Wine Dharma

Monferrato wine and food tour

Wine Holidays and weekends in Monferrato. Tourist and food and wine itineraries. In the Alto Monferrato Asti, wine and food are sacred, part of the culture of the area. Full of flavors and aromas reminiscent of the hills covered with vineyards, woods and hazelnut trees. Monferrato is the heart of Piedmont.

A splendid land to visit at any time of the year, whether you want to take a food and wine holiday hunting for truffles and Piedmontese specialties or to spend a weekend looking for excellent wines such as Barbera, Ruchè, Grignolino and the delicious Moscato. In spring, peach trees in bloom dot the landscape, which seems to have come out of Van Gogh’s brush: the colors are dense, alive, you can almost touch them.

In September, one of the most important food and wine events in Monferrato is the Palio and the Festival delle Sagre, where the city of Asti comes alive for a great culinary event, in which the cooks of the Asti Pro Loco challenge each other to the sound of the best recipes of the Monferrato tradition.

Autumn, on the other hand, is the most gluttonous period ever, dedicated to the king of the table, the white truffle, the mythical Tuber Magnatum Pico, to which many festivals are dedicated, including the historical one of Moncalvo, which takes place towards the last two Sundays in October.

What we want to offer you is a food and wine itinerary, which starts from the splendid city of Asti, from the precious historic center, and winds through the surrounding villages, including Moncalvo, Montemagno, Grazzano Badoglio, Castagnole di Monferrato.

A land where it is sweet to wander without haste, immersed in the vineyards and history. Each hill hosts a delightful village with a Romanesque church, a tower, a castle to visit, but above all, it will be the cellars of Monferrato to seduce you.

Wine tour in Monferrato, trips to the cellar: Grignolino, Ruchè, Barbera From one hill to another the wine changes, due to soils, microclimates and conditions that differ just enough to make each visit unique. Il Ruchè in Castagnole Monferrato with its seven hills to be explored by bicycle if you are a good athlete; Grignolino, one of the oldest and most precious Piedmontese vines and then there is Barbera.

The Asti area is the homeland of Barbera, not only was it born here, but in these hills, it reaches a subtlety and depth that you will struggle to find elsewhere. More drinkable and set to simplicity is Barbera del Monferrato, an excellent wine for every day, to accompany the full-bodied Piedmontese cuisine, which will play an important role in our food and wine itinerary.

Arrival and accommodation, as a hotel we have chosen the Relais San Desiderio, an elegant villa located in Calliano, in the heart of the Asti hills, a few kilometers from Asti. The first visit to the winery is to the historic Sant’Agata estate, immersed in the vineyards, where we will taste the typical wines of Asti together with the Cavallero family: a splendid Ruchè, Grignolino, and we will understand why Luigi Veronelli defined it as “anarchic and testabalorda wine.” Excellent Barbera and the occasion is also good to taste Nebbiolo, very elegant. The Santisè restaurant will give us the first taste of Monferrato cuisine, exquisite agnolotti del plin and heavenly peach and amaretti cake.

Visit of Asti, a walk through history

The next stop on our food and wine itinerary in Monferrato is dedicated to Asti and its splendid architectural heritage, one of the largest in Piedmont, which lends itself to numerous itineraries, just choose your favorite historical period. For the Roman, we recommend the Roman Domus, the remains of the Amphitheater.

For the Romanesque, do not miss the crypt of Sant’Anastasio. For lovers of the Middle Ages, the Collegiate Church of San Secondo, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the palace of the podestà and San Pietro in Consavia, with the paleontological museum, are of considerable interest.

The tour of Asti ends with a walk that touches Renaissance buildings, including Palazzo Malabaila, Palazzo Falletti. For a break, go to the Cicchetto, an original restaurant furnished with cellar materials and a wide choice of wines and typical dishes, such as Vitello tonnato or the Brillo Parlante if you want a cuisine with fish dishes.

Moncalvo, on the road to the Sacro Monte di Crea

From Asti, we move to Moncalvo, a city of ancient origins, founded by the Romans. The center is dominated by the remains of the mighty castle, but not to be missed are the beautiful Church of Sant’Antonio, San Francesco and the Manacorda palace.

Visit the Iuli winery to taste Barbara of great fabric and a Pinot Noir that has found ideal conditions here. The most important event is the Truffle Festival, held in October, but the Fat Ox Fair is also worthwhile if you love meat. From here it is a short step to reach Serralunga di Crea, one of the most evocative mystical places in the world: the Natural Park of Sacro Monte di Crea, included by Unesco in the list of world heritage sites.

The sanctuary is immersed in 34 hectares of wood, a place touched by the divine, where it is possible not only to admire architectural and pictorial works of undoubted value but also to rediscover one’s ego.

Montemagno: a splendid manor, the scabs of Casale and the grand finale of grappas!

After this excursion, the picturesque medieval village of Montemagno awaits us, dominated by the imposing bulk of the castle, around which a terraced garden develops, surrounded by a wall with elegant Ghibelline battlements.

The opportunity is excellent to visit Marco Canato’s cellar, which produces typical and subtle wines, real wines born not to amaze, but to be drunk: Barbera, Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese and a Moscato to accompany the crumiri di Casale, the typical and delicious dry biscuits of the Monferrato tradition. If you like grappas, the Mazzetti distillery boasts an ancient tradition and very elegant bottles.

Grazzano Badoglio, traveling in the heart of Monferrato

Our wine tour in Monferrato continues with the pretty Grazzano Badoglio, famous for the house-museum of Marshal Badoglio and the Abbey founded in the 10th century by Count Aleramo, later remodeled in the Baroque style.

But the real surprises are the wineries that you will find around here. In Rosignano Monferrato the Castello di Ualti, which in itself deserves a visit, produces Barbera of great intensity and depth and a subtle but characterful Grignolino.

A little further on, near San Giorgio in Monferrato, do not miss the organically run Daniele Saccoletto winery. The wines are the classic ones of Monferrato, Grignolino, Barbera and Freisa, but of great purity, without compromise.

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