We are in the heart of the wine-growing landscapes of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato, candidates for recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage. Monforte d’Alba, venue of the BITEG 2013 workshop, is part of the Barolo Langa, in the province of Cuneo; sinuous slopes alternating medieval castles and fortresses and the rigorous geometries of the vineyards. This is the birthplace of “the king of wines, the wine of kings” with the full and intense garnet colour, ages at least three years of which one and a half in oak and which only after five can boast the name of “Riserva”.
The historic town of Monforte, centred around what remains of the old parish church, has narrow streets that climb the steep hillsides and an old part where recent renovations have returned noble and bourgeois buildings to their original splendour, keeping the atmosphere of the old town intact. Thirty hotels and more than twenty caterers, including agrotourisms, inns and restaurants, make it an ideal starting point for a wine and food break, just all other towns in the Barolo area: La Morra, Cherasco, Verduno, Roddi, Grinzane Cavour, Diano D’Alba, Serralunga, Castiglione Falletto, Novello and Barolo, which represent a production area of one of the best wines in the world. But that’s not all. A product of excellence in these areas is also the white truffle of Alba: the very precious autumn underground fungus characterises as nothing else the food of this area and of the entire Piedmont Monferrato, built on products of the land and developed over the centuries with the exchange of raw materials coming mainly from Liguria, with which wine was once bartered with oil, salt and anchovies.
The dishes and the typical products of the Langhe tradition are known to gourmets from all over the world: just to name a few, the “plin” agnolotti (ravioli), steak braised in Barolo, the Robiole di Langa cheeses, the hazelnut cake made with Piedmont IGP Hazelnuts, which is the main ingredient in many sweets such as nougat and chocolate cream.
And in wines, in addition to the noble production of Barolo and Barbaresco – the latter also “fruit” of the Nebbiolo grape, but typical of the area of Barbaresco, Neive and Treiso – the production of Barbera and Dolcetto d’Alba, dry or slightly sparkling Langhe Freisa and Verduno Pelaverga, a rare spicy wine, are worthy of mention. Among white wines Langhe Chardonnay excels. The Union of the Municipalities of the Barolo Langa, which includes Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Grinzane Cavour, La Morra, Monchiero, Monforte d’Alba, Montelupo Albese, Novello, Roddi, Roddino, Rodello, Serralunga D’alba, Sinio, Verduno has more than 200 wine growers and producers.