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Traditional Agriculture

Agriculture is particularly present in the southern hilly areas, in contrast with the northern territories which are now mainly covered with woods (broad-leaf trees with conifers - Scots pine, which are continuously recovering) and where a protected horticulture is taking root in the residual cultivated areas; vineyards draw the sunniest slopes with clear geometrical shapes. The meadows dominated by willow, mulberry, and alder rows interrupt the woods in the valleys along the streams; the peach orchards, which are still very widespread, at the beginning of the century were so important to the extent that they ensured the birth of a daily market in Canale d'Alba. Anyway, the most significant cultivation is represented by the vineyard: since ancient times, the sunniest hilly slopes have been stolen to the wood to plant vineyards. The most important wines are Roero (D.O.C. since 1985), Roero Arneis, Barbera d'Alba, Nebiolo d'Alba, Moscato d'Asti, Favorita, Birbet (Brachetto), etc. Moreover, the so-called "Uva molle di Montaldo" is characteristic of the area: it is a particularly prized grapes for its long-conservation qualities. The apple cultivation in Corneliano and Guarene is still relevant today and better than the pear cultivation, although the latter boasts a similar ancient tradition with an original and exclusive cultivar called "Madernassa". The strawberry cultivation has been recently extended on loose and sandy soils in the central areas of Roero, where the asparagus cultivation is also a traditional activity.
The chestnut tree plays an essential role, both for the economic relevance it had in the past and for the landscape and historical value of the last nuclei of centuries-old specimens: the area is mainly dominated by a fast-ripening local variety called "Castagna della Madonna".

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