SWEET HILLS PIEMONTE EDUCATIONAL TOUR” MAY 2013: I Vini del Monferrato: (press information in English)
Incontro con i produttori delle uve autentiche del Piemonte.
La degustazione sarà dedicata alle uve autoctone del Piemonte nell’ambito del Educational Tour con un gruppo di cinque giornalisti provenienti da Germania, Polonia,
Australia ed Inghilterra.
Il programma dei giornalisti è originale perchè dedicato solo al Monferrato!! Il Monferrato ha piu storia vinicola delle Langhe ma la stampa internazionale ne parla
Paul Balke, vive in Italia da diversi anni ma è un giornalista olandese che conosce molto bene i vini italiani, in particolare quelli piemontesi. Chiediamo a Paul:-“Come mai ti sei
attivato per promuovere i nostri vini?”
Paul Balke:-“L’iniziativa è nata perchè sul Piemonte, in particolare sulle Langhe, c’è molta attenzione da parte della stampa estera mentre sul Monferrato non esistono
delle iniziative di promozione specifiche che creino lo stesso interesse. Ho gia portato altre volte qualche gruppo di giornalisti stranieri che sono rimasti ben impressionati.
Il Monferrato è un bellissimo territorio con molto potenziale, ma bisogna farlo conoscere.
Il Tour è stato organizzato grazie ai contributi delle varie aziende partecipanti.”
Di seguito il programma di massima:
Venerdi 24 maggio, ore 15.30, Azienda agricola Tenuta dei Fiori a Calosso:
– Presentazione delle uve autentiche dalle vari produttori
Le aziende e i vini in degustazione:
1 Chiarlo Albarossa
2 Cascina Castlet Uvalino
3 Garrone Vini Prunent
4 Massa Timorasso
5 Castello di Verduno Verduno pelaverga
6 Rivetto Nascetta
7 Tenuta dei Fiori Gamba di Pernice
8 Maero vini Pelaverga di Saluzzo
La degustazione si svolge nella cantina di Tenuta dei Fiori, a Calosso.
Ore 20.00, ristorante Locanda del Boscogrande a Montegrosso d’Asti:
– cena con i produttori
PIEMONTE EDUCATIONAL TOUR”
1. SWEET HILLS, Barbera, Moscato and truffles
2. The world of Moscato
3. The world of Barbera
4. The North of Monferrato: Casalese and others
5. North Piemonte
6. The indigenous grapes of Piemonte
© Paul Balke, Piemonte, gennaio 2013
SWEET HILLS PIEMONTE
Barbera, Moscato and truffles..
WHY SWEET HILLS?
About the name:
Piemonte, one of the world’s most impressive and fascinating wine territories, possesses landscapes of great beauty. They not only create many sweet panoramas, but produce many sweet wines too,
often from Moscato grapes. Hence the name SWEET HILLS.
The international press dedicates much attention to Piemonte but rather exclusively to its most well-known wines, Barolo and Barbaresco.
But Piemonte is much more than these two.
Piemonte’s image therefore needs a correction.
That is the reason to start the SWEET HILLS project. It covers the areas of Monferrato, Langa Est, Roero, Gavi and Colli Tortonesi. These regions together form great part of the wide and
interesting southern vineyard areas of Piemonte (in fact the Langhe is a geographical part of it, but in this project we cover only the Eastern part of the Langhe). Some wines from these areas
have received some international acclaim, others have remained obscure.
The SWEET HILLS territory covers all of Monferrato; the Eastern hills of the Langhe, those which are covered with Moscato vines; Gavi, Colli Tortonesi and Roero.
These wine regions are somewhat different and have different specialities. But there is ONE wine which we find almost everywhere: the Barbera, one of Italy’s most widely planted red
Also Moscato is much planted, though in a more restricted area, covering the Eastern part of the Langhe and much of Southern Monferrato. Moscato isn’t found in Roero and very rare in Colli
Another interesting feature of this territory is the TRUFFLE: this part of Piemonte is truffle territory!
Much of Piemonte’s truffles are found right here, especially during the months of
November and December when the natural humidity favours the growth of the fungus.
Many restaurants in Monferrato keep this most rare and fascinating scent of truffles in their rooms for many weeks, even until January. Some regional truffle fairs in Monferrato in November are
most interesting and represent some of Piemonte’s most authentic moments. The rare white truffle is found from November till January, sometimes already in October.
But, the SWEET HILLS territory covers more surprises as you will read in these pages.
A WORLD OF MOSCATO
In Piemonte, generally speaking, there are two important wines of Moscato:
- Asti DOCG
Moscato d’Asti DOCG
There are light differences: Asti contains an alcohol volume between 7 to 9%, the Moscato d’Asti may reach up to 7% but most often is only 5% alc.vol.
The Asti has a champagne kork, the Moscato d’Asti has a normal red wine kork.
There are circa 10.000 ha of Moscato vineyards and therefore Moscato is maybe the most important grape for Piemonte’s wine economy. The wines Asti DOCG and Moscato d’Asti DOCG are produced in a
vast territory, covering the provinces of Cuneo, Asti and Alessandria: a territory of 52 municipalities.
There have been created three subzones, ‘sottozone’ for Asti DOCG and Moscato d’Asti DOCG:
Strevi, Santa Vittoria and Canelli.
