In the heart of Piedmont a special Route goes through. It is different from all the other ones. It connects hills, vineyards, castles, villages and farms, in the sign of taste and beauty: this is the Wine Route of Monferrato.
Monferrato is a sweet and fertile land, but dynamic and proud too. Strong and seductive. A land where the landscapes enchant in every season, with a palette which captures gaze immediately. A land where also the simplest fragrances and tastes surprise the most exigent palates. A land where the wine-producing sector reached the excellence, uniting tradition and innovation. In fact His Majesty the Wine stands out here. There are many high quality types, both local and international, perfect to be combined with the local gastronomic products, coming from regulated production chains that make them so special, from the field to the table. But it is also a vivacious and amazing territory: fairs, shows and many other events animate these hills all year long, offering culture, entertainment and fun to public of all ages.
The Wine Route association, in collaboration with Welcome Piemonte, suggest you a series of guided tours, dynamic activities and event to enjoy this land as best you can; many special occasions to stop and spend some days in Monferrato, choosing among B&b, farms holiday, Relais… and much more!
All the “good” reasons to travel on the Wine Route!
A special tour among the suggestive landscapes of Monferrato, to know the wineries of excellence working in this territory.
Entrance to two wineries to visit the wine making process rooms and the cellars used for the aging, with six glasses of wine tasting at the end. Among the typical wines from this area, which is famous especially for the red ones, there are “Barbera d’Asti docg” and “Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato docg”; then Freisa, Grignolino and Malvasia. Among the white wines, there are Chardonnay, Pinot Nero and Cortese. It is possible to buy the bottles in the wineries directly.
For who wants to pair taste and culture, it is possible to have in addiction a guided tour service for half a day by a professional tourist guide, to have not only a whole assistance during the transfers and the activity, but also to complete the tour with a stop-over at a near heritage site (historical town/castle/museum and so on).
If you love Nature and open air sports, you can find here a series of walking tours, up and down among Monferrato hills, surrounded by breath-taking panoramas. Come and choose the route made for you, based on your level of preparation and your preferences, accompanied by an expert tourist guide or by yourselves. And relax with a break discovering the farms placed on the Route… A perfect mix of wellness and taste!
- Divine trekking among the Lands of Saints… with art and taste”.
- Among the lands of Aleramo knight… trekking and wine tasting with Ruche’ and Barbera wines.
- Trekking among woods and vineyards… discovering ancient towns.
- Trekking of taste… among wines, cheeses and salami.
- Trekking on the road of water… discovering nature and ancient tastes.
- Trekking to taste… from the road of water to Alfieri Hills.
A special offer dedicated to the wine lovers… to live Monferrato as best you can.
FIRST DAY. A tour dedicated to Ruchè wine, one of the most representative wine in Monferrato tradition; nowadays it is more and more appreciated internationally, thanks to its aromatic flavour. Stop-over at Castagnole Monferrato, the Capital of Ruchè, and visit to a winery with tasting. A second stop at Alfiano Natta, with visit to a Castle which is the seat of an important winery and tasting. Traditional lunch in Cocconato. In the afternoon visit to the Abbey of Saint Mary in Vezzolano, a masterpiece of national medieval architecture. Transfer to a restaurant to test yourselves in an amusing cooking class to learn recipes from Piedmont. Dinner tasting the dishes just prepared and the local wines. Overnight with breakfast in one of the accommodation facilities located along the Wine Route.
SECOND DAY. Transfer to Ferrere for a stop at a cured pork meat factory to discover “salame cotto”, the cooked salami, a gastronomic excellence in Monferrato. Later a stop at Cisterna d’Asti to enter a winery and taste the wines from this area of Monferrato. Typical lunch. Departure.
SOME OTHER TOURS OF TASTE… BETWEEN CULTURE AND GOODNESS
PALEONTOLOGIST FOR A DAY. A special occasion to make a real dive into the Padano Sea…until 5 million of years ago. A naturalistic walk discovering the fossils.. and a funny simulated excavation for children.
