Wine Shops, Fairs, Landascapes, Ecomuseums
Food products in Piedmont are uniquely characteristic and the quality is closely linked to local history. There is a deep bond with the respective territories of cultivation and processing.
Local institutions and producers' organisations have undertaken a number of activities so that everyone can get to know and appreciate these products, through constant protection, valorisation and promotion thereof but also through quality policies of the territory and a system of wine cellars, wine producers, fairs, markets and eco-museums.
The landscape and its high-quality products
The landscape is a resource that belongs to everyone, both a natural and cultural heritage, a "living system, continually evolving, the result of the relationship between nature and the work of man".
And the agricultural landscape, particularly, is the result of the vocations of the territory, of its limiting factors and its potential as well as the specific techniques and methods that man uses to produce.
The landscape today is an increasingly vital element in the economic development of the lands, linked to the environmental uniqueness and oenogastronomical specialities: the management of the landscape has, in fact, become the very basis of the quality and typicality of the products themselves, the success of which cannot merely be measured in organoleptic terms, but also in respect of the quality of the landscape in which they are produced and which represents an added value.
The landscape has therefore taken on a pivotal role in territorial policies, in order to protect it together with its wealth and the cultural identities of the various places. And the first way to protect it is to make it known, also and above all to those who live there and belong there, so that they may understand the characteristics and value and therefore strengthen their relationship with the territory and learn to respect it.
The historical rural landscapes. Landscapes created by agricultural, forestry and pastoral activities throughout history
National Catalog of Historical Rural Landscapes
With the research project promoted by the Ministry for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies on the "National Catalog of Historical Rural Landscapes" (Ed.Laterza, 2010) 14 Italian universities and some international research bodies identified 123 distributed landscapes in all Italian regions, collected in descriptive cards that take into consideration their historical value, the typical products and the critical issues that threaten their integrity.
The project has identified 6 landscapes (and two estates) in Piedmont and constitutes an important reference for the development of the agricultural landscape conservation policy:
- Raschera mountain pastures
- Plateau of Vauda
- Baraggia Vercelli and Biella
- Bosco delle Sorti della Partecipanza di Trino
- Arborated pastures of Roccaverano
- Historical polycultures of the Uzzone Valley.
- Cascina San Michele, in the municipality of Bosco Marengo (estate)
- Vigna Galarei (estate)
National Register of rural landscapes of historical interest, agricultural practices and traditional knowledge
Subsequently with Decree n. 17070 of November 19, 2012, the Italian State established the National Observatory of Rural Landscape, Agricultural Practices and Traditional Knowledge (ONPR) and at the same time envisaged, in article 4, the establishment of the "National Register of rural landscapes of historical interest , agricultural practices and traditional knowledge".
The national register of the historical rural landscape focuses on the landscapes created by agricultural, forestry and pastoral activities over the course of history, that is, which "have been present in a given territory for a long time, even many centuries, and which are stabilized, or evolve a lot slowly".
The Observatory collects the applications from the interested bodies throughout the national territory, verifies that they meet certain eligibility requirements and approves them at the permanent State-Regions Conference. With a decree signed by the Minister for agricultural, food and forestry policies, containing the mention that explains the reasons for recognition, rural landscapes are entered in the Register.
The registration of a territory in the National Register offers not only the possibility of being chosen for a subsequent UNESCO candidacy, as well as at GIAHS (Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems for FAO), but also of activating a series of tools to make the conservation of the traditional landscape a competitive factor in favor of agricultural and tourism businesses.
Currently, three landscapes in Piedmont are facing the long and complex process for recognition: the terraced vineyard landscapes on the slopes of Mombarone (Carema and Settimo Vittone), the Ciabot of Alta Langa and the Raschera pastures in the municipality of Frabosa Soprana.
The enhancement of the landscape, for the purposes of the protection and promotion of the territory, through the preparation of landscape maps
Four regional territories, which had been identified in the National Catalog, have experimented on behalf of ISMEA-Rete Rurale Nazionale, technical body of the National Observatory, a path to enhance their landscape, for the purpose of protecting and promoting the territory, through the editorial staff of maps shared via the web through a specific Google tool, Google My Maps.
