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Monferrato Region

Monferrato - Panorama
Monferrato - ViewMonferrato - Barbaresco WineMonferrato - Sacred Mountain of Crea

The Region of Monferrato is among the most important wine districts in Italy.

Located in northern Italy Monferrato is part of of the region of Piedmont. The area is divided in two by the Tanaro River: the Low Montferrat and the High Montferrat.

In 2014 the Monferrato Region became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Region is well-known around the world thanks to its wine production. Famous are its white sparkling wines and bold red wine!

Since the Roman domination the abundance of indigenous grapes had made the area very popular among the wine lovers. Thanks to the variety of grapes that are cultivated in the local vineyards the winemaker have been able to offer to the public many excellent wines. The most famous ones are: Barbera d’Asti, Dolcetto d’Asti, Asti Spumante, Moscato d’Asti and Malvasia.

The Monferrato is also renowned for its truffles’ production. Every year during the months of November and December many towns host Truffle Fairs.

While discovering the area visitors can also enjoy the delicious traditional local cuisine! Everybody can be sure to find something that can please the palate; in fact the dishes are very diversified varying from vegetables, cheeses, meat and fish!

Things to see

The entire region was theatre of many battles after the end of the Roman Empire. Different conquerors from south and north had tried to put their hands on this rich and strategic region.

Today it is possible to admire the result of these different dominations thanks to the many well preserved churches, castles and palaces built during the centuries. The styles varies from Romanesque and Gothic to Renaissance and Baroque.

Famous in the area is also the Sacred Mountain of Crea, a sanctuary located in the town of Serralunga di Crea. The sanctuary is one of the nine Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Vino Barolo

Vino Barolo - Glass of Barolo
Vino Barolo - View from the Barolo Wine MuseumVino Barolo - BarrelsVino Barolo - Barolo and Decanter

Barolo is a red DOCG wine produced in Piedmont; it is made 100% from Nebbiolo grapes and it is probably one of the most famous Italian wines!

To protect the authenticity of this expensive wine there are many rules to regulate its production.  First of all the Barolo’s vineyards have to be located on hillsides; the wine needs to age a minimum of 38 months, of which at least 18 months in wood barrels. To call it a Riserva the process need to be longer, minimum 5 years.

Originally the Barolo’s winemakers adopted very strict procedures. The fermenting wine stayed in contact with the grape skins for 3 weeks, and then the wine was aged in wood for years. The result was a wine so rich in tannin that in order to be drinkable it was needed to wait around 10 years.

When the wine started to became very popular many producers decided to cut the fermentation times and introduced few changes in order to produce a fruitier wine more appealing for an international audiences.

The so called “Barolo Wars” started in 1970 between the producers who refused to change their methods and the ones who embraced the new ones.

In 1980 the entire region gained DOCG status. The area is fairly vast so it is possible to find differences between the Barolos produced due to the different soils, expositions and altitudes.

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The Nebbiolo grape is traditionally harvested in October.

Barolo is a rich and full bodied wine, lightly colored with a complex aroma.

Sometimes the old Barolo is used to create an aromatic after-dinner digestif: the Barolo Chinato.

The wine is aromatized with the bark of the cinchona tree and ingredients like vanilla, cinnamon or coriander are added. Every producer has his own special recipe!

Due to the Barolo’s full taste when paired with food it is always better to prefer rich dishes. Meat plates, risotto or heavy pastas are usually the best choices!