The Moscato di Canelli Wine Route on a Bike
Breathtaking ridges, vineyards extending as far as the eye can see, villages with ancient charm and World Heritage landscapes. A journey through vine shoots, vines and grapes that everyone knows in their liquid form but few have the privilege of experiencing in their organic state. We are on the Moscato d'Asti hills and this route that unfolds on minor roads promises 42 km of sweet emotions.
The route starts right from Canelli, from Piazza Carlo Gancia. You cross the bridge over the river and follow the SP 6 road (Corso Libertà). Once you get close to the Cantine Gancia, the winery, turn left towards Alessandria and then immediately right towards Savona.
The road climbs up to 400 metres between vines, hazelnut groves and woods to reach Cassinasco, the gateway to the Langa Astigiana. As you leave the village, follow the SP 120 road that climbs up to the hamlet of Caffi (at an altitude of 500 metres), where you can take a break near the Sanctuary: the current building dates back to the early 20th century, but the legend of the shepherdess who had a vision here dates back much further.
You continue at high altitude and the landscape offers new sensations at every turn. You are travelling through the hills of Loazzolo where, if you are a wine lover, you will remember that the homonymous DOC wine is produced here, the smallest in Italy because it is only produced in this municipality with late harvest moscato grapes from old, south-facing vineyards, still planted on stone walls that produce a small quantity of grapes, yet very sugary. To your right you can see the woods of the Rio Luja, which have become a WWF-affiliated oasis and are particularly interesting for the plant and animal species that live there: 23 species of wild orchids and over 60 species of butterflies have been recorded.
There is still some climbing to do and then a long descent begins, taking you to the outskirts of Santo Stefano Belbo, between the Salto and the Gaminella, the hills featured in the novels of Cesare Pavese, who was born here in 1908. Writer, poet, translator, he loved these places very much and today Santo Stefano honours him by keeping his legacy alive with a Museum and a very active Foundation.
You leave the village by climbing up the Moncucco road; a short detour will take you to the small Church of the Madonna della Neve, and then you are back on the road, still on the ridge, that passes by Castiglione Tinella, set on the border between the provinces of Cuneo and Asti. Along the road you will go past the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Buon Consiglio. Continue on the SP51 road to get near the hamlet of Boglietto and at the level crossing, paying attention as you cross the busy SP23a road, go straight on along Via Boidi (SP 119) which, amidst vineyards and rural hamlets, will take you to Calosso. Here, the park of its 14th-century castle offers a 360° view of the Moscato hills, a scenery which is no less beautiful than that of Bricco Crevacuore, and to reach it you will have to leave the track and return back later.
You continue towards Canelli, past the hamlet of Piana del Salto where you can also join the Nizza winw route itinerary, and while keeping on the SP41 road, through ups and downs in the vineyards, you will reach Regione Aie and then you will be back in Canelli, the city of sparkling wine.
Along the way:
Point of interest along the way
Piazza Carlo Gancia
Piazza Carlo Gancia