Let yourself be conquered by the landscapes and the food & wine of Piedmont!
In Piedmont, the ice-cold Alps and the warm Mediterranean affect the weather by creating a tug of war that produces happy wine grapes and great wine. Don’t miss a Piedmont wine tasting.
The Langhe hills are in a small basin at the foot of the Maritime Alps (Piedmont means ‘at the foot of the mountain’) and it’s a perfect escape for a gastronomic weekend visiting local Barolo and Barbaresco producers to taste and learn about how they make their wines and sample the local cuisine.
Barolo and Barbaresco are red wines produced in the Piedmont. The wines are made from Nebbiolo, a small, thin skinned red grape varietal generally high in acid and tannins.
The wines are rich and full-bodied, with a strong presence of acidity and tannins. According to DOCG regulations, the wines must be aged for at least two years in oak and one year in bottle, with five years of age (three in oak) required for Riserva labeling, both with a minimum 13 percent alcohol content.
Barolo, is also the name of the village in which the wine is produced. The pulsating heart of the Langhe contains everything that those who are travelling want to find: a beautiful landscape, a historic town with a view over vineyard hills, great food and excellent wine.
The centre of Barolo is full of numerous wineries and wine shops that can be visited, where you can taste the best wines of the Langhe such as Barolo and Barbaresco, but not only…
The territory of the Langhe UNESCO World Heritage site boasts fields of hazel groves, stretches of rows on which grow the Nebbiolo grapes and of course many truffle grounds where every year the Trifolai go in search of the prized truffle of ‘Alba, in winter and the summer black truffle, in summer.
The vineyard landscape of Barolo and Barbaresco is breathtaking at any time of year. Fall marks the height of tourist season. Harvest kicks off in late August / early September, keeping producers busy until October.
Wine producers remain primarily small, family run-operations, so most wineries require appointments for visits. If you plan to visit from September to late November, book early for everything from lodging, to restaurant reservations, wine tours, winery visits, and truffle hunts.
Usually, family members welcome visitors with a full tour of the cellar (often the family home), then a tasting of their wines. Each producer visit is just a little different with appointments running long (think 1.5 to 3 hours) as the host shares a passion that has been passed down for generations and generations.
Piedmont Wine Tasting – Don’t miss:
- Visit the most spectacular winery: The Ceretto winery in Alba is a great visit, one of the few wineries in this area that understood how to take art, architecture, and wine and put them together in such a wonderful way. The tasting room at their Alba location has a wonderful room like a plastic bubble that was designed to look like a grape and if you see some photos on their website it does look just like that. The wonderful thing is from there you get a wonderful view of the rolling hills in the Langhe and also get a glimpse of some of their vineyards. The tasting options that they have are a good range and on the spot you can choose which type of tasting you would like to participate in. The staff is very friendly and knowledgable. And if after, you are hungry, you can try and score a spot at Ceretto’s 3 Michelin starred restaurant Piazza Duomo, the only one of 3 stars in Piedmont.
- Discover the annual wine festival ” Vinum “. It is held from the end of April into the first week or so of May in Alba, the city whose white truffles have made it world famous.
It describes itself as ‘Italy’s Greatest Open Air Wine Shop’ and is, above all, a showcase for the fabulous wines of Langhe, Roero and Monferrato. So much so the piazze and streets of the city are lined with tasting tables offering fine Barolo, Barbaresco, Dolcetto d’Alba, Moscato d’Asti, Nebbiolo d’Alba, Asti Spumante and more.
Piedmont Wine Tasting – Travel Tips:
- Rent a car and drive on the most panoramic wine routes within the a production of Barolo wine with views over vineyards, medieval towers and quaint villages.
- If you do opt to drive yourself, try to limit your appointments to two winery visits in a day and work in about a 30-minute buffer between as visits often run long.
- Consider that the drive time between producers and villages can take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes by car because of the curvy, windy, hilly country roads.
- If you plan to visit from September to late November, book early for everything from lodging, to restaurant reservations, wine tours, winery visits, and truffle hunts.
- Usually the producer charges a tasting fee: they vary from 10 to 25 euros a person; often waived with the purchase of wine.
Best time to visit Langhe – Piedmont
The vineyard landscape is breathtaking at any time of year.
Fall marks the height of tourist season. Harvest kicks off in late August / early September, keeping producers busy until October. Right after harvest the city of Alba takes centre stage with International White Truffle Festival, the world’s biggest truffle market.