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Raboso or Friularo: the history of Venice’s “vin moro”

Raboso or Friularo: the history of Venice’s “vin moro”

In the days of Venice’s Serenissima republic, it used to be called “vin moro”. But it was just the Raboso variety, also known as Friularo, a powerful red grape grown in the vineyards of the lagoon. Today, the city and the Consorzio Vini Venezia have decided to relaunch this historic wine. They also aim to rediscover ancient varieties still present in the tiny plots of vineyards scattered here and there in the city and nearby islands.

Two experimental vineyards in the heart of Venice

“In 2010 the Consorzio Vini Venezia, with the help of Professor Attilio Scienza, from the Universities of Padua and Milan and Cra-Vit in Conegliano,” the president Giorgio Piazza explained, “set up a project to recover the winegrowing biodiversity in Venice with two experimental vineyards in the heart of the city. It has created a genetic bank of varieties present in the Venice area.” Thirty varieties have been identified (including Malvasia, Raboso, Tocai Friulano, Incrocio Manzoni, Refosco, Verduzzo Trevigiano, Pinot, Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay), as well as three still unknown varieties.

The wine of the Discalced Carmelites

One of the places where these varieties were found is the “Giardino dei cinque sensi” at the convent of the Discalced Carmelites, next to Venice’s Santa Lucia station. With grapes grown in these vineyards (roughly 800 plants), the Consorzio will make two wines from the 2017 vintage: Ad Messam (a white) and Prandium (a red). A certain amount of the first (about 1,500 bottles in total) is reserved for the Carmelites and other convents for use during mess.

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