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Among the Italian food and wine treasures, the Strada dei Colli Piacentini (The Wine and Flavors Route of the Piacenza Hills) stands out for the wealth of knowledge and flavors to be discovered, visited and tasted.
Getting to know Italy through wine, its culture, the territories, the companies that allow the visitor to taste unique specialties. Not only wine but also EVOO and the best dairy products of one of the most generous areas of Northern Italy. Territories to be enhanced and known also through the proposals offered by the Association created precisely to enhance the territory.
Let’s find out more from the words of Elisabetta Virtuani, President of the Association.
From when your Association was born until today, which goals have you achieved and which ones still to be achieved?
The Strada dei Vini e dei Sapori dei Colli Piacentini is a non-profit association, established in 2000, with the aim of enhancing the historical, cultural, environmental, economic and social identity of the Piacenza area dedicated to wine production.
In its long path, the Road has been committed to the enhancement of agricultural and wine production, food and wine specialties and traditional agri-food activities with the aim of creating an integrated offer built on the quality of products and services. Inside a bottle of wine we find identity, history and, above all, the culture of the territory to tell and promote. Nature, culture, events, tastings are more and more opportunities for the consumer/visitor to take center stage in search of experiences rather than products or goods, human relationships and cultural encounters rather than consumption. The places of wine production intercept these new dimensions of demand and the Strada has worked in recent years to accommodate, integrating the offer of wineries, agritourisme, cured meats, dairies, oil mills, B & Bs and restaurants with naturalistic, historical, cultural and environmental present on your path.
Although the adoption of information signs and compliance with quality standards by each individual company are a guarantee of quality, the work to be done for the training of operators, the culture of hospitality, innovation in services and communication.
Through which services / activities do you promote the dissemination of the Colli Piacentini Wine Route?
The road promotion activities are carried out at different levels:
Institutional link such as Destination Emilia, the LAG of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza and the Federation of Wine, Oil and Flavors of Italy routes.
Internal and external communication and marketing related to products, territory, companies, itineraries/packages, events, experiences.
The activities focus on the organization of events such as dinners and picnics in the vineyard, guided tastings in medieval villages, bike & taste tours, aperitifs at sunset, press and blog tours, participation in food and wine themed television formats, creation of experiences and tourist packages.
Communication is both offline and online. The tools are many: traditional promotional materials such as brochures, maps and press or multimedia such as thematic or digital videos through the website stradadeicollipiacentini.it with the interactive map, the complete calendar of the initiatives of the Road and of the members and the section of experiences that you can do them along the way. Social communication is carried out through the Facebook channels @stradavinisaporicollipiacentini and Instagram @stradavinicollipiacentini, using the #stradavinicollipiacentini.
What are the peculiar characteristics of the territory and its wines?
The itinerary of the Strada dei Vini e dei Sapori dei Colli Piacentini crosses the main valleys of the province of Piacenza; a territory with a high wine-growing vocation, as can be perceived by walking along the panoramic roads, walking among the vineyards and visiting the many wineries present. Following the road, art and culture intertwine with the charm of the landscape and the skilful hand of agri-food artisans. The beauty of the hills and valleys meets the magic of castles and ancient medieval villages among the most beautiful in Italy, of museums, churches and abbeys of ancient tradition. The excellence of the agri-food products, the PDO Piacentini cured meats and the authentic flavors of the typical cuisine perfectly match the quality of the PDO wines from the Piacenza hills.
Piacenza viticulture has its roots of tradition and vocation in history. Some archaeological finds testify to the presence of Vitis Vinifera on the Piacentini Hills in remote times between the 10th and 7th centuries. B.C.
There are four main varieties of Piacenza viticulture: red-berried Barbera and Croatina, Aromatic Malvasia di Candia and white-berried Ortrugo.
The DOC wines of the province of Piacenza are represented by the DOC Colli Piacentini (with 14 different mentions), by the DOC Gutturnio and DOC Ortrugo. The Piacentini Hills are a very interesting area for viticulture, characterized by a variable orography of the territory and a wide range of soils planted with vines, from which niches of vocation emerge. As far as agri-food products are concerned, the Piacenza area offers an offer of absolute quality: 3 typical cured meats protected with the DOP brand, Coppa, Pancetta and Salame Piacentino; 2 DOP cheeses, Grana Padano and Provolone Valpadana, more than 100 PAT (Traditional Agri-food Products) and about 20 De.Co. (Municipal denomination) testifying to the very close link with the territory. The best way to get to know the Colli Piacentini is to taste the products directly in the places of production or in farmhouses and typical restaurants along the road, where you can discover the excellence of Piacenza cuisine.
Can you briefly describe the route and which territories of cultural and wine tourism interest it crosses?
Traveling along the Strada dei Colli Piacentini means traveling to discover wineries, dairies, cured meats and oil mills, where agri-food production is closely linked to agricultural crops and typical farms in the area. Along the Strada dei Colli Piacentini you can visit wineries housed in suggestive castles, you can taste the wines of a beautiful and lush agricultural valley in a wine cellar of a magnificent renovated ancient manor, from which interesting excursions and walks start. You can leave for interesting bike & taste tours in the vineyards with delicious tastings on arrival; you can relax in small rural spas of farmhouses / cellars with hospitality and well-being.
There are four main Piacentine Valleys crossed by the road, which take their name from the river that crosses it: Val Tidone, famous for its enchanting viticultural landscape and high wine-growing vocation with Ziano Piacentino as the most vine-grown municipality in Italy; Val Trebbia with its crystal clear water river and winding meanders, where you can practice canyoning, kayaking or rafting, which flank the beautiful medieval village of Bobbio and the imposing village of Rivalta with its castle; Val Nure for its uncontaminated nature and the area dedicated to outdoor sports, the Borgo di Grazzano Visconti with the Medieval Castle, the Museum of Vine and Wine; Val d’Arda for its heroic viticulture and the spectacular medieval villages of Vigoleno and Castell’Arquato.
The wine-growing landscape varies along the way: from the gentle and sinuous hills of Val Tidone to the vineyards of Val d’Arda characterized by considerable slopes and charm.
Why choose the Colli Piacentini Wine Route?
There are five reasons for choosing the Strada dei Colli Piacentini:
- Taste the territory, where the beauty of the viticultural landscape meets the ancient villages and the excellence of agri-food products.
- Immerse yourself in the landscape where you can enjoy intact and uncontaminated nature and experience the Piacentini hills.
- Discover the Terre del Vino: There are seven lands mapped according to particular geological characteristics of the soils; a new reading of Piacenza viticulture, an invitation to travel and to perceive the territory, based on strong interconnections between typical products, nature, environment, history and anthropogenic activity.
- Enjoy Piacenza cuisine, made of tradition, territory and attention to the processing of raw materials, but it is also the result of a continuous reinterpretation of traditional cuisine with modern criteria and techniques.
- Allow yourself to be welcomed in ancient country houses restored and cared for down to the smallest detail or in a farmhouse where you can regenerate yourself after walks in the vineyards, trekking, mountain biking and climbing on the Apennine Hills.