Chatus: general information

general information managed by Istituto per la Protezione Sostenibile delle Piante - CNR
How to cite this source Schneider A., Torello Marinoni D., Raimondi S., 2014. Chatus. In: Italian Vitis Database,, ISSN 2282-006X
acknowledgments Ager Foundation, Regione Piemonte
botanical information
type of origin
Vitis vinifera
variety group
not available
variety for
Registered in the National Catalogue
Official name
Chatus N.
documented synonyms (4)
synonyms documented by the Istitution that appear with the eventual support of the literature
  • Nebbiolo (di Dronero) (Cuneo province)
  • Bourgnin (Saluzzese, Cuneo province)
  • Neirét (Pinerolese, Torino province)
  • Brunetta (Valle di Susa, Torino province)
wrong denominations (2)
wrong denominations indicated by the Istitution that appear with the eventual support of the literature
  • Scarlattin (Valle di Susa, Torino province)
  • Brachét (Canavese, Torino province)
released clones
  • shoot
  • leaf
  • bunch
  • berry
Historical references

Chatus, the name used for this variety in France (Schneider et al., 2001), is not only the one in the earliest quotations of this cultivar, but it is also the name that avoid any confusion, as will be stated later. This variety is in fact grown since long times on both French and Italian sides of the western Alps. The earliest known historical reference is in the famous Théâtre d’Agriculture by Olivier de Serres (1600), where Chatus is quoted together with other grapes. Hailing from Maurienne according to some authors, in late 1800 its cultivation was spread in France from Savoy to Massif Central, always on acidic, poor, siliceous soils, where it was in the past the dominant variety in an astonishing mountain environment, shaped by the amazing intersecting of dry stone walls, hanging on the valleys following the contour lines (Couderc, 1902).

It is likely that Chatus was in the past highly widespead in Piedmont too, because it is found today, as variety of lesser importance and under different synoyms, alongside the foot of the Alps from Mondovì near the Ligurian Appennines to the Ossola valley (Schneider e Bronzat, 1991). With the synonyms Bolgnino and Nebbiolo di Dronero (o simply Nebbiolo) was mentioned because of its tollerance to Botrytis, and the wine deep colour and body (Di Rovasenda, 1902; Arrigo, 1910). Few decades before, the “Bulletins” edited by the Ampelographic Commissions of the Italian Provinces pointed out the intense cultivation of Bolgnino in the surroundings of Saluzzo, and its synoym Neretto (locally Neirét) in the area of Pinerolo (Commissione ampelografica provincia di Cuneo, 1879; Provana di Collegno, 1881). The historical references to a Brunetta or Scarlattin in the Susa valley, and to a Brachèt in the Canavese must be again assigned to Chatus, who has been observed in those places with those names.

distribution & variation

Even though a grape of lesser importance today, Chatus is extensively spread in the alpine valleys and in the area at the foot of the western Alps, always on poor, acidic, siliceous soils to which plant vigour, good stress resistance and phenological features favour its adaptability. Chatus is today the object of a certain revival especially in France, where its acreage reach today 64 ha (2011 data from Plantgrape: In Italy Chatus accounts for less than 10 ha, all located at the foot of the Alps.

A somatic variant showing the berry skin almost completely lacking of bloom, therefore deeply black coloured (named in France Mouret), was found also in Italy where it was historically called Nebbiolo pairolé from the term “paiolo”, the pot blackened at its base by the fire smoke.

technological use

Chatus varietal wines do not lack in personality: they are rich in body and therefore long lasting. Blended with other grapes, Chatus gives sugars, colour, tannins and a great acidity. Must pH of this late ripening variety is always low, resulting in a crispy acidity in the mouth.

Traditional ingredient of mountain viticulture, Chatus must be seen in France and in Italy as one of the varieties on which found the revival of original local wines, closely related to the alpine territories. 

bibliographies (8)
authors year title journal citation
Arrigo T. 1910 Ampelografia. Viticoltura ed enologia sovrattutto nella provincia di Cuneo manoscritto, Vol. VI, Biblioteca Civica di Saluzzo.
Commissione ampelografica della provincia di Cuneo. 1879 Elenco e qualità dei vitigni coltivati nella provincia di Cuneo. Bullettino ampelografico, XI, 311-353.
Couderc G. 1902 Chatus In: Viala P., Vermorel V. Ampélographie. Tome III, Masson (Paris)
De Serres O. 1600 Le théâtre d'agriculture et mésnage des champs I. Metayer (Paris)
Di Rovasenda G. 1902 Bolgnino In: Viala P., Vermorel V. Ampélographie. Tome III, Masson (Paris).
Provana di Collegno L. 1881 Viticoltura ed enologia nel territorio di Cumiana (circondario di Pinerolo). Bullettino Ampelografico, XIV: 9-21.
Schneider A., Bronzat F. 1991 ‘Neretti’ del Piemonte: I. ‘Neiret’, ‘Nebbiolo di Dronero’ o ‘Bolgnino’. Quad. Vitic. Enol. Univ. Torino, 15: 131-141.
Schneider A., Carra A., Akkak A., This P., Laucou V., Botta R. 2001 Verifying synonymies between grape cultivars from France and Northwestern Italy using molecular markers. Vitis 40, 4, 197-203.
updated at 2016-11-16 14:07:34 (7 years ago)