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Food and wine

The Italy of Novello

Between October and November this red wine with an intense colour and imposing bouquet is celebrated all over Italy

06 October 2022

2 minutes

One of Bacchus’s excellence, this red wine provided with an intense color and with strong fragrances is the first wine coming from the grape harvest and it is served during the first days of November. In our peninsula the New wine production covers almost the entire national territory, islands included, and are used especially black grapes; however the best grapes are Aglianico, Cannonau, Barbera, Merlot, Nero d'Avola, Corvina, Refosco, Cabernet, Sauvignon and Sangiovese. Its peculiarity is the process of wine making, called “carbonic maceration” during which the whole grapes are fermented. The law imposes to use at least the 30% of wine obtained with this technique. It is an accurate process that consists in pumping carbon dioxide into steel containers filled with whole grape clusters and then raise the temperature up to 35°.

The grape clusters are left in fermentation from 5 to 20 days, during this period the sugars turns into alcohol, enhancing glycerol production. Afterward the grapes are pressed and then starts the traditional fermentation for about 5-6 days. So this wine has at least 11 alcoholic degrees. For this reason its alcohol is poly phenolic, this wine has to be drank young, its maturity sensitivity and fragrance freshness are inclined to run out within just one year. That is why it is necessary not to age it too much and to drink it within 6-12 months. For this reason the deadline date to bottle this wine is the 31st of December of the same year of the grapes harvest.

There are also some New wines that during the bottling are mixed with other wines and so they are more long-lived, in that case the wine may be drank until august. The New wine is now protected and promoted by the Italian Institute of Novello, that was established in 2000, the Italian New wine compared to the Beaujolais, its French ancestor, has an higher profusion of carbonic acid, a bright, dynamic and inviting red color, and a velvet like softness that is easily palatable thanks to a few sugar traces. Another peculiarity of this wine is that, according to a special law, it has to be sold after midnight on November the 6 of the same year of the grape harvest. It is possible to taste New wine during some special events from November the 5th : the midnight opening makes more and more exciting its “coming out”. Starting from the first week of november in Italy there are many events and fairs entirelly dedicated to New wine.

Some events take place during one day or one night, in some other feasts there are real wine tasting tours that take place in orther to appreciate the local excellence and also the beauty of some spots. Among the unmisseble events we would like to point out, "Saint Martin's day in Cellar: the New wine meets local products." The religious feast of St. Martin is a milestone in the wine production process: the farmers, in fact, keep on saying that "in San Martin day each must becomes wine." On the second Sunday of November, in order to celebrate the birth of the New wine, many cellars in Italy open to wine lovers for an exceptional tasting of wines and seasonal products.