The Piedmont hazelnut plant: Corylus Avellana L.
The hazelnut plant is native to Asia Minor. The variety of hazel grown in Piedmont is the Tonda
Gentile Trilobata, which is concentrated in the provinces of Cuneo, Asti and Alessandria.
Production is distributed among the Langhe, Roero and Monferrato hills.
The P.G.I. standard ensures users and consumers of the product’s quality and authenticity.
Harvest takes place when the fruit is completely ripe and it spontaneously detaches from the
branches and falls to the ground. This enables a high yield after shelling and a good product
quality. The ripe fruits have a higher weight and a lower moisture level. Given the strong tendency of the fruits to absorb moisture from the soil, a quick harvest is necessary and performed several times to prevent spoilage and ensure the quality of the fruits.
The Cuneo province is Piedmont’s leader for having the most hazel as a main crop. Approximately 7,100 hectares, of which more than 2,390 are concentrated in Langhe provide almost 86% of Piedmont production.
A Protected Geographical Indication was recognised by Ministerial Decree of December 2,
1993 for the name "Piedmont Hazelnut" which is exclusive for the "Tonda Gentile Trefoil" cultivars.
Today, Piedmont production is nearly 150,000
quintals, quintals, or approximately 8.8% of the national production.