Monferrato, Piedmont



The village of Castagnole Monferrato, just northeast of Asti, is considered the home of the indigenous Ruchè grape. Here Marco Crivelli takes this very seriously, especially as former President of the Ruchè consortium. It was under his tutelage that Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato became recognized as a DOCG wine in 2010, bringing due recognition to the territory and the scarce 110 hectares that are planted to the variety.

He also focus a lot on Grignolino, a grape that was described by Veronelli as an “anarchic” wine, difficult to understand but capable of offering unexpected pleasures if paired correctly with crustaceans or light white meats. These days the farm has 8 hectares of vines grown without herbicides or pesticides. Crivelli’s total production is 70.000 bottles.

Apart from the increasingly prevalent Flavescenza Dorata (a bacteria carried by leafhoppers) that is currently infecting many vineyards in the area, another challenge is finding personnel to work in the vineyards. Like many rural areas, Monferrato has experienced a steady decline in its population since WWII, mainly because the economic boom of the 1950’s drew people to Italy’s major cities. Marco Crivelli is among the folks who have remained.

He has unofficially become a defender of tradition by linking Castagnole Monferrato’s soils to its historic wine production through the DOCG in 2010. Like Marco’s grandfather who planted vines and initiated the family’s viticultural activities, varietal character remains the focus
of the Crivelli’s wines today. 

With this in mind they have fully abandoned the use of wooden barrels in their cellar in favor of stainless steel casks. Crivelli takes great pride in producing truly expressive wines and has transferred this idea to his son Jonathan. Castagnole Monferrato’s wine tradition is clearly in good hands.