It is about:
- Baraggia Vercelli and Biella - (video)
- Bosco delle Sorti della Partecipanza di Trino - (video)
- Polycultural system of the Uzzone Valley - (video)
- Arborated pastures of Roccaverano.
- Alta Langa of Malora Fenogliana - (video)
The maps can be viewed together with eighty other national maps on the site:
To view them correctly from your mobile, it is advisable to download the app "My Maps".
This tool, in addition to making the characteristics of the landscapes accessible to visitors on wide-ranging and easy-to-access communication channels, also allows the activation of territorial cooperation paths to implement the agricultural multifunctionality that is strategic for the modern development of an effective and widespread protection.
In this way, we intend to make the tourist / visitor / inhabitant aware that the elements of the agricultural crops presented on the map perform specific functions attributable to the preservation of the landscape (first of all contrasting hydrogeological instability and the conservation of biodiversity), to a historical link about agricultural practices (social function of rural settlements) and can affect, depending on the type of plant and the chosen technique, in safeguarding the environment.
Wine-producing landscapes of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato – UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The wine-producing landscapes of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato represent six area of excellence, extensive rolling hills covered with vineyards as far as the eye can see, fragmented by small highland villages and prestigious medieval castles, where wine production has for centuries been the hub of the economic and social life.
Stretching over 10,789 hectares, located within the boundaries of the Provinces of Alessandria, Asti and Cuneo (three in the district of the Langhe, two in that of Alto Monferrato and one in Basso Monferrato). The site is characterised by a rich, diverse system of farmhouses, wine producers, oenological industries, community wine cellars, public and private wine cellars, which in some cases constituted places of symbolic value for the history and development of wine production and throughout Italy and the world. Furthermore, there are also some products of a "vernacular" nature, such as the 'infernots' (underground caves) dug into the Pietra da Cantoni used for the domestic preservation of the most prestigious wines.
These areas are the very image of a European wine-producing landscape thanks to their great aesthetic quality, due to the legendary tradition of the cultivation of vines, wine-producing processes, a social and rural context and an economic fabric based on the culture of wine.
Landscapes that are an exceptional example of man's interaction with his natural environment thanks to a long and constant evolution of the techniques and knowledge of wine production leading to the best adaptation possible of the vines to the characteristics of the soil and climate – so much so as to become an international reference point.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is protected by an articulated system of protection that includes the various levels of territorial planning, as well as the national protection laws that are in addition to the regional projects, such as that of the first Piedmont Landscape Plan adopted by the Regional Council with Regional Council Deliberation nr. 53-11975 dated 4th August 2009, identifying 76 landscape ambits based on their main characteristics and the most important factors of differentiation and the further study of all naturalistic, environmental and historical-cultural aspects.
Regional wine cellars and wine shops
As well as their renowned characteristics of quality and uniqueness, Piedmont's wines have other added values that originate from their deep connection with the territory that produce and propose them: these are the legendary places of the Langhe, Roero, the vast and varied Monferrato, the hill and pre-alpine areas of Turin and north Piedmont. Enchanting, fascinating territories where wine production creates and forms the agricultural and rural landscape, inspiring its art, culture, popular traditions, exalting the gastronomy and the entire food industry supply chain. They are the destinations of millions of tourists and wine lovers, who are also interested in getting to know and enjoy the beauty and pleasures that the places of Piedmont wine have to offer.
The fifteen Regional Wine Cellars and 34 Wine Shops or Community Cellars are the precious, almost natural elements of these areas, established by the Piedmont Region with regional law nr. 37 of 1980 and regional law nr. 1 of 2019, located in castles and historical residences in the main wine-producing territories in Piedmont, where you can also find the best selection of DOC and DOCG wines in the territory of reference and which welcome around one million visitors and tourists every year.
The Piedmont Region promotes the constitution thereof, recognising them and supporting their activities, without commercial aims or for profit, but aimed at the promotion and valorisation of the wines, wine production and the entire territory represented.
Made up of single wine producers and associations, Councils and other public organisations over the territory, and Regional Wine Cellars, they valorise top quality DOP, DOC, DOCG wines, IG aromatised wines, IG spirits and organic wines from the territory of competence together with Piedmont's gastronomy, the rural landscape and the artistic and cultural specialities of the area.
Many of these structures, as well as animating the territory with numerous events and initiatives, also manage ethnographic and oenological museums and restaurants that offer traditional dishes and gastronomical specialties paired with the wines.
