Langa and Monferrato where I live, offer a very suggestive landscape: unique in the autumn symphony of brass and reds, quiet, cool and lush in summer, an explosion of greens in spring. An ideal place to live for at least nine month a year. In winter, I would prefer living elsewhere, I find the lack of vegetation melancholic.

This land is rich in history and tradition, underwent significant hydro geological changes resulting in extremely fertile soil; it is blesses by a mild micro climate, thanks to the mitigating influence of the Liguria Sea only 45km away, and to the hills that break the low quote cold currents coming from the North. A real paradise, which is luckily still relatively unknown. More than a territory this is a mosaic of colours and flavours.

In very ancient time, the sea left a soil rich in marine sediments, with a high percentage of minerals, highly fertile and with a lush vegetation. Intense rain washed out the hills dragging the soil upper layers richer in minerals and natural fertilisers towards the valley until they reach the planes. Belbo, Bormida and Tanaro, three rivers crisscross our valleys flowing on a rocky bed. While the nearby valleys have a very fine sandy soil, always cool and well irrigated, which is ideal for vegetables, fruits, pastures and trees, crops, maize (famous for a typr of polenta, called 8 rows) and forests.

These areas are not prone to wildfires as the land is cultivated intensively with a variety of crops: first of all vines, then forages, fruits, crops, acacia; while chestnut and English oak trees are a plenty, providing an undergrowth ideal for renown truffles, porcino and other wild mushrooms. Acacia honey is excellent. Our chestnut trees produce a very tasty local variety of small size nuts called “Stercere”, ideal, with they rich oils, to prepare a very moist spread. The same trees are very valuable for they precious wood, used for beautiful antique and luxury furniture. Our rivers are rich of fish, such as trout, carp, chub, bleak (amazing when fried and crisp) and eel. Contrary to public opinion, many fishers and hunters did not just thought of filling their game bags, but contributed to maintaining the natural balance of the territory

Giorgio Cirio

With this notes I wish to share my experience and the main events of my life, through 35 years of work and travels to destinations around the world renown for food and wine.

I feel very lucky, both for my cheerful and jovial personality and for my incessant desire for new experiences. I am active and curious, always ready to try, get to know and taste something; to make new friendships and see new places. I am not afraid of working. I grew up in a wonderful family. Our mother “taught” us and “beat” us to make us grow up on the right path. A fundamental teaching during my upbringing. My way of life is informed to simplicity, to waste as little as possible without lacking of anything, to see and taste the best things possible and thus to travel the world as much as possible. This is how I live! Travelling and seeing, experimenting and under- standing, getting to know and appreciating the products of human labour. I love travelling, seeing monuments and buildings, cities and art works. In particular I love grasping the secrets of life, by seeing craft works, and traditional food preparation methods, often time honoured traditions that technology tends to erase. I am strongly in favour of traditions, old ways and practices, although I use technology without altering the final quality, taste and flavour.

Both professionally and as a passion I have become a good connoisseur of food and wine from Monferrato and Langa, two terri- tories with slightly different characteristics: flavours are more delicate, finer in Monferrato and stronger, more intense in Langa. I have a penchant for the more subtle Monferrato flavours. My preference is not shared by many food and wine critics and gourmands who enjoy stronger and more complex wines, which, in my opinion overpower the pleasure of striking the right balance between food and wine.