The Monferrato (Montferrat in English) region is located in Piedmont (‘Piemonte’), north-western Italy. It comprises roughly the modern provinces of Alessandria and Asti. Montferrato is among Italy’s most important wine districts. It also has a strong literary tradition, including the 18th century Asti-born poet and dramatist Vittorio Alfieri and the Alessandrian Umberto Eco. In 2014 Montferrato was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Terroir: The Monferrato is extensive, comprising the series of hills in south-eastern Piedmont, bounded on one side by the curve of the Po between Chivasso and Casale Monferrato and on the other side by the provincial boundary between Asti and Cuneo. The Monferrato region is divided into three areas:
Upper Monferrato: The upper Monferrato is on the border with Liguria. Among the major centres are Novi Ligure, Ovada and Acqui Terme (a spa town), each with important grape varieties in which red, white and sparkling wines are produced. Also worth a visit is Gavi with the famous Medieval Fort, and Ponzone, which, growing on the coast of a hill 25 km long, enjoys a beautiful panorama of the surrounding hills.
Lower Monferrato: The lower, northern or Basso Monferrato includes several municipalities where, in addition to wines, grappa is also produced. The most important municipality is Asti, a beautiful medieval town, famous for the palio and truffles, rich in history and monuments. In this area are found the “infernot”, small caves dug under the houses, once used to store food and as a hangout.
Monferrato Astigiano: Albugnano DOC. | Albugnano Superiore DOC. | Barbera d’Asti Superiore DOCG. | Barbera d’Asti DOCG. | Barbera del Monferrato Superiore DOCG. | Barbera del Monferrato DOC. | Cisterna d’Asti DOC. | Cisterna d’Asti Superiore DOC. | Freisa d’Asti DOC. | Freisa d’Asti Superiore DOC. | Grignolino d’Asti DOC. | Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese DOC. | Malvasia di Casorzo DOC. | Malvasia di Castelnuovo Don Bosco DOC. | Monferrato DOC. | Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato DOCG. | Terre Alfieri Nebbiolo DOC
Monferrato Casalese: Its landscape is formed by the plain crossed by the river Po, where rise the largest rice paddies of Italy. Visit Casale Monferrato, its beautiful historic centre and the civic tower.
Terroir: This large territory can be divided in two parts. The boundary line between the two can be the motorway running between Chieri to Asti and Alessandria. This also corresponds to the old road of the lower Po valley, also the course of theTanaro river. The two parts are:
–the lower, northern or Basso Monferrato, is quite open, an area of rolling hills and plains between the Tanaro and Po rivers. Wines from here: Albugnano DOC. | Barbera d’Asti DOC. | Barbera del Monferrato DOC. | Freisia d’Asti DOC. | Freisia di Chieri DOC. | Gabiano DOC. | Grignolino d’Asti DOC. | Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese DOC. | Malvasia di Casorzo DOC.
–the upper, southern Alto Monferrato, is more forbidding. It rises from the banks of the Tanaro into the mountains of the Apennines and the water divide between Piedmont and Liguria. Wines from here: Bracchetto d’Acqui DOC. | Gavi or Cortese di Gavi DOCG. | Cortese dell’Alto Monferrato DOC. | Dolcetto d’Acqui DOC. | Dolcetto d’Asti DOC. | Dolcetto di Ovada DOC. | Loazzolo DOC. | Barbera del Monferrato DOC.
The boundary line between the two might be the motorway running between Chieri to Asti and Alessandria. This road also corresponds to the old road of the lower Po valley, also the course of the Tanaro river. The hills of Asti (Colline Astigiane) are wedged between the two zones and can be considered an area on its own.
DOCs: Colli Tortonesi DOC. | Cortese del Alto Monferrato DOC. | Gabiano DOC. | Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese DOC. | Monferrato DOC. | Monferrato DOC Rosso. | Monferrato DOC Freisa. | Piemonte DOC (in the areas of Alessandria, Asti, Cuneo). | Piemonte DOC Brachetto. | Piemonte DOC Albarossa. | Rubino di Cantavenna DOC. | Strevi DOC.