Konstantinos StavroulakisKONSTANTINOS STAVROULAKIS, ommelier, best Sommelier of Italy ASPI 2016, Master in Economy and Tourism, Master in Marketing, currently Wine Manager at the Restaurant Sushi B in Milan.
High quality products. Riccardo, with great respect for the land and the territory, succeeds to generate the best from this Moscato grape variety, offering us high quality wines. Mongioia wines, we recommend them not only to those who appreciate their high quality, but also to those who would simply like to taste a good glass of wine. I never miss an opportunity to taste them, whether for a great occasion or not!
Marco GattiMARCO GATTI, Journalist, eno-gastronomic critic and Sommelier, co-author with Paolo Massobrio of the Guide Critica Golosa, Il Golosario and l’Ascolto del vino
You have never taste a Moscato? Those who were present still remember it. It was in 1993 with many locomotives fans, in a vintage train that crossed the small villages of Monferrato. At one step, people offered us to taste a combination of flavours, which at the time seemed completely absurd: the Moscato d'Asti but not with a dessert. An accident? Not at all! Today, more than twenty-years later, a producer also a little "crazy" has relaunch this Moscato in all its variations. Result? A big success, obviously. It could not be otherwise. Riccardo Bianco and his wife Maria, owners of Mongioia (Fraz Valdivilla 40 - tel +390141847301) of Santo Stefano Belbo, chose this way, thus honouring the Land of the Moscato d’Asti. Quality’s research. Passion and love of work. Many award-winning wines.
His challenge? Bring together the VIP personalities of wine’s world, sommeliers, critics, journalists, experts and enthusiasts, in a restaurant, Mimmo in Milan. This restaurant belongs to Davide Zunino, the talented new lChef of which we will still hear for a long time. The Bianco have asked for dishes, from appetizer to dessert, which could perfectly accompany their different Moscato. Belb, La Moscata, Meramentae, Leonhard and Crivella, this is Dream Team of Mongioia. Would you imagine a “marriage” between a Moscato d'Asti and charcuterie, usually served with Brut wine? Who would have thought that serving it with spaghetti alle vongole could create an explosion of flavours? The real jewel is the Crivella 2003! Combined with cheeses, the result is divine! Yellow gold, from the nose we distinguish some flavours, aromas of custard cream, citrus fruits, raisins ... Sweet but never disgusting, it is tasty and intense. Long live the Moscato!
Laura CecchiniLAURA CECCHINI, Sommelier, Coordinator Aspi (Associazione Sommelier Professionisti Italiani) Emilia Romagna
I had the chance to meet the producers thanks to ASPI and to discover the wines of the company Mongioia. Maria Graziano and Riccardo Bianco gave us the opportunity to taste their wines during one of our sommelier courses. It was a real satisfaction and a great pleasure to discover a grape variety, the Moscato, flawlessly vinified. It is also a great experience to offer this product in the regions where our courses take place (Emilia Romagna and Marche). I was delighted to hear the positive comments from the participants. I would add that the Meramentae Brut wine has a quite unexpected flavour, but very appreciable. All the wines of the company have as main thread an important freshness, which makes them pleasant in the mouth but also in the nose. The sympathy and the kindness of Maria and Riccardo incite to discover the full range of the wines that they offer, and encourage us to visit them, in this splendid Piedmontese region. Soon we will go to Santo Stefano Belbo with our students.
Riccardo RicciRICCARDO RICCI , Selezione Vini & Co.
I should write an entire book to explain how I met Riccardo and Maria Bianco but to synthesize a little, I would translate that by the words PASSION and LOVE for work, and that's what we have in common. Obviously, Riccardo is in charge of the agricultural part, taking care of the vines, of Moscato grape variety, which already have more than a century of history; while Maria, a “force of nature”, transmitting you a positive energy, manages the relationships with customers, contacts between agents, distributors and customers. I am grateful to them for letting me express my opinion on the company Mongioia, the best producer of Moscato d'Asti DOCG. Thanks thank thanks. Riccardo R.
