The history of this variety curiously named, typical of Asti surroundings in Piedmont, does not go back through centuries. The first mention of this variety dates, in fact, to 1834, when the famous pomologist Giorgio Gallesio meets a 'Roché' in Portacomaro (Asti) during his travels addressed the inventory of fruit varieties (Gallesio, 1995). In other historical documents Ruché is mentioned under the synonym of Moscatellina (or Moscatellino), the name used in the Alessandria province, an area close to the one where Ruché is currently cultivated (Schneider et al., 2003).
A ‘Moscatellino’ was in fact noted by Giorgio Gallesio in Valenza (Alessandria) in 1831, during another of his inspections (cited book). A quotation even older (although dubious) is the one from Giuseppe Acerbi, who reported in 1825 a 'Moscatello raro' among the grapes from Valenza. We cannot be sure if this ‘Moscatello nero’ corresponded to our Moscatellina or Ruché. The two synonyms Moscatellina or Ruché prevailed according to the area: in the west, near Asti, the variety was called Ruché, while it was known as Moscatellina moving towards east. Then, the name of Ruché disappeared from historic documents, where only Moscatellina-Moscatellino are mentioned later. Perhaps Ruché has to be identified with the 'Moscatellino rosso' described by Demaria and Leardi (1875), a minor variety grown near Casale Monferrato.
The first morphology description of Ruché is the one included in the monograph about grape varieties from Piedmont (Schneider et al., 2006). Because of the absence of former comprehensive descriptions, this one should be regarded as a reference for this variety. It is in fact displayed the website of the Italian Grape Variety Catalogue (http : //catalogoviti.politicheagricole.it/catalogo.php).