and the rolling Aleramo hills
History, hills, culture, vineyards, nature. This is Monferrato, a land rich in evocative beauty set between two rivers, the Po and the Tanaro. According to legend, it was the reward that the courageous young knight Aleramo received from the emperor Ottone I in about 950 A.D., after a ride of three days and three nights. The same legend also suggests the origin of the name: Aleramo used a brick (“mun” in the local dialect) to shoe the horses (farriery is called “frà” locally), giving rise to the name “Monferrato”.
It is a rolling landscape of fields, vineyards, pastures, olive groves and woods. Here the hills are gentler, interspersed with fascinating villages, Mediaeval castles, ancient watchtowers and small Romanesque churches. The vineyards themselves are home to a valuable, historic heritage of “casot”, traditional buildings in red brick and tuff that the farmworkers used to store their tools, or to rest during the hottest hours of the day. One of the fascinating things about the Monferrato area is its slightly wild side, in which biodiversity is an important value: in addition to cultivated lands, there are forests as well. From September to December in the woods of Monferrato, the valuable white truffle, Tuber Magnatum Pico, is gathered. Monferrato has been an area used to grow vines for centuries: its soils, rich in minerals and organic substances, are derived from the ancient seabed that covered these hills in the period from 5.5 to 3 million years ago. Many indigenous grape varieties are grown: Ruchè Barbera, Nebbiolo and Grignolino.