This wine is the fruit of the willpower of Mariuccia Borio, who, towards the mid-1980s, decided to recoup an ancient vine that was then in decline and of which she had loving memories, because her parents and old farmers felt it to be a sturdy, generous wine that, if harvested late, was an object of cult and veneration. It was never marketed, for the quantities were always extremely small; it was thus kept in the cellar for special occasions or to be offered to the most important guests.
The task of recouping this vine set off in two directions: one scientific, by funding research that recognised the vine itself and described its characteristics; the other practical and agricultural – looking for residual plants throughout the territory so as to manage to set up the first vineyard with this vine. The scientific research, lasting over twenty years, brought forth highly encouraging results both as regards the identity of the vine, which is certain, well defined and confined to the territory around Costigliole, and as regards its characteristics: its strong resilience, which enables needed treatments to be kept to a minimum; its late ripening, which enables harvesting to be carried out almost in winter on grapes that are still swollen and healthy; rich in polyphenols, especially resveratrole, a now universally recognised symbol of wine’s contribution to man’s health.
Its cultivation has also lasted twenty years, with experiments carried out in the vineyard and in the cellar so as to achieve the finished product, which has convinced the Ministry for Agricultural and Forestry Policies to include “uvalino” among the vines from which wine can be produced in the Piedmont region.
The name Uceline is not a new made-up name; it is the 17th century name given to these late-harvest grapes that were the last left on the vine, so long did they remain on the vine that birds were attracted to them in the lean periods before winter set in.
It is a wine for meditation, austere and rigorous, but with smooth, persuasive notes; a garnet-red colour that lasts over time; slight hints of orange appear in the oldest wines; the bouquet is complex, with notes of small fruit, liquorice and sweet spices that tend to evolve into ever more complex aromas over time. On the palate one appreciates its wide-ranging structure, the power of the ever present but never overwhelming tannins and its lengthy persistence reminiscent of ripe fruit.