The Veneto is one of Italy’s most productive wine regions, producing nearly 185,000,000 gallons of wine per year. What
separates the Veneto from other mega-producing regions, such as Sicily and Puglia, is that many wines from the Veneto are still hand-crafted boutique items, whereas Sicily and Puglia provide much of the wine that is used either for blending purposes throughout Europe or intended for vermouth production. That being said, with a plethora of wine to choose from, many of the more unique, and lesser-known varieties often get lost in the shuffle, such as Raboso.
Raboso, also called Negron, is indigenous to the Veneto and is used in a variety of blended wines such as Valpolicella and Bardolino. The grape often adds complexity, fruit, and structure to these wines. When it’s used to produce wine on its own,
Raboso yields inky wines with high levels of tannin and raspberry fruit flavors. It’s not uncommon to find Raboso being poured as the house wine in cafes in Venice and Murano. In these quaint eateries, tourists can take a break from shopping for the latest in fashion and hand-blown glassware, and enjoy some of the Veneto’s numerous cheeses and wines.
In recent years, some producers have produced sparkling wines from Raboso, and the results, so far, have been successful. These sparklers are often rich in strawberry fruits, but are still crisp and sharp with killer acidity, ideal for rich cheeses like Ubriaco or Taleggio.
In conclusion, Raboso is a fun and simple Italian wine, and although it’s a bit hard to find outside of Italy, wines produced from this funky variety rarely cross the $30 threshold in retail shops. Look for Tessere’s 100% Raboso as an approachable starter to this grape (Imported by Clyde Thomas).