Where the taste has a completely different flavour

In Italy you can eat and drink well pretty much everywhere, but in QuartoPiemonte every dish and every single glass of wine tell stories and traditions that have a distinguished taste and a unique flavour.


Let’s think of the Montebore, an unusual raw sheep’s and cow’s milk cheese with a characteristic ‘wedding cake’ shape that inspired Leonardo Da Vinci. So much so that, when in 1489 he was called to be the master of ceremony at the marriage of Isabella of Aragon and Gian Galeazzo Sforza, he decided to make  this the only cheese on the table.

The recipe has very ancient origins and was in danger of being forgotten. Luckily, in 1999  the Slow Food presidia, tracked down the last custodian and the production resumed. Today its production is entrusted to the expert hands of  a few tenacious cheese makers.

A similar story is the one about our most famous vine: the Timorasso.  This grape variety has been grown for centuries on the QuartoPiemonte hills. Over the years it has been gradually abandoned in favor  of other less delicate and more productive grape varieties. It was only thanks to the courage of Walter Massa, a stubborn and willful winemaker that allowed us to  rediscovered this variety that produces a white wine with unique characteristics.

And today, after about 35 years from the revival of the Timorasso , the history repeats itself with the Muetto, an ancient vine from Val Borbera that produces a semi-aromatic red wine. Only a few rows of this vine, grown by a small group of headstrong farmers. Recently the Muetto has been the protagonist of a successful fundraiser that will give to this vine the possibility to be recorded in the register of the Piedmontese vine varieties. That’s quite an accomplishment, for a wine waiting to be discovered, but of which you will hear about, we are absolutely sure of this!


Another interesting path of redemption is the one of the fragola profumata (fragrant strawberry) of Tortona. With its white pulp and its enormously intense perfume , this unique strawberry has represented for some time the spearhead of the economy in QuartoPiemonte. Born over a century ago from a wild strawberries selection present on our hills, in the second post war period, it risked the extinction. The concrete started taking over the fields and the cultivation of less fragile varieties, condemn our strawberry to survive only in a few private vegetable gardens.

Recently some intrepid farmers have started cultivating them again, but even  today, they represent an absolute rarity, that you can only find for a couple of weeks between the end of May and the beginning of June. Just the time to have a very quick taste that will leave you with the nostalgia for that fragrance for an entire year.

Not to forget...

Among the gems of this area, let’s not forget the salame nobile del Giarolo (noble salame of Giarolo), la ciliegia ‘Bella’ di Garbagna (the ‘Bella’ cherry of Garbagna), the peaches of Volpedo, the beans of Val Borbera, the truffles, the Barbera wine and all the other local red wines…we would love to tell you more about them, but tasting them is something else!