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The Alto Piemonte area is included between the provinces of Novara, Vercelli, Biella and Verbano Cusio Ossola. Set between Pianura Padana and the Alps, it enjoys the protection of Monte Rosa, the undisputed symbol of Alto Piemonte, which offers defense from the colder northern currents during the winter and guarantees, thanks to its glaciers, proper ventilation and chilly temperatures at night during warmer seasons.
A special feature of the Alto Piemonte area is the difference and variety of ithe soils that can be found within a few kms. Volcanic soils of the Supervulcano of Valsesia in Boca and Gattinara; marine sands of Lessona; emerged hills of fluvial-glacial origins in Ghemme, ending with the calcareous mountain rocks of the Valli Ossolane.
(map designed by Mario Antonetti)
Eight DOCs and two DOCGs. Mainly red and mainly Nebbiolo, locally called Spanna, singularly vinified or accompanied by other native vines such as Vespolina, Uva Rara and Croatina.
(Photo credit: Stefano Pescio//Unconventional Photography)
Wines children of Monte Rosa. DOC and DOCG apparently similar but substantially very different from each other. These are wines that fully express the characteristics of the different soils of the area. Wines with a special character, elegant, with a great mineral and saline imprint. Excellent companions of good food, due to their flavor and freshness, given by soils with very low pH. Wines with a strong aptitude for long aging, very elegant in aromas but easy to drink. It's almost impossible to stop at the first glass!
The area of Alto Piemonte has been cultivated with vines since the Roman Empire. Subsequently, numerous testimonies, especially from the Middle Ages onwards, attest mainly thanks to the fame of the wines of the Novara hills, exported already at that time also abroad, from France to Switzerland, but especially in neighboring Lombardy.
(Ereal photo of old vineyards in Boca - Novara)
In the nineteenth century there were forty-two thousand hectares of vineyards. During the following years, however, the phylloxera, which reduced the vine in Europe by 80% and the strengthening of the industrial sector in the area, brought many to prefer the solidity of the textile and metalworking industries to the viticulture with the result of them abandoning the vineyards. Over the years, the trees have re-occupied the space that once was occupied by the vineyards, creating a unique biodiversity only present in Alto Piemonte. In the 1980s there were just seven hundred hectares of vineyards left! Nowadays thanks to the passion, commitment and dedication of many winemakers who strongly believe in the peculiarities of the area and in the quality of its native vines we are finally witnessing the enological renaissance of Alto Piemonte!
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