Amazing journey into Raboso Piave

Some weeks ago, we covered Raboso Piave on our social media. In case you missed it, we invite you to read this in-depth article. We will tell you many curiosities about this amazing vine variety, ranging from its history to its main characteristics to end up with its modern interpretations. Enjoy this amazing journey!


The Romans

The Romans were the first ones to study vines in Italy. The classical author Pliny the Elder in his masterpiece “Naturalis Historia” (77 d.c.) named for the first time two vines that probably were the parents of Glera and Raboso. More precisely, Raboso was described as “black as the ace of spades”.

Sgarboso, rabioso, vin da viajo…

Raboso is named again only 1500 years later; the Italian playwright Angelo Beolco – known as Ruzante – mentions it in his “Prima Orazione” and describes it as a semi-sparkling wine whose acidity was so intense that “it was able to make stones digest”.

In that occasion he didn’t call it Raboso, but sgarboso”, which means “rude” in Ruzante’s ancient Italian dialect. Nowadays, we are still not sure about the wine name’s origin.

According to some theories, the name “Raboso” comes from rabiosa (an Italian dialect word meaning “angry”, “aggressive”). It is very likely that the name refers to the main features of the wine (strong acidity and tannic texture).

Jacopo Agostinetti is the first writer referring properly to Raboso in his work “Cento e dieci Ricordi che formano il buon fattor di villa” (1679 d.C). We know from this book that Raboso was very popular among Venetians at the time, due to its suitability to long sea travels. It was probably thanks to the Republic of Venice that Raboso spread all over the world. The famous playwright Carlo Goldoni defined Raboso as “vin da viajo”, which means “wine suitable for travels”.

What about Raboso Piave?

A curiosity about Raboso Piave: the bottles that first associated Raboso with Piave territory were found in English cellars at the end of XVIII century. A true globetrotter, appreciated for centuries inside and outside the Italian borders!

Raboso Piave identikit

Let’s now discuss the main characteristics of this vine.

Grapes have red berries, and the truncated cone-shaped bunch has one or two wings, usually not very developed.

The plant is strong and sprouts quite early, yet it is among the last vines to be harvested (around the end October). Production is generally abundant. It best grows in stony alluvial and dry soils… like our Grave di Papadopoli!

The color of the wine is deep ruby with traces of purplish highlights. The heady aromas of Morello cherry are combined with great freshness and sapidity in the mouth as well as a good structure. Almost aggressive when still young due to its considerable tannic texture, it becomes smoother with times and its aromas evolve into ripe red fruit and light leather.

Raboso butches just before harvest

Raboso Piave and Tenuta San Giorgio

Venetians appreciated Raboso in its original version, but today consumers prefer a smoother one. For this reason, in 2010 the DOCG Malanotte del Piave was born.

Tenuta San Giorgio and Malanotte

In Tenuta San Giorgio we immediately took the challenge up and created our own Malanotte del Piave DOCG: Brumanera.

Why Brumanera? To celebrate the time of Raboso harvest, which takes place at the end of October. In that period, the fog (or Bruma) is the queen of Veneto’s landscape.

Let’s have a look at the production process of this amazing wine.

A portion of the grapes is left to dry on racks for 90 days in a temperature-controlled, ventilated room; the rest is immediately subjected to traditional vinification on steel fermenters with long maceration and frequent pumping over. When this process is complete, we proceed to racking and drawing off. Assemblage of the two batches takes place only after the aging phase (which lasts at least 28 months) before bottle refinement (4 months).

From Tenuta San Giorgio to Hollywood

Brumanera is not the only Raboso star of our winery!

Reposum is a mellow straw wine made from Raboso grapes, which surprises for its freshness.

Traces of candied black cherry give way to notes of toasted cocoa beans.

Grapes are dried for three months on racks; after maceration, racking and drawing off, the wine ages 18 to 20 months in oak barriques. We recommend to pair it to dark chocolate.

Reposum and Brumanera

Tasting time

We hope you enjoyed this journey discovering Raboso Piave. If you are intrigued and wish to taste this surprising wine, we’ll be waiting for you at Tenuta San Giorgio.