THE TRUFFLE HUNT. A walk among woods for the truffle hunt in company with an experienced “trifulao”, the truffle hunter, and his inseparable dog. At the end there is a tasting of typical products combined with truffles and local wines. On request it is possible to have dinner instead of tasting.
HAZELNUT TOUR. A quiet walk crossing hills around Castellero, the City of Hazelnut, to discover all the secrets of this precious fruit… from the young plant to the sweets of tradition.
SOMMELIER FOR A DAY. For learning to combine the wines with your favourite recipes, for recognizing the flavours, for surprising guests with an unexpected touch of elegance… You can make a series of mini wine tasting classes, organized in different levels of difficulty in base of your preparation. Guided by an expert in this sector, you find out techniques and secrets of this world, tasting some typical wines from Monferrato. At the end of the activity, you get the “Sommelier for a day” certificate..!
CHEESE & WINE EXPERIENCE. A tasty activity among Monferrato hills in the sign of the most authentic and appetizing flavours of this territory, in collaboration with the important wineries located along the Wine Route. You can have a guided taste of different kinds of cheese by an expert member of ONAF (National Organization Cheese Tasters); they are matched to the local wines, in order to discover features and curiosities about both of them and try the most particular couplings.
CHEF FOR A DAY. Come and test yourselves with an amusing mini cooking class, to find out all the secrets of Piedmont cooking.. Thanks to an expert chef you can prepare fresh pasta, many typical appetizers, and finish with style preparing the most delicious desserts. At the end you have lunch or dinner tasting together the delicacies made by yourselves! And finally you can get the “Sommelier for a day” certificate.. and show it to family and friends!
“Return to the Fair” Historical Fairs Circuit
You can join 14 special tours to the Historical Fairs, dedicated to the local products of Monferrato. These tours can be organized not only during each specific Fair but also all year round, to visit the farms and the processing workshops connected to each “Fair product”. You cannot miss the thematic cooking classes that will have the products of the Circuit as the protagonists.
25th of April – Cocconato – “RIVIERA IN FIERA” (The Riviera in the Fair). The ancient Fair dedicated to Saint Marco receives visitors with dozens of colourful stands, among gastronomic specialties and local handcraft; moreover there are exhibitions, concerts and entertainment for children. The right occasion to taste Robiola cheese, salami and the precious “Barbera d’Asti docg” wine.
ALL YEAR ROUND, ON REQUEST: “CHEESE AND SALAMI TOUR”. A trip among the flavours of Monferrato, discovering Robiola cheese, the Raw Ham and the other valued kinds of salami from Cocconato. You can visit a farm to know these local production chains; the tour finishes with a taste of some kinds of cheese and salami matched to the wines of this land.
1st of May – Buttigliera d’Asti– “LE CONTRADE DEL FREISA” (Freisa wine Fair). A Fair dedicated to the most representative wines of Monferrato, with tours of wineries and tastes. The king of the day is Freisa, a good body and aromatic red wine, which is perfect to pair with the most delicate dishes of tradition.
ALL YEAR ROUND, ON REQUEST: “WINE TOUR”. A tour for discovering and tasting the most important wines from the “Lands of Saints”: “Freisa”, “Malvasia di Castelnuovo don Bosco” which is a light sparkling and sweet red wine, and “Albugnano”, produced with a rare kind of Nebbiolo grape. Entrance to 2 famous wineries and wine tasting.
2° weekend in May – Villafranca d’Asti – “MAIALE D’AUTORE” (Pork meat Fair) One of the tastiest fairs of the Circuit which is perfect to discover all the recipes made of the different parts of pig, from salami to the roast. Sector conventions and the funny estimate of salami do not miss during the day.
ALL YEAR ROUND, ON REQUEST: “SALAMI & WINE TOUR”. A special food and wine itinerary which matches the selection of cold cuts to the most important wines from this area. Visit to a local farm to watch the steps of salami making; at the end there is a guided salami tasting by an expert of ONAS (Salami Tasters National Organization).
