I am just