Gianluca BoninsegnaGIANLUCA BONINSEGNA, Best sommelier of Veneto 2015. Master Sommelier ALMA AIS. Sommelier of the Tenuta San Martino Legnano (VR)
When producers become friends and colleagues with whom one can confront ideas and improve together, it creates a marvellous union. The first time I met Maria and Riccardo five years ago, it was during a prestigious wine fair, and I remember this Moscato revolutionized everything I knew about the Moscato. This typical acidity, with evolved perfumes and chiselled changed my opinion on a grape often too trivialized by the trade. And it is since this time that these wines are part of the wine list of the establishment where I work, each wine making us travel according to its typology. And when I bring a bottle to the table, many customers remain surprised and amazed by the high elegance of these products, skilfully worked by Riccardo's hands ... When a producer knows all his vines, their ages, their characteristics, It is not only a question of producing wine, but of raising it and making it grow as its own child. Instead of opening, as always a bottle of Moscato, try the Moscato Secco (dry) or sparkling, to combine with a dish of fish or a white meat; You will make an emotional journey, in the middle of the mountains. Your spirit will then find itself in Santo Stefano Belbo, between the vines of Maria and Riccardo.
Angelo SabbadinANGELO SABBADIN , Sommelier of the year 2011 according to the Guide of the Espresso, and owner of Officina enoteca e cucina
Mongioia represents the commitment of three generations who, working with constancy on a unique variety grape, the Moscato, succeed to “interpret” the territory, bottling soft, light wines, but extremely tasty and intense in mouth. This demonstrate to us that a wine considering like “easy” and “simple” can finally be full of surprises and achieves unexpected standards. The vines which permit to create the Crivella have more than 100 years. Thanks to this, the producer obtains a grape, which becomes a fantastic wine, an emotional journey, full of shades and facets. Long live the Moscato!
Enrico FioriniENRICO FIORINI , Best Sommelier of Veneto 2014, Master Sommelier Alma-AIS, owner of the Antica Hostaria, in Borgo Cerea (VR)
Mongioia, it's a bit like my son! We met at an event and since ... we never split! Apart from being a very high quality product, with a strong territorial footprint, I am pleased to see that I was not alone in investing on these two people! After our meeting, they obtained numerous rewards, and it confirms that my intuition of Sommelier was right. And then, it must be recognize that this desire to make their products "heroes" of Moscato helps to ensure that the wine they produce is one of these heroes; and that it is itself a vector of value and History of this particular territory, which they seek to highlight and which they defend with vigour. It could not be otherwise: a wine with these qualities is the secret of success.
Francesca PenzoFRANCESCA PENZO, 2nd best sommelier AIS Veneto 2015, owner of the restaurant La Taverna, Rosolina Mare (RO)
The products of Mongioia Company are premium quality. They can easily enrich the wine list of a restaurant. In my case, they marked the return of Moscato d’Asti in my restaurant and surprised my customers, offering high quality products. Their dry wines perfectly combine with our sea food dishes. The added value is the producer and is lovely wife, amazing people with human values.
Sokolo NdrekoSOKOL NDREKO, Manager at the Hotel Principe, Forte dei Marmi (LU)
I “met” Mongioia when I started to be interested by mono-grape varieties. The way of thinking of Riccardo and Maria shows the evolutionary potential and the valorisation of this grape variety. We have enjoyed the Moscato dry Leonhard with gambas: then the Moscato d’Asti Crivella, served with gnocchi, anchovies, chicory and capers, creating an “attack” between the expectations and the sensations on the flavours, bitter and sweet, reaching in its finishing touch a pure and perfect balance. Thanks to Maria, Riccardo and Mongioia, the Moscato comes back in our establishement and restores the value of Moscato grape and its “terroir”. Have a Mongioia wine to the wine list of its restaurant is definitely an added value.
Mauro SpazziniMAURO SPAZZINI, Sommelier, Wine Shop Bacco Montichiari
Maria and Riccardo and their company Mongioia,, name more than adequate: exalt the “raw material” in order to create wines with fantastic organoleptic characteristics. I had the opportunity to taste the Moscato Crivella 2003, 2008 and 2011. It’s a Moscato with aromatic complexity, with a lingering flavour: custard cream, raisins, vanilla, citrus fruits; all supported by a particular acidity very pleasant that pushes us to finish the bottle saying “amen”. This is a slightly sparkling that we can offer like other famous sweet wines (like the Sauternes for instance). The Crivella will be perfect with foie gras, oysters, veined cheese or with a traditional Italian cake with fruits, custard cream and white chocolate mousse. It’s amazing!