Last weekend in May – Montemagno, “PANE AL PANE” (Traditional bread Fair)”. A Fair dedicated to the simplest and most precious food; during the day you will able to discover again the traditional “pasta dura” bread from Monferrato. In the ancient courtyards and alleys of the village, the “Gastronomic Breaks” delight gourmets with the best recipes of Piedmont cooking, among exhibitions, stands of local products, wine tasting stands and concerts.
ALL YEAR ROUND, ON REQUEST: “BREAD & WINE TOUR”. A tour dedicated to the most genuine flavours of this territory, in the sing of tradition. Visit to a winery and taste, with the typical bread from Piedmont “grissia” as the protagonist. It will be transformed into bruschette (toasted bread topped with sauces, salami and much more), soma d’aj (topped with olive oil and garlic) and many other inviting tastes.
1st Sunday in June – Piovà Massaia, “Profumata-Menta (The Mint Fair). A Fair which paints green itself, with the fresh and delicate fragrance of mint. Along the alleys of the historical town you will find many stands of gastronomic products, local handcraft, hobby modelling, prints, antiques and much more. Exhibitions, thematic conventions, guided tours, games and entertainments for adults and children will enrich the event. You don’t miss the rich mint menu!
ALL YEAR ROUND, ON REQUEST: “MINT IN TOUR”. An itinerary among the local farms with the mint as the protagonist. Cooking classes by a chef to discover the various uses and gastronomic pairings of this precious aromatic herb.
Last Sunday of June – Dusino San Michel, “Fiera del Cussöt”. (The Squash Fair) A day dedicated to the select local squash, certificated as a DE.CO product (municipal designation of origin), with prize-giving to the best farmers, vintage tractors exhibition and many high quality stands.
ALL YEAR ROUND, ON REQUEST: “SQUASH TOUR”. A gastronomic itinerary which matches the discover of DE.CO. squash to the other local products’ one. Visit to two farms where the squashes are grown and processed. Here also the traditional cookies from this village are produced; they are called “The biscuits of the two Saints”, because they are dedicated to the local patrons. In fact the flour “torcetti” cookies are named for Saint Rocco, who is the patron of Dusino; the sweet corn flour “melighe” biscuits are dedicated to Saint Michele, the protector of the same name locality.
Monday in the first decade of August – Tigliole, “Stelle in Stalla”. (Piedmont Bovine Fair). The excellence of farming of Piedmont is the protagonist of the day with the Fassone Ox, the precious bovine race from Piedmont. You cannot resist to the traditional dishes made of several cuts of this meat, prepared by local association for this special occasion.
ALL YEAR ROUND, ON REQUEST: “DISCOVERING FASSONE OX” A tour for who wants to know Fassone Ox, the refined bovine race from Piedmont, from the farming methods in the stables.. to the traditional recipes. The itinerary includes the entrance to a farm and at the end a taste of one or more cuts of this precious meat paired with the local wines.
4th weekend of September – Piea, “La Zucca delle Meraviglie”. (The Pumpkin Fair) This event is a travel among typical products and curiosities about this vegetable, the symbol of Autumn. Among stands and amusing shows in the square we suggest to try the rich pumpkin menu and the guided tours discovering the sumptuous castle.
ALL YEAR ROUND, ON REQUEST: “PUMPKIN TOUR”. A tour for gourmets that want to know the pumpkin world. Entrance to two farms to discover peculiarities and methods used to process the pumpkin from Monferrato; at the end pumpkin recipes tasting.
1st weekend of October – Villanova d’Asti, “Elogio della Bionda” (The Blonde Chicken Fair). The protagonist of this Fair is the Blonde Chicken from Piedmont, whit its delicate and tasty meat. The event includes the prized animals exposition, stand of typical products, art exhibitions, vintage tractors.. and a Blonde Chicken special menu.
ALL YEAR ROUND, ON REQUEST: “BLONDE CHICKEN TOUR”. An itinerary for who wants to enter a local farm and know the famous Blonde Chicken from Piedmont, one of the most original courtyard animals in this area of Monferrato. During the tour all the nutritional features of this meat.. At the end you can appreciate it enjoying a really tasty lunch.
