“Roero in Rosa” that has seen the passage of “Giro d’Italia”, with the final stage of this section in the town of Canale a few weeks ago. And the pink colour in these parts is not only a symbol of the famous competitive cycling race but also of iconic products, such as peaches and roast ham, with their intense pink, soft and tasty colour, the result of a centuries-old tradition. The pink colour of products and events prompted us to think of the women of the Roero and, as part of a broader project, we have selected some who have distinguished themselves and continue to distinguish themselves in various activities, but we want to continue this collection of “Stories in Pink”:
Lucrezia Carrega Malabaila, Cantine Malabaila
Simona Audrito, Acqua del Roero
Claudia Giachino, Slow Days
Patrizia Marsero, Langhe Roero Team
Daniela Dellavalle, Tartufi Tartufingros
Francesca Mo, Sotto il Cielo del Roero
Ivana Palluda, All’Enoteca di Canale
Elide Mollo, Il Centro di Priocca
Lucrezia Carrega Malabaila, Malabaila Cellars
She was born and grew up in close contact with all the stages of wine-making, and has childhood memories of the grape harvest, the labelled bottles and the cellars. After all, the castle in the centre of Canale is the home of the noble Malabaila family, who have been dedicated to wine since time immemorial, so much so that the words “Malabaila winemakers since 1362” can be found on their labels. She was born into wine, then went to live in Florence, the city of her mother’s family. After university, she returned to Canale to help her father during trade fairs and various activities and began to attend Vinitaly and take the business increasingly into her own hands.
Now she practically runs the business, especially the commercial and foreign aspects. She loves the Roero, he feels it is like a big family: “One beautiful thing about the Roero is the union between the producers, and for me, this has been fundamental both in terms of integrating completely into these lands and of growing together”. She continues to spread the cult of his land, a Roero that he feels is strong as a history, for what it has to tell; as uniqueness, linked to the immense variety of products; and as elegance, because these lands are rich, sumptuous and truly elegant. It is always nice to see feminine beauty combined with the beauty of wine, and this producer, like many others in the Roero region, carries on the pride of wine from these lands.
Simona Audrito, Acqua del Roero
And after someone important turned water into wine, here is someone in the Roero who decided to do the opposite! From Roero wine, create Roero Water! The idea was born in Montà in 2015 by Simona Audrito driven by her passion for perfumes and the desire to unite it with the territory in which she lives, the Roero. From a chance encounter with “Acqua delle Langhe” (among the various perfumed waters that exist, from that of Parla to that of Elba and so on) she decided to create Acqua del Roero, a perfume produced using Roero Riserva from her husband Taliano Michele‘s farm in Montà.
She then continued with the creation of a line of natural cosmetics based on wine, Roero, including various wine-based cosmetics, which, being rich in polyphenols, protect against free radicals and promote elastic and luminous skin, reducing skin ageing. The production laboratory is in Turin, and sales, for now, are in artisan markets and online. The objectives are great and the product lends itself very well to reach the top… the Roero consortium has granted the use of the designation and now Simona is committed to making herself known more and more with a line that allows even those who do not drink wine to taste the excellent grapes of this land directly on the skin!
Claudia Giachino, Slow Days
Claudia is Langarola on her mother’s side and Roerina on her father’s side. Since her marriage, she has lived with her husband and children in Corneliano, a small village in the Roero region, which has been the witness to a change of life, chosen almost 5 years ago when she left her ‘fixed job’ and embarked on an adventure full of ‘Slow Days’! She started to get to know the people rooted in the land, the vine grower, the beekeeper, the guys who specialised in the production of Pera Madernassa, or those who produce hazelnuts.
And from here he decided to create a link between those who want to discover this land and those who have all the tools and the past to tell its story and make it tasty. She organises visits, personalised tours, outings to discover landscapes and people. She likes to describe herself as an orchestra conductor, putting herself at the service of all the musicians to create the best possible concert! She listens to the needs of his clients and then, like a puzzle, fits the pieces together, offering everyone their perfect tour. This means bike rides, far from the beaten track, lunches with Roero music, meetings with producers and truffle searches, making tajarin with the local grandmother, all following the time everyone has available. Claudia’s Slow Days!
Patrizia Marsero, Langhe Roero Team
Born in 1969, originally from Canale, she is an AOC “roerina”, one of those who, as a youngster, witnessed the kitchen trials of the ‘young Palluda’ (now a star chef at the Enoteca di Canale), one of those who know ‘life, death and miracles of the life of Canale and the surrounding area and who does her utmost to make every effort to bring prestige to the area and develop a prestigious territory. A great deal of attention is paid to sport, from the organisation of sporting competitions at the municipal level to involve the entire population to the more professional organisation of groups of cyclists under the Langhe Roero Team brand.
