In the realm of bubbles, Canelli winecellars

Cantine di Canelli

Wine cathedrals with their evocative architecture are kept underground Piemonte, between Alba and Asti. A charm so exceptional that UNESCO has included them in the world heritage site. We are talking about Cantine Canelli, where you can breathe the fragrance of history and the passion of farmers and winemakers to produce an excellent product. This area is among the most prestigious for their food and wine vocation, halfway between the Langhe and Monferrato. The cellars of the municipality of Canelli form a network that stretches for miles. They have been excavated since 1600 in the tufa, perfect natural heat insulator capable of maintaining a constant temperature of 12-14 degrees, ideal for processing and aging of great wines.

A quest for quality immediately distinguishes the wine production coming from these cellars. The eldest of the spumante Gancia, the historic Made in Italy brand for bubbles, was born here in 1865. Gancia was convinced that the Piemonte soil was ideal for growing sparkling wine grapes and it began an exciting period of work and experimenting with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Its cellars are in fact part of the rich Canelli treasure. Here you can admire historical bottle holders filled with unique, long-maturation millesimato wines and French oak barrels where the base-wine for the preparation of the cuvee matures. This is also where you find the bottles in fermentation “sur lattes”, that is, the bottles kept in a horizontal position during the fermentation. The “lattes” are the characteristic wood strips, one centimeter thick, 3-4 cm. wide and 30-50 cm. long, used to prop up the stacks of bottles.

An oasis for wine lovers, but also for architecture lovers: the of over 600 square feet cellars are supported by brick arches barrel or ribbed, with one or more naves or on different levels. The pearl of the Gancia wine cellars in Canelli is the vault: a treasure trove of early nineteenth century, where historical bottles and special vintages or millesimato lie. The tourist who visits the Infernotto, this is the name the priceless cellar, will not miss the photographic archive with the document that testifies a King Umberto of Savoy visit, historical family contracts, such as the granting of the brand Romanoff Vodka ownership  signed by Prince Dimitri, a descendant of the Czar of Russia, ancient books, and the testimony of famous people who have tasted the wine produced there.

And those who choose to spend the night in the Canelli, can let go into the arms of literature: Cesare Pavese was born in Santo Stefano Belbo, where the Locanda Gancia is, and here he drew inspiration for the most celebrated pages of his novels. This is where the first step of processing grapes to wine takes place. Not to be missed here at the Locanda the great coverage of the weighing and pressing station built in 1989 by architect Tobia Scarpa. Made of copper with vertical cuts, this large building changes color according to the light of day, to integrate harmoniously into the landscape and agree to the tones rich and soft at the same time of the hills that surround it.

Cantina sociale di Canelli

Some other wine cathedrals in Canelli are the Coppo ones, dating back to 1892, the Bosca cellars and the Contratto wineries, the latter has been supplier of the Vatican and the Italian royal family. The delicious flavor of history emanates also from Ancient social winery Canelli, founded in 1933 under the name of Cooperative Winery of Canelli from the will of a small group of winemakers trying to give impetus to rational forms for the management of the vineyards, the vinification and the products marketing. The Winery has generated a true Civilization of Moscato over the years. Along with the spumante, also the excellent production of this wine with its distinctive aroma, from fresh and fragrant Moscato grapes, has brought to Canelli the prestigious UNESCO recognition.

Although the vast wealth of Canelli is in the ground, the center does not go unnoticed: it clings to the hillside and is divided into two districts, Borgo and Villanuova, with breathtaking views and scenic routes. There is also a castle, now owned by the Gancia family, it re-emerged in the mid-seventeenth century from the ashes of the imposing medieval castle that was destroyed in 1617 during the war against Monferrato.

Paesaggio del Comune di  Neive (CN)The ones visiting the area might want to complete their wine tasting tour with the vineyards and cellars of Neive, a characteristic village resting on the hills in the province of Cuneo.

Sweet Dreams – Our selection of palaces, mansions and boutique hotels:

RSM_aerea_2Relais San Maurizio – Località San Maurizio 39, Santo Stefano Belbo (CN)

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