Discovering Monferrato’s Wine Gems
The gentle hills of Monferrato are a fundamental winemaking zone in Piedmont’s prestigious wine scene. Its long viticultural history and the great diversity of varietals present distinguish this land as one of the richest in biodiversity and most unique winegrowing regions in all of Italy.
Let’s have a closer look at some of the rarest wines protected by the Consorzio Barbera d’Asti e Vini del Monferrato:
Grignolino d’Asti DOC
Grignolino is one of Piedmont’s most ancient grapes. It is tenuously ruby red in colour with delicate aromas of fruit and undergrowth, but is defined by a characteristic note of white pepper. It is an austere wine on the palate with a refined dryness due to high tannins that is best paired with appetizers, vegetable dishes and white meats.
Freisa d’Asti DOC
Freisa d’Asti DOC can be produced in various versions, with or without aging in wooden barrels. When carefully selected grapes are aged for at least a year, Freisa can be labelled as Superiore. It is generally ruby red in colour, with Superiore displaying garnet reflections. Soft and delicate in the nose with scents of raspberry and rose that become muskier with time. Freisa has a dry taste with pleasant tannins that develop when aged in oak and should be paired with cured meats, soft and medium-aged cheeses, soups and light pasta dishes.
Nebbiolo, Piedmont’s most famous variety, has also found fertile land in Monferrato. Albugnano DOC is a very small appellation, produced in the hills near where Monferrato meets the Province of Turin, in a limited area of 240 hectares. This wine, made from very selected harvests of grapes, is defined by an elegant structure and wilder aromas. From raspberry to sweet, field strawberries, with notes of flowers and spice that mature and become more complex when aged in oak barrels.
Malvasia di Castelnuovo Don Bosco DOC
In a small area of the Asti hill that overlooks the Province of Turin, Malvasia is cultivated. These small, aromatic and purple-black grapes are made into a crowd-pleasing sweet wine: Malvasia di Castelnuovo Don Bosco DOC. The cherry red wine smells like rosehip and red fruits and tastes delicately sweet with a gentle tannic finish. It is enjoyable both as a still and sparkling wine. This is the perfect wine to end a meal and pairs fantastically with fresh fruit, fruit-based desserts, pastries, gelato and sorbet.
In Loazzolo, a small village in the Province of Asti, Loazzolo DOC is made from Moscato Bianco. High up on the hills, Moscato is very carefully grown to perfect maturation and then left to wither on the vine. The dry grapes are then harvested and made into an outstanding sweet wine. The production is limited and the wine must age for two years before it can be labelled Loazzolo. Loazzolo DOC has a bright golden yellow colour with complex scents of musk, vanilla and candied fruit. It tastes warm and sweet, with a lingering aftertaste in the mouth.