The underground cathedrals of Canelli
This bustling town in the province of Asti, home of the first Italian classic method of sparkling wine, stands on a monumentally designed network of tunnels and galleries dug into the ground between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries: Canelli’s Underground Cathedrals – an iconic place of the 50th Italian UNESCO site “Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato”, proclaimed World Heritage in June 2014 – wind their way for kilometres underground.
“Cathedrals” is the best definition for these engineering masterpieces, authentic treasures of wine culture. These majestic rooms with brick vaults and imposing atmospheres alternate with narrow passages, drawing a dense map of history and winemaking stories, bearing exceptional architectural testimony to Piedmont’s winemaking heritage.
Contratto, Coppo, Gancia and Bosca are the wineries open to visitors today.
Inside, as deep as 32 metres below the surface, the historic cellars still house thousands of bottles of classic method sparkling wine, ageing at a constant temperature between 12 and 14 degrees Celsius.