Hideki WatanabeHIDEKI WATANABE, Sommelier at the Accademy of wines AIS Japan - Sommelier at the Villa Crespi, Chef Antonino Canavacciuolo - Previously Sommelier at Chau del Tornavento Treiso (CN)
I have in mind the name of a lot of wine producers who would tell me only the good part of the story. What I like about Riccardo is that, on the contrary, he explained everything to me, without ever hiding anything from me. He works seriously. A month ago, I went to visit him on the vineyard, for the fourth time. We had diner without Riccardo because he was on the vineyard, trying to solve a problem with the vines. At 10:30 pm he came back, his face was sweating and full of mind, but it wasn’t important. I didn’t ask what kind of problems he had in the vineyard; he was tired but seemed satisfied with the work done. That is when I realized how difficult organic agriculture is and how good wines are produced. On March 2016, Maria and I went to Japan. All the customers tell us: “we felt the communicative “joie de vivre” of Maria and Moscato Mongioia. During this trip, I realised that Mongioia is on symbiosis with Maria and Riccardo.
Claude FoggiaCLAUDE FOGGIA , Il Mercante di caffé - Bergamo
We don’t find any treasures by accident; we have to look for them ... or simply be lucky and have some contacts…! And here are the treasures of Mongioia: Leonhard, Belb, La Moscata, Crivella, Meramentae. Liquid emotion in its purest form which have find a place in our establishment, next to other high quality’s products that we choose in order to satisfy and make our customers happy. Claude of Il Mercante di Cffè, Bergamo.
Giuseppe de BiasiGIUSEPPE DE BIASI, Journaliste - La Repubblica
“Bianco” for the name, and “Bianco” in the “actions”. Not only for the grape variety used, the Moscato Bianco, but also for the predestination of “nomen omen” of Mongioia’s boss company, Riccardo Bianco, who became the ambassador of his “aromatic” vines. We are in Santo Stefano Belbo, in the province of Asti, in the heart of Moscato d’Asti DOCG area. It’s here that Riccardo completely devotes his 10 hectares for Moscato, in various variations, going from a dry to a brut vintage, like the elegant “Meramentae”, brut with exceptional delicacy, until this little jewel, the Crivella 2011, a sparkling wine which can easily age for a very long time and yet keep its qualities. This explodes the idea that you can only drink Moscato with Panettone and that it can’t ages.
It is a Cru, produced from vines almost centenary which grow on white clay soil, containing also a little sand and silt, able to transmit the thousand shades of this extraordinary “terroir”. Vines and grapes handle with care, whether on the vine or in the vineyard, “giving birth” to a complex Moscato, with aromas of apricot, peach and with a pleasant mineral depth, which announce the potential of refining. It goes well with veined cheese, for instance a Murlanengo from the Piedmontese Alps.
Claudio LiminaCLAUDIO LIMINA, Blogger Bianciovino, co-creator and manager of Pulp-Kitchen Club Milano
Mongioia is, no more and no less, the expression of a territory and a family, which make of wine its greatest passion. Through a unique grape variety, the Moscato, this company tell us a story with thousands flavours and shades. Each bottle is produced with care and becomes a real jewel. I had the pleasure of meeting Maria and Riccardo and of visiting their vineyard. It was a rich experience and that I remember with pleasure. An advice? Taste the Crivella and stop thinking that Moscato is only a wine for desserts.
Manuel VedelagoMANUEL VEDELAGO, Entrepreneur, owner of Officamp, Treviso.
I organised a dinner with only fish dishes some time ago, and on Maria’s advice, I decided to served raw fish with a magnum of La Moscata. The seven guests (who had brought a bottle of traditional Metodo Classico, thinking that I would open it) looked upon me as a loony. But not ever after having tasted this association … You have to try it, I strongly recommend it. Spaghetti alle vongole with the Leonhard; and grilled prawns with the Meramentae. I still remember the guests reaction … On that evening, our taste buds travelled! Congratulations!
