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Montalbera is still investing in Monferrato. In the vineyard, in the cellar and in hospitality

The plans of the winery that relaunched Ruchè, but is looking beyond the historic Piedmontese wine-vine, told by the producer, Franco Morando

It has been the driving force of the rediscovery of Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato and wants to continue to be, watching the growth of this historic Piedmontese wine-vine. But Montalbera, the winery of the Morando family (also at the helm of one of the most important animal food producers, ed.), wants to be even more, “not just Ruchè”. And, while he dreams of also putting down roots in Bolgheri, in Tuscany, Franco Morando, who leads the winery, continues to invest in his home territory, among vineyards, wineries and wine tourism, looking at international projection in the markets, and at a quality welcome able to make people discover an area, Monferrato, still largely unknown, however rich in beauty, enological quality and history. 7 million euros of additional investment put on the plate in recent months, as Morando himself confirms to WineNews, 2 hectares in vineyards, and the others that will go to strengthen the winery - among whose ranks will also arrive more than 20 employees in the administrative and commercial department directly of Morando - and get to express a potential of 3.5 million bottles out of the 850,000 today (of which 550,000 on the Docg Ruchè).
“Today Montalbera has 135 hectares of vineyards, with a single body in Monferrato, including 60 hectares in Ruchè, but there is more. We have recently added 15 new hectares”, says Morando, “and of these only 8 hectares will be in Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato, of which we produce more than half of the total. 5 hectares will be destined for Barbera d’Asti Superiore, and 2 hectares for Grignolino, from which we want to make a “super reserve” wine, because we have studied the soils and in our opinion there is a possibility to do it. And then there is the Nebbiolo project, which will be a different wine from Langhe Nebbiolo, because it will be born from different soils than those of the Langhe, which have also been studied in depth, and it will be a wine with less structure than the Langhe one, but with great aromas and with tannins endowed with a natural harmony”. Productions that will flank the existing one of Moscato d’Asti, in Castiglione Tinella, and then, says Morando, will come Alta Langa, from vineyards already planted in Chardonnay.
He has clear ideas, the Piedmontese entrepreneur, who “en passant” announced that, from 2023, Montalbera will no longer be part of the Ruchè Producers Association: “let it be clear that no one is mad at anyone, the producers in the association are all good people and capable of making great quality. But the vision is now different, Montalbera believes in a more international than local development of Ruchè, and so we will take a different path. Always within the Consortium of Monferrato Wines, which President Filippo Mobrici, in two terms, has transformed by giving momentum and visibility to the territory as never before”.
A territory, that of Monferrato, which is part of the Unesco area, together with Langhe and Roero, but which still many, too many people do not know about. And that is why Montalbera is also investing so much in wine tourism, “with the creation of five suites, but looking at a wine tourism that is not only that of the wine enthusiast who comes to the winery to taste the wines. Through different routes geo-referenced with Google, for example, we want to take visitors in and around our vineyards, our woods, and our 32 hectares of hazelnut groves, but also beyond, by bicycle, on horseback, or quad, for example, to show them the beauty and uniqueness of this great territory”.
Experimenting and fielding projects that, “like all those that are born at Montalbera, are born almost as a joke, such as Merlot 40, 2,000 bottles that are born from half a hectare that my oenologists wanted to dedicate to me for my 40th birthday, which we do not sell but give as gifts to friends, but which”, Morando says, “all have a scientific basis of research, zoning, soil study and investment in technologies, also thanks to the possibilities opened up by Industry 4.0”.
With a goal, which is what can be read on Montalbera’s website, in the words signed by Franco Morando himself, who proudly claims that of having been with Montalbera, the first producer to obtain the “Tre Bicchieri” from the historic guide “I Vini d’Italia” by Gambero Rosso, in 2015: “the dream of all the generations of men applied to wine that have preceded us is to obtain from cultivation the best possible grape-fruit, to transform it into wine without wasting or altering the heritage of taste and aroma synthesized by nature in the fruit, to vi

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