Located in Carema wine, right at the border with Valle d’Aosta at the foothills of the Alps, Muraje is the brainchild of Federico and Deborah Santini.
Built out of a passion for the area and its oenological history, the winery was set up by Federico and Deborah back in 2012 after a thorough research and exploration of the Carema Wine region and its unique terroir. In Carema, known as the land of “Heroic Viticulture”, cultivation is done by hand and requires hard work and serious hiking skills. Stone staircases connect the terraces, which are filled with glacial “Terreno Morenico”, morainal soil, brought up from the Dora Baltea river at bottom of the valley. The vines here are historically trained using the traditional trellis system, the ‘pergola Caremese' (“topia” in local dialect) and anchored by handmade truncated cone-shaped stone/lime pillars (called “pilun”).
Muraje currently farms 1.5 hectares of vineyards split into several different plots of old vines. The main variety Deborah and Federico focus on is Nebbiolo (specifically, Picotener clone) along with small quantities of other indigenous varieties, such as Neyret, Ner d’Ala, Pugnet (red variety) and Erbaluce (white variety).
The work in the vineyard is carried out manually and requires strength and resilience given the steepness of the terraces. Federico and Deborah follow conventional viticulture methods along with natural practices, with commitment to minimizing the environmental impact of their work on the surrounding environment.
In the cellar the focus is on making pure and expressive wines that speak of the Carema unique terroir. Fermentation is spontaneous, with long maceration (approx. 70 days for the reds) and the use of second/third passage neutral barrels for the ageing process. The wines are unfined and unfiltered. Use of chemicals is kept to a bare minimum and sulphites are added in minimum quantities only if necessary.
Currently Muraje produce two Carema wines in very limited quantities, the Carema Sumié, a stunning 100% Nebbiolo made from multiple small crus averaging 50 years of age and the Lasù, a blend of Nebbiolo (60%) and other lesser-known indigenous black varieties that offer a more approachable, ready to drink Carema experience.
Muraje has been described as "a cult Carema winery", with its limited availability and its increasingly known stellar reputation amongst collectors . Their flagship Carema Wine is one of the most sought-after Piedmont wines today, sold on allocation only and almost impossible to source. It’s a real coup for Ultravino to be Muraje’s exclusive importer in the UK.