A WORLD OF BARBERA
The red wine which is found almost everywhere in Piemonte is ‘La Barbera’ (the only piemontese red variety which has female character). There are several DOCs and DOCGs but the most important
are: Barbera d’Asti DOCG and Barbera del Monferrato DOC/G. Barbera thrives well in Piemonte’s relative warm climate and gives good results in both Monferrato and Langhe. Also in the Colli
Tortonesi DOC and in Pinerolo DOC Barbera is allowed.
The total of vineyard area of Piemonte’s Barbera covers some .. (?) hectares. But most of it are situated in Monferrato.
This week we will taste a number of wines of these DOC/Gs:
Barbera d’Asti DOCG
Barbera d’Asti Superiore DOCG
Barbera del Monferrato DOC
Barbera del Monferrato Superiore DOCG
NORTH OF ASTI
MONFERRATO CASALESE AND THE REGION NORTH OF ASTI
North of Asti stretches the region which is also called ‘Monferrato tra Po e Tanaro’, Monferrato between the rivers Po and Tanaro. It is not an administrative unity however, as the region is
covered by two provinces: Asti and Alessandria. In the west even a tiny part is situated in Torino province. The name Monferrato Casalese refers only to the northeastern part, which is situated
in Alessandria province but this name therefore does not cover the complete territory.
Monferrato Casalese is well-known for its indigenous grape the Grignolino: the wine of Pope Francesco. Extravagant wine with its original delicate spicy fragrance and soft tannins and its light
red ruby colour. But the Barbera is the most important grape also here and produces excellent wines. Other wines are produced as well, most from indigenous Piemontese grapes. In the Asti
part is situated the interesting wine region of the Ruché grape, official name: Ruché di
Castagnole Monferrato DOCG.
The Ruché is a treasure that merits to be discovered by the international consumer: it presents typical but very fine and elegant aromas in combination with a very refined and delicate
flavour without too much tannine presence.
Wines to taste:
Barbera d’Asti DOCG
Barbera d’Asti DOCG superiore
Barbera del Monferrato DOC
Barbera del Monferrato DOCG superiore
Monferrato (Bianco or rosso) DOC
Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato DOCG
Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese DOC
Grignolino d’Asti DOC
Malvasia di Casorzo DOC or Casorzo DOC
Alto Piemonte has some very historical vineyards and is considered as the basis for the famous Nebbiolo grape, which often remains called ‘Spanna’ here. The wine region is situated on the
outcrops of the Alps, in the provinces of Novara and Vercelli and one, Lessona DOC in Biella province.
Most famous are the wines Ghemme DOCG and Gattinara DOCG which both contain a high percentage of Nebbiolo grapes. Recently the Boca DOC has been revived by some enthousiastic producers and also
the Lessona DOC is back from almost extinction by some enthousiastic young producers.
Wines to taste:
Colline Novaresi DOC
Coste della Sesia DOC
Maybe also some Bramaterra DOC, Fara DOC or Sizzano DOC will be presented but these are really rare.
about the Sweet Hills project: the wines of Alto Piemonte may be considered outside of the original region. But they are presented as they are not often considered by the international press
Bersano is a historical estate, situated in Nizza Monferrato, the heart of Monferrato. The winery covers areas in Langhe and Monferrato and produces a wide variety of wines from the central wine
regions of Piemonte.
Bersano is maybe Piemonte’s largest private owned winery and is fully relying on their own grown grapes. 30 Hectares with a total of 10 estates between Langa and Monferrato. They possess two
museums dedicated to Grape and Winemaker’s Roots and Wine Printings.
Among the most beautiful masterpieces is ‘Pomona Book’, the first complete Italian collection of grape varieties written by Giorgio Gallesio in 1817.
Wines tasted on 24 May 2013
Gavi di Gavi DOCG 2012
Gavi di Gavi DOCG Albaluce Barbera d’Asti DOCG 2010
Barbera d’Asti Superiore DOCG 2008
Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato DOCG 2011
Brachetto d’Acqui DOCG
PIEMONTE’S INDIGENOUS GRAPES,
A WORLD APART
Piemonte is not only Barolo and Barbaresco territory. There is more and this makes Piemonte even more fascinating. The wealth of Piemonte’s indigenous grapes is still rather undiscovered by the
international press, but really merits more detailed attention. At the tasting of 24 May we will present wines like Prunent, Nascetta, Gamba di Pernice, Verduno Pelaverga, Saluzzo Pelaverga,
Timorasso, Albarossa, and Uvalino.
This ichness is slowly being discovered by Piemonte’s producers themselves. It is estimated therefore that the number of vineyards with such less known indigenous grapes will grow in the next
years. Important to notice that the wines are very different in character but every wine is of high quality which means that the producers are trying to reach the maximum expression of the
This theme might be in the future a new reason for travelling to Piemonte: this richness of authentic, indigenous wines. After Barolo now Piemonte has a new trump card to play. That is the reason
why the tasting of Friday 24 May will be highly interesting.
Wines for the tasting – grape – allowed or recommended:
Michele Chiarlo Piemonte – Albarossa DOC Albarossa – yes
Cascina Castlet – Vino da tavola – Uvalino – no
Tenuta dei Fiori – Vino da Tavola – Gamba di Pernice – yes,
from harvest 2011 (so not yet available this tasting!)
Rivetto – Langhe Nascetta DOC – Nascetta – yes
Castello di Verduno – Verduno DOC – Verduno Pelaverga – yes
Massa – Colli Tortonesi DOC – Timorasso – yes, but no mention on the label
Garrone – Prünent Valli Ossolane – Nebbiolo superiore DOC