The defining feature of historic viticulture in the Ossola Valley is Prünent, a native wine considered to be a clone of Nebbiolo. In Lower Piedmont, as well as in the hills of Novara, it is the basis of the best-known Piedmontese wines in the world, most notably Barolo and Barbaresco.
Medieval documents reveal that Prünent has been present in the Ossola Valley since 1300 and that its cultivation spread throughout almost the entire area thanks to the use of terraces with dry-stone walls. These terraces, whose construction required immense work, marked and changed the slopes of the valley between the 16th and 18th centuries.
From Trontano to Masera, from Calice (a district in Domodossola) to Crodo in the Antigorio Valley (where Chardonnay white wines are produced), to Oira, Montecrestese and Villadossola: today, these are the important centres for Ossola grape cultivation.
In Val d’Ossola, in addition to Prünent, Cà d’Matè (from Croatina, Nebbiolo and Prünent grapes), Tarlap (a varietal Pinot Noir) and other wines are produced, of which Valli Ossolane is the only DOC.
Ossola is also a land of beer, craft breweries in Domodossola and Malesco, in the Vigezzo Valley produce niche, high-quality beer: spiced beer, session beer and beer linked to products typical of the Ossolan valleys. You can even taste mint-flavoured beer, beer with rye cultivated in Val d’Ossola and made in Ossola beer enhanced with corn and chestnut honey.