Prünent is a black grape variety, a clone of Nebbiolo. It is native to the Ossola Valley, which produces one of the DOC Valli Ossolane wines.
A look at the origins of the Prünent
The name “Prünent” derives from the Latin “pruina” (frost), so it refers to the harvest period (end of October-November) when the ground in the morning is still covered with frost. This word can also find its origin in “prunum” (plum tree) because it was traditional to cultivate the vine with wild plums.
It is an ancient vine: it was mentioned in a document dating back to around 1309, written by Dumino di Pello from Trontano, who left an annual donation of nine bushels (about 200 litres) to the convent of San Francesco in Domodossola. This man specified that the wine had to be all Prünent, which was to be used only for the celebration of the mass.
In the past, Prünent was a perpetual vintage wine that was aged in a single barrel, known and appreciated even outside the Ossola borders. In the second half of the 1800s, the phylloxera began to attack vines all over Europe without sparing the Prünent. Consequently, the winegrowers were forced to craft European varieties on American rootstocks so the vine, including Prünent, can be protected from phylloxera.
Nowadays is still possible to find some no-crafted vine of Prünent, which is more than 200 years old.
Since 1990, this ancient vine’s recovery is underway: the wineries have managed to produce a wine of quality and structure, appreciated by critics, which competes on par with the other great Piedmontese Nebbiolo.
Prünent is grown on the sunny hills of Domodossola, Villadossola,Trontano, Masera and Montecrestese.
How is Prünent made?
This vine needs dry soil and good sun exposure. By cultivating it with the guyot method, budding is early, and its fertility is medium-low, thus guaranteeing production of excellent quality.
The harvest takes place at the end of September/middle of October. Fermentation lasts about a month in steel tanks, where the wine is stored until spring and then aged in French oak barrels for at least one year. The ageing in the bottle, on the other hand, lasts for a few months.
The typical characteristics of Prünent are due to the changes in temperature between day and night: intense ruby red, full-bodied and tannic, alcoholic with floral notes. It goes perfectly with risotto, game, and savory cheeses.
Discover the Prünent Stella 2018 of the Azienda Agricola Edoardo Patrone, which was awarded as one of the 100 best wines in Italy by Golosaria: