived modernity: among the many, Muetto (because despite everything, some alive vineyards have remained) struck him in particular for its characteristics, so different from the more classic wines. It is not easy to describe in words, it should be tasted, but Muetto is a light red wine, with a bright and vivid color, with aromas of rose, cherry, but also peach, acaciaand much more. A wine certainly typical of the Valley that hosts it precisely due to the characteristics of the vine, which knows and exploits the climatic peculiarities of Val Borbera to perfection: in fact the grapes ripen early, around mid-September, and sprout late, almost two weeks later. the other vines.

In the years following Maurizio was joined by Martina Panarese , then Pietro Ravazzolo , Andrea Tacchella from the Nebraie winery and Federico: the group is better known as Paradiso Val Borbera , whose goal is to celebrate the territory and promote it through its wines , its products and its biodiversity. In 2018 the first Muetto della Val Borbera vineyard was born, in Cascina Barbàn.

A practically illegal vineyard

However, there is a problem: to date the Muetto cannot be cultivated . Not being registered in the Piedmontese Wine Varieties Register it is practically illegal . From this difficulty was born the idea of This Wine Does Not Exist , a communication campaign dedicated to the Muetto and its history, linked to a crowdfunding to collect the amount necessary to start the registration process.. By registering the Muetto it will in fact be possible that anyone who wants it, in Val Borbera and in Piedmont, can cultivate and vinify this grape. Registration costs are considerable and the process is very long: it can last up to 3 years. The original group consisted of 5 people; today, after the experience of crowdfunding and the beautiful communication action regarding this project, they have reached 326. The goal has been fully achieved, indeed doubled: the amount collected is in fact much higher than that requested, 6000 euro and more than 13,000 have been collected and the registration process has begun. We just have to wait . Will there be other illegal varieties in Italy? Do you know similar experiences in your territories?

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