Langhe Nas-cëtta of the Municipality of Novello
The «Langhe Nas-cëtta of the municipality of Novello», a fascinating semi-aromatic DOC white wine, is a tribute to the small Langhe municipality, its historical homeland. It is obtained by vinifying in purity the grapes produced in the Novello area, from the native Nascetta vine, an ancient grape of which until a few years ago there was almost no trace, except in a few plants left here and there on the Novello hills: very small old vineyards or a few strains scattered among the rows of noble and noble red vines. The meeting between Nascetta (or Nas-cëtta, as they say in Novello) and the Daniele brothers took place in the late eighties, when Savio heard about them on the benches of the Alba Enological School and, some time later, was able to taste a small production of Nas-cëtta wine from a Novellese winemaker, a relative of his wife. We absolutely had to believe in it and take risks! And this is exactly what happened in Le Strette. Thus it was that Mauro and Savio, respecting their philosophy of the territory, decided to invest heart, passion and experience in a lucky experiment started in 1997 – the year the company was founded – and culminated two years later with the marketing of the first 800 bottles. of “Nas-cëtta-White table wine”: a “clandestine” wine, not yet the vine officially cataloged and registered in the “National Register of Grape Varieties”. From that moment on, the production focus has never moved away from Nas-cëtta, and thus the production of this historic white is consolidated for Le Strette, experiencing firsthand all the bureaucratic transformations related to the rediscovery of the vine and the designation of the wines . The Nascetta was registered on the National Register in 2001 and the “Vino da Tavola” can thus become “Langhe DOC”. In 2010, after a journey that lasted almost twenty years which saw Le Strette among its protagonists, the municipality of Novello was recognized as a historical “sub-zone” for the cultivation of this noble grape. With the “Langhe Nas-cëtta of the municipality of Novello”, this unique white wine can finally enter fully among the great wines of Langa. The challenge continued in 2014, when the “PASINOT®” project began, aimed at enhancing the homonymous Novellese hill on which Nascetta is historically grown; from here starts the production of «Nas-cëtta del Comune di Novello PASINOT®».
The cornerstones of the project:
- Studying and bottling, with a dedicated label, the peculiar characteristics of the Nas-cëtta grapes and wine from this hill, identifying the historical cru.
- Preserve and multiply the biodiversity of the old Nas-cëtta di Novello strains: a “collection vineyard” was created consisting of about 750 strains obtained from the selection and multiplication of 29 old healthy plants identified in three different Novello vineyards (including the oldest , planted here in the Pasinotti family in 1948).
- Give space to Nebbiolo, for a future production of Nebbiolo d’Alba by Le Strette.
Nas-cëtta: some mystery also in the origin of the name
The origins of this name and its meaning are not yet certain. A historical hypothesis is the one put forward in a note by the Montfortian producer Giovanni Gagna in 1873, in which the alleged synonymy with Sardinian Nasco was suggested, from which the name “Nascetta” may have been derived; it seems, however, that it is only a mistaken belief of this author, as Nascetta and Nasco are very distinct grape varieties. Sometimes, in subsequent documents, perhaps in an attempt to render the dialect name in Italian, the article seems to merge with the name: «”A Nas-cëtta” (as they say in novello), that is, “La Nascetta”, thus becomes “Anascetta». At least this is the motivation proposed by Mannini and Macaluso in 1993, and later by Prof. Armando Gambera. With this form, the grape is mentioned, in the nineteenth century, by other authors, such as Count Giuseppe Di Rovasenda in the “Essay of a universal ampelography” of 1877 and Lorenzo Fantini, a Montfortian surveyor, in the “Monograph on Viticulture and Enology in the Province of Cuneo” of 1879 (where the author mentions the grape as “Nascetta” and the wine as “Anascetta”) and in the “Agricultural Monograph on the District of Alba” of 1883 by the Provincial Ampelographic Commission.
«Nascetta», «Nascette», «Anascetta» are not the only variants with which the vine is named. In the “List and quality of vines grown in the Province of Cuneo” of 1879, Count Di Rovasenda also reports the term “Danascette” which is close to the name of a vine mentioned for the Fossano area in the publication “Il Contadino Istruito – Agronomic Almanac” of 1787: an unidentified “Darnasce” of which the author, Count Giuseppe Nuvolone, only states that “it gives the first wine”. We cannot know if this is already the Nascetta, and the fact remains that the name of our variety, certainly cultivated already in times before the 1870s, remains of uncertain origin. Finally, the spelling “Nas-cëtta”, which has returned to use in recent decades, and can only be used for the designation of wines produced in the historical sub-area of the Municipality of Novello, represents a return to the Novellese dialect, in which the vine is mentioned with the “ë” changes, detaching the “s” from the “c”. When dealing with the Nas-cëtta there is nothing simple … but how many satisfactions!