Regional Wine Shops
- Enoteca Regionale Acqui "Terme e vino"
- Enoteca del Barbaresco
- Enoteca del Barolo
- Enoteca Regionale di Canelli e dell'Astesana
- Enoteca Regionale Piemontese Cavour
- Enoteca delle Colline Alfieri dell'astigiano
- Enoteca Regionale delle Colline del Moscato
- Enoteca Regionale di Gattinara e delle Terre del Nebbiolo
- Enoteca Regionale del Monferrato
- Enoteca Regionale di Nizza Monferrato
- Enoteca Regionale di Ovada e del Monferrato
- Associazione Enoteca Regionale del Roero 2.0
- Enoteca Regionale della Serra
- Enoteca Regionale dei Vini della Provincia di Torino
The prestige of Piedmont's wines is closely linked to the deep relationship that they have with the territories that produce them: territories where vines and wine have shaped a "charming" agricultural and rural landscape and which are an integral part of the history, culture and traditions of the place.
These landscapes - full of castles and historical dwellings transformed into residences of wine, where wine and other delicacies exalt the cuisine and gastronomy of Piedmont – are the Langhe, Roero and Monferrato and again the hillside and pre-alpine stretches of the Turin area and finally the hills of north Piedmont, where you can find the 'Strade del Vino', recognised in compliance with Italian law nr. 269 dated 1999 and regional law nr. 20 dated 1999.
The 'Strade del Vino' includes a constellation of farms, wine cellars, farm holiday homes, didactic farms, trattorias, hotels, regional wine cellars, wine shops, ethnographic oenological museums and agricultural workers who respect the standards of quality and hospitality required by the regulations.
By wandering the 'Strade del Vino' you can discover or rediscover the pleasures and fascination of Piedmont's wines and their territories.
- Strada del Vino Alto Monferrato
- Strada del Vino Astesana
- Strada del Vino dei Colli Tortonesi
- Strada del Barolo e Grandi Vini di Langa
- Strada del Vino Monferrato Astiano
- Strada Reale dei Vini Torinesi
- Strada del Vino "DOGLIANI" (in the phase of formal and operational constitution, it is based in the municipality of Dogliani. Piazza San Paolo 10. Tel. 0173/70107).
Agricultural fairs and festivals
Agricultural and food festivals and fairs are an important display case of the territory and its resources: products, territories and landscapes, oenogastronomy, agriculture, history, tradition and culture.
Agricultural and food festivals and events – recognised in compliance with Regional Law nr. 31/2008 in favour of local administrations – are sponsored thanks to the EU principles of the freedom of business, simplifying bureaucratic procedures and introducing the principle of the promotion (also international) of the "product-fair".
From here the recognition and qualification of international, national and regional or local festival events, with the predisposition of a calendar for the following year, within 30th November each year, contested for based on Regional Council Deliberation nr. 5-10806 dated 18th February 2009.
In a short amount of time, "farmers' markets" have become territorial marketing tools in their own right, a chance to rediscover the traditions linked to the area's oenogastronomical culture.
The short distribution chain is the specific type of commerce based on a direct relationship between producers and consumers and makes new forms of trade, meeting and cooperation possible as well as offering the opportunity to buy high quality products at reasonable prices.
In farmers' markets, producers have to market agricultural products (including processed products) that come from Piedmont companies. The place of origin of the products, the name of the company and the sales price must be clearly indicated and shown to the public, the products must be in season and free from GMOs (genetically modified organisms).
Farmers' markets mean that farmers can receive fair pay while guaranteeing local consumption of local products; they incentivise seasonal consumption, reduce the environmental impact of transport and packaging, encourage "informed" consumption informing consumers of the journey of the products purchased and check the quality thereof.
Farmers' markets in the Piedmont Region are organised by councils and other local bodies (consortiums and associations of councils) and then a bid is called for farmers and associations of categories of producers: around thirty projects have been presented by councils and mountain communities as of today.
The market areas also host cultural events, and didactic and demonstrative activities linked to the local typical and traditional products further contributing to the valorisation of the biodiversity and a recovery of our relationship with the territory, contrasting the homologation of cultivation and the subsequent homologation of tastes and customs.