A group that has also actively contributed to the Canale stage of the Giro d’Italia in recent weeks. In the winter you can see her on the ski slopes, always with a large group from the Roero that leaves in the morning at dawn from the squares of Canale, and in the warm season, you can find her on two wheels, also with groups of tourists who go with her to discover wineries and places unknown to most, even to the historians of the town. A woman with a big heart, so much so that she always dedicated all her free time to others, with a strong Roero drive in her soul!
Daniela Dellavalle, Tartufingros
If many of the great star chefs of Europe and even the Far East always have the excellent white truffle from Piedmont at their disposal, it is also thanks to Daniela by Tartufingros. Many people know Andrea Rossano by name, the prince of truffles, but his better half, Daniela, is a war machine, with such gentle manners that we call her the Princess of Truffles! During the working season (between August and January) she grinds kilometres in Italy and abroad to spread the culture of the white truffle of the Roero, working in close contact with Andrea, adding the quality of an incredible savoir-faire in the relationship with chefs and buyers.
Thanks to them and thanks to her, the wooden boxes, casket of the most precious tuber in the world, with the stylised hills of the Roero have arrived everywhere, from Ducasse to Michel Bras in Japan. She doesn’t always talk about truffles, often behind the scenes compared to more prominent personalities, but she has truly enviable expertise in the field, which she brings to bear when it comes to explaining, perhaps to a chef on the other side of the world, the strengths of the Rocche del Roero truffle, Italy’s first white truffle CRU. Ambassador of the Roero, princess of the truffle.
Francesca Mo, Under the sky of the Roero
A native of Roero for reasons of force majeure, he moved to Castagnito in 2009 following the flood. Great expertise in marketing, the opportunity is propitious to develop something unique in the lands of Roero, such as dinners in the vineyard, at that time still unknown to most people. In 2017 he founded “Sotto il Cielo del Roero” (Under the sky of Roero), unique occasions designed to offer the best of the Roero: social eating where you can share a table with new friends, immersed and protected by the vineyards of a Roero winery, discovering the history, landscapes, wine and local culinary traditions.
The setting for the dinners is the rows of vines of the wineries, and the dinner is under the stars by candlelight, with music and entertainment. Following Covid, the events are less crowded, there are different rules, three dates per evening, but participation is always highly sought after, in this and the other activities that Francesca has devised to spread the word about the Roero, from truffle searches in the woods to picnic, from hot air balloon rides to Vespa tours.
Ivana Palluda, At the Enoteca* Canale
Since 1995, he has been the soul and director of the dining room at the restaurant in Canale, All’Enoteca, which he opened with his brother, the Michelin-starred chef Davide Palluda, in 2000. A beautiful place, with the geometric lines of 19th-century architecture. On the ground floor, in addition to the wine bar proper, there is the osteria with simpler dishes and prices. On the first floor is the Michelin-starred restaurant, with a beautiful corridor, two rooms: one of extreme elegance, and in the last period also a terrace. The place is spectacular, the local cuisine enhanced by the chef’s skills and the dining room completely in Ivana’s hands.
Her image is austere, almost too serious at times, but she is gentle and attentive to every detail. Then when the wall of knowledge melts away, the Palluda’s friendliness emerges, and she also tells anecdotes of cuisine and tradition. Normally the success of a restaurant is always seen as the success of the kitchen, and the dining room is left on the sidelines…. in reality, it is more than 50%, and this is another fine example of great and strong integration between the two parts of the restaurant, with two brothers who have managed to carry on a business and who are making great use of the good things of the area. Brava Ivana!
Elide Mollo, restaurant at Centro* in Priocca
Born in Bra, she worked in the countryside with her family and immediately learned to watch her mother Francesca at work in the kitchen, taking notes, learning from the simplest dishes and learning to respect seasonal products. After marrying Enrico Cordero, Elide was catapulted into the kitchen of “Il Centro”, in Priocca, where she immediately put into practice the teachings of her mother Francesca, together with a few cookery books and the guidance of her mother-in-law Margherita Brignolo (who passed away last year at the age of 95).
She was awarded a Michelin star and has stuck to traditional dishes, with an eye for the future to improve, but without distorting her cuisine. Lately, she has been following and supporting her son’s enterprise, in the splendid Dimora Cordero, a boutique hotel with 6 suites, where the kitchen wants to risk a little more and she is looking for a way to let go of her son’s playful desires! Il Centro, with Elide’s hand, is certainly a cornerstone of the culinary traditions of the Roero, with the added touch of haute cuisine. A great woman of the area, she too is an ambassador of tradition and taste.
and the tale of “Women of Roero” continues…
Article edit by Nadia Toppino
Food, Wine & Hospitality Consultant