Francesco AduiniFRANCESCO ADUNI, Owner of the Drogheria Aduni, Arezzo (AR)
We have met Mongioia thanks to the Master Pastry Chef Luigi Biasetto who advised us several times to combine the Moscato d’Asti Belb Mongioia with one of the traditional Italian Christmas cakes, the Panettone. Driven by curiosity, we wanted to know more about Mongioia. A real jewel concealed between the Lange and the Alto Monferrato, where the Moscato d’Asti is produced. Thanks to Mongioia and its excellent products, our customers have rediscovered the flavours, the sensations and the several shades of the “true” Moscato d’Asti. A unique and incomparable wine, also in its combination: not only with desserts, but also with starters or main dishes. The knowledge, professionalism and passion of Bianco family for the production of these high quality wines have led them to gladly appreciate all the facets of their products. They managed to create a Moscato for every type of palate, even the most discerning palate. It only remains for me to thank Maria and Riccardo to giving us the opportunity to let our customers know and enjoy the True Moscato D’Asti. And we look forward to receiving them in our establishment for the 2017 spring event.
Antonio PaoliniANTONIO PAOLINI, Professional journalist
Those who like wine know that there is more than one Piedmont. And not only because of this famous line drawn by the Tanaro river and separating Roero from Langha. There is the white Piedmont of the Alessandrino, and also the Piedmond with the famous “bubbles” of Moscato: Asti and its surrounding municipalities, with Santo Stefano Belbo, maybe at the top of the list. It’s the place where work Riccardo Bianco and his wife: strongly believing in their Moscato. They decline it in every possible variation, exploring every shade and numerous facets of this vine. It is the way that they create a dry Moscato and a Brut Moscato (with traditional/champagne method), in addition to the classic Moscato Dolce, a real “Proust madeleine” (delicat, low in alcohol, thin beading). As for the company, it is line with its mentor and owner and respects its undisguised ambitions. Be sure: this company (which has decided to be named Mongioia) will go far!
Domenico CelliDOMENICO CELLI, Sommelier, Business owner of the Bottega della carne Celli Norcineria Macelleria- Novafeltria (RN)
Congratulations! I see in you determination and desire to succeed. I’m sure that it will be a success, and I wish you a bright future and a lot of satisfactions.
Ilaria NovelloIlaria Novello, Sommelier Professionista, Master Alma Ais
Da brava Sommelier, nel 2013 sono stata al mio primo Merano Wine Festival. Meravigliata dalla location suggestiva e dai tanti prodotti interessanti, mi sono ritrovata solamente verso la fine della giornata a girare nella zona dedicata ai vini eroici. Alla vista di un cartellino che indicava un Moscato d'Asti del 2003 dell'allora cantina Marco Bianco mi sono fermata e, spinta dalla curiosità, ho voluto assaggiare quell'eroe. Non potevo concludere la giornata in modo migliore. Quel vino era il Moscato Crivella, prodotto dalle uve di vigne centenarie a Santo Stefano Belbo, che mi ha subito incantato per la sua intensità quasi impossibile da concepire, visti i 10 anni di maturazione alle spalle.
In quel momento ho conosciuto Maria e Riccardo, la splendida coppia che gestisce l'attuale cantina Mongioia e che sono diventati nel tempo preziosi amici. Dopo averli conosciuti ho capito il segreto dei loro vini, ovvero la semplice combinazione di amore e passione che vi dedicano contribuiscono a renderli così speciali. Note fresche di pesca dolce, sentori inebrianti di salvia che regalano eleganza e una leggera effervescenza indispensabile per pulire il palato e accompagnare una dolcezza equilibrata.
Noto sempre con un certo orgoglio lo stupore dei clienti del ristorante per cui lavoro, specialmente i più titubanti, quando assaggiano il Moscato Belb, rimangono quasi increduli! E so per certo che la prossima volta ne vorranno un'altra bottiglia, e questo è dovuto alla sua dolcezza non stucchevole unita alla freschezza che creano un equilibrio difficile da trovare nei vini dolci.
Altra gradita sorpresa è stato il primo assaggio di Meramente, un Brut Nature che possiede tutti i profumi e le sfumature del Moscato, a cui ormai non riesco più a rinunciare.
I prodotti che creano sono il frutto di tanto impegno e sacrificio, inoltre ci tengo a sottolineare che, come ho già fatto in un elaborato per il Master Alma Ais, "Il punto di forza dell’azienda sono loro, marito e moglie, sempre insieme. L’immagine di Mongioia."