The Piedmont Region with regional law n. 13 of 3 August 2018 "Recognition of Piedmont eco-museums", supports and promotes the 25 recognized eco-museums of regional interest.
Eco-museums are tools for the care and management of the local cultural heritage in order to promote sustainable social, environmental and economic development. They activate projects relating to techniques, crops, productions and resources of a homogeneous territorial area with the cultural assets contained therein. Cultural growth paths of local communities are activated based on the active participation of the inhabitants and the cooperation of organizations and associations.
The eco-museums operate in the reference areas to ensure well-being and improve the quality of life. In particular, they have consolidated the relationships of collaboration with Slow Food Italy, with the agricultural districts and the emerging forms of fair trade, strengthening concrete and tangible actions to transform the consumer culture of food.
The eco-museums adopt forms of local economy to experiment short and sustainable supply chain projects that are transversal to agricultural, environmental, tourist, cultural, social (welfare) aspects, becoming promoters of the understanding between practical, traditional knowledge and innovation technological, also through the experimentation of new forms of employment that put the elderly and young people in relationship with their cultural heritage.
Eco-museum cornerstones are food and nutrition: the heritage linked to traditional food and nutritional well-being are elements in direct relationship with the many Italian cultural landscapes. Through the recovery of trades and skills that are at risk of extinction and the support of quality supply chains offering valid prospects for the repopulation of rural villages and marginal areas meantime creating new forms of market demand and microeconomics.
The eco-museum model represents a real prospect of development of the territory in economic terms of social cohesion and structural solidity through the definition of a future that focuses on beauty, human relationships, respect for the earth, quality of life.
1) Ecomuseo del Basso Monferrato Astigiano (AT)
2) Ecomuseo Colombano Romean (TO)
3) Ecomuseo di Cascina Moglioni (AL)
4) Ecomuseo della Segale (CN)
5) Ecomuseo del Lago d'Orta e Mottarone (NO)
6) Ecomuseo dell'Alta Val Sangone (TO)
7) Ecomuseo del Freidano (TO)
8) Ecomuseo della Pastorizia (CN)
9) Ecomuseo dei Terrazzamenti e della Vite (CN)
10) Ecomuseo delle Terre d'acqua (VC)
11) Ecomuseo della Valsesia (VC)
12) Ecomuseo dell'Alta Valle Maira (CN)
13) Ecomuseo del Biellese (BI)
14) Ecomuseo della Val Germanasca (TO)
15) Ecomuseo della Pietra da Cantoni (AL)
16) Ecomuseo delle Rocche del Roero (CN)
17) Ecomuseo delle Terre di confine (TO)
18) Ecomuseo dei Certosini e della Valle Pesio (CN)
19) Ecomuseo dei Feudi imperiali (AL)
20) Ecomuseo dell'Argilla – Munlab (TO)
21) Ecomuseo del Granito di Montorfano (VB)
22) Ecomuseo del Marmo di Frabosa Soprana (CN)
23) Ecomuseo delle Terre del Castelmagno (CN)
24) Ecomuseo della Pietra e della Calce di Visone (AL)
25) Ecomuseum of Soapstone and Stonecutters (VB)
In 2009 the Piedmont Eco-museums Network Association (Rete Ecomusei Piemonte REP) was born, made up in particular of the 25 Eco-museums established with the previous regional law no. 31 of 14.03.1995 "Institution of Eco-museums of Piedmont" It represents and protects the interests of its members vis-à-vis (face to face) institutions or other Italian and international realities; carries out research, study, reflection, comparison and planning on issues of common interest; it works online to optimize actions and resources and actively collaborates with the "Eco-museum laboratory" of the Piedmont Region.
Ethnographic and enological museums
Ethnographic and oenological museums collect, preserve and organize the sources of material culture relating to agricultural products, work in the vineyard and wine-growing activities.
In Piedmont, ethnographic and oenological museums are often made up of private museum collections and historic cellar initiatives.
However, there are many specific sections dedicated to material culture in regional wine shops, in certain wine merchants and in communal cellars.
Museum collections to visit as a reminder of the territory, the way of life and the roots of the Piedmontese villager civilization.
Ethnographic and oenological museums collect, preserve and organize the sources of material culture relating to agricultural products, work in the vineyard and wine-growing activities.