TERRE DI CASTELNUOVO DON BOSCO
The Castelnovo area, known as the Caastelnovese, takes in the hilly area around the town of Castelnuovo Don Bosco, extending more or less from Berzano di San Pietro on the north to Capriglio in the south, and from Cocconato in the east to Moncucco Torinese in the west. They make up a variegated landscape of broad valleys and gently-rolling hills, prized by lovers of walking, long-distance hiking, and horseback-riding. The classic grape varieties here are malvasia di Schierano, also called malvasia corta, and malvasia nera lunga, both grown here since the 16th century as malvaticus. Today, they are used to produce Malvasia di Castelnuovo Don Bosco DOC, a sweet, naturally-sparkling wine that Terre dei Santi makes in several styles. But this zone also cultivates the greatest amount of the freisa grape in the Freisa d’Asti denomination and of nebbiolo in the Albugnano denomination.
Geologically, the formation of the Castelnuovo hills originated in the Messinian stage of the Miocene, when the entire Piedmont basis was submerged beneath the sea. Turbidity currents created enormous mounds of sediment on the marine floor, which through a later process of compacting, and became a hill system, which was among the first features to emerge when the waters retreated. That process yielded several characteristic phenomena, among them the chalk accumulations still visible today across the area. The Castelnovese can be divided into three distinct zones, a central band, marked by soils with a sandy chalk matrix, which gives lively colour and outstanding structure to the wines, producing products of impressive longevity, in particular Barbera d’Asti. A northern band lies south of the township of Pino d’Asti, extending through Castelnuovo Don Bosco, Mondonio, Morialdo, and Ranello; fluvial deposits predominate, with generous areas of löss, which feature banks of fairly fine sand. Such soils are particularly suited to the cultivation of Bonarda. Finally, a southern band is composed of tuff and sand alternating with bare rock, classic to a mountain environment. There, in the denomination of Albugnano, whose hills reach a height of 549 metres, the elevation and the forests cool the climate, making it the ideal habitat for nebbiolo, heightening its acidity and aromatic complexity.