2nd weekend of October – Castellero, “Fiera Città della Nocciola” (The Hazelnut Fair). The Hazelnut Fair takes place every year on the second weekend of October and shows the fabulous world of the hazelnut and its production chain “from the field to the oven”: from the young plant growing to creams and delicious cakes making.
ALL YEAR ROUND, ON REQUEST: “HAZELNUT TOUR”. A walk dedicated to hazelnut among hazelnut trees which combines the beauty of landscapes with the recollection of tradition and custom of local rural culture. During this tour crossing woods and fields thanks to some specific explicative panels you can discover the life cycle of the hazelnut tree, from the plant to the harvest and processing of fruits. On request: a stop at two farms to know the machineries and tools used for harvest and processing.
3rd weekend of October – Calliano, “L’Asino vola” (The Donkeys Race). For who wants to spend a special day in the sign of fun and the real tradition from Monferrato. You can attend the famous Donkeys Palio, a race which involves the ten historical districts of the village represented by the nice animals and their expert grooms.
ALL YEAR ROUND, ON REQUEST: “WALKING WITH DONKEYS”. A route for families to experience a walk in company with a donkey to discover the features of this area of Monferrato thanks to an expert guide: the soil, the plants and some important officinal herbs. During this itinerary the life cycle and the processing of these herbs are explained… to finish with a stop at a farm specialized in this sector.
3rd weekend of October – Ferrere, “FERRERE MIELE” (The Honey Fair). The well-known “Ferrere Miele Regional Contest” transforms itself into a lively Fair of the typical products which has the regional kinds of honey as the protagonists. This sector reached a high quality production thanks to competence and dedication of the local beekeepers. Honey tasting paired with the other local products.
ALL YEAR ROUND, ON REQUEST: “HONEY TOUR”. Visit to a beekeeper’s farm to know all the steps of the honey chain production, from the hive to the workshop. A sensorial emotion to enjoy tastes and flavours of Nature. During the visit there is the taste of different typologies of honey, as acacia, chestnut tree and lime kinds. You can match the honey to some kinds of cheese thanks to a guided taste by an expert from ONAF (Cheese tasters National Organization).
2nd Sunday and Monday of December – San Damiano d’Asti, “Il Cappone alla festa” (The Capon Fair). This traditional Fair warms up the winter with the Capon as the protagonist.. among stands of typical products, theatrical performances and concerts, sector conferences and guided tours to the local breeding farms.
ALL YEAR ROUND, ON REQUEST: “CAPON TOUR”. Entrance to a well-known farm to watch closer the refined Capons with their characteristic golden plumage and the tasty and delicate meat. These animals are raised free and nourished with natural corn produced by the same farms exclusively. At the end, the Capon meat will be perfect to prepare soups, stuffed and roasted meats. On request: taste/lunch made of typical Capon recipes.
On Tuesday in the first two weeks of December – Moncalvo – “SUA MAESTÀ IL BUE GRASSO” (The Fat Ox Fair). The precious castrated from Piedmont is the undisputed king of this very ancient Fair. You cannot miss the exhibit of the best animals and the rich lunch for tasting the traditional mixed boiled meat.
ALL YEAR ROUND, ON REQUEST: “DISCOVERING THE CASTRATED OX”. A route among the breeding farms around Moncalvo to visit the stables and know all the secrets about this select animal. The itinerary includes the entrance to a farm with a taste of row and boiled meat paired with the local wines.
For Nature and Photography lovers, we suggest a series of tours dedicated to the naturalistic and landscape photography that cross thick small woods and large open spaces, from fields of corn to grazing lands and give suggestive panoramic views. This activity can take half a day or a full day, depending on the requests. At the end of the tour, there is an “en plein air” activity for all the participants.
MIDNIGHT SNACK IN MONFERRATO.
For an experience in the sign of taste among the suggestive landscapes of Monferrato hills.. in the moonlight. At sundown, entrance to one of the wineries located on the Wine Route.. All the dreamers can enjoy themselves a night visit to the vineyard and the wine cellar to finish with a guided tasting by the producers. The wines are matched to the typical products of Monferrato, like cheese, salami and hazelnut cookies.