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Monferrato is a scenic wine region located in Piedmont, in northern Italy. This landscape of iconic, rolling hills is located just south of the Po river, spanning the provinces of Alessandria and Asti. The Medieval town of Asti is a testament to the region’s history, with historic buildings and noble gardens in a region that dates back to the ancient Celts.
The continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters combined with well-drained, tufo (volcanic) soils contribute to excellent growing conditions and grape balance. Monferrato received DOC status in 1994 with a paradigm that seems loose compared to others. National varietals are allowed to be blended with international ones, with the stipulation that single varietal releases must be at least 85% of the labeled main grape.
Rossos can contain the native Piedmont grapes Barbera, Grignolino, Freisa, Dolcetto, and Brachetto blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir. Cortese is the most popular white varietal in Blancos, which can also contain Malvasia, Moscato, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Barbera del Monferrato DOC is also produced within the region, as is its DOCG Barbera del Monferrato Superiore, which requires six months of barrel age and a minimum 14 months of aging.
Monferrato Casalese is a subregion with wines produced exclusively around Casalese Monferrato. These high quality wines are cultivated from Grignolino for reds and Cortese for whites. ~Amanda Schuster
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