The city of Canelli boasts a profound cultural patrimony: the so-called underground cathedrals, historic cellars in the tuff that pass under the city for approximately 20 Km.
The excavation of these cellars began in the XVI century but finished only in the XIX century, the period that saw the climbing of Canelli wines in Italy and in the world.
In these cellars, thousands of bottles of Spumante Metodo Classico ferment at a constant temperature of 12-14 degrees: this method give to Canelli wines an aroma and a unique flavor.
The 19th century brick and the surreal and suggestive atmosphere look like real underground cathedrals that are candidated to be included in the Unesco World Heritage list like the Pyramids of Egypt and the Great Wall of China.
Most of the cathedrals are open to the public actually you can visit the cellars Gancia, Bosca, Contratto e Coppo. The visit lasts about an hour and a half, followed by a tasting of the wines produced, advance reservation is required and you can have the tour in Italian or English language. The price depending on the company, they are open every day from Monday to Saturday, on Sunday only one of the four wineries remains open to tourists.
Founded in 1867. The historical Contratto cellars covers 5000 meters and they are located under the Castle GanciaHill Gancia. They are 32 meters deep. The company Contratto in 1919 produced the first sparkling wine called “millesimato“. The winery has a long and prestigious history. At the end of the XX century, its wines left Canelli to destinations around the world and Contratto provided its wines to the Vatican and to the Italian royal family.