Italian wine: Ramato: Taking Rosè to the Next Level
- WTI Magazine #141 Jul 17, 2021
In highlighting Ramato wines of Italy this month I was shocked to see that I haven’t discussed these wines on my sight yet. With the rosè market on the rise it is the perfect time to highlight these wines. They’re not red, white or rosè wines, but the best of all worlds.
Ramato wines are home to the Friuli Venezia Giulia region in the northeastern region of Italy. Ramato stems from the Italian word, rame, meaning copper as these wines are typically copper colored or varying levels of pink based on the preference of the producer and how long they choose to macerate the skins with the juice. These wines have also been called “orange wines”, which is a term one may have come across more than ramato.
Ramato wines have historically been long produced in the Friuli region, but took somewhat of a back seat to dry styles of Pinot Grigio hit the market with the highly exported Santa Margherita that was pushed to the markets in the 60’s. Due to the popularity of Pinot Grigio many producers shifted their focus to that style for some time. So although it may seem that Ramato is newer to the market, it has long existed in the traditional winemaking of the Friuli wine region.
How does a Ramato wine differ from rosè? One is the color are they are more orange tinted. A second factor is that rosè wines are typically produced from black grapes where Ramato wines are produced from Pinot Grigio grapes that are more pinkish in color with gray hues, hence the name grigio meaning gray in Italian. I won’t necessarily say that Ramato wines always have more depth and complexities than other rosè in the world or at least throughout Italy. There are versions of rosè, for example Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo, that tend to be heavier in body with a richer profile than some of the crisp, lighter styles of rosé. Although, Ramato wines typically do show more depth, layers and structure than your average rosé. Notes of dried fruits, stone fruits and spice are quite common characteristics.
Ramato wines are all very versatile and rather food friendly. Due to their body and structure they pair lovely with a variety of options including cured meats, shellfish, chicken and vegetarian dishes. Italy is not the only country to produce Ramato wines as you will find producers throughout the United States also making these wines, but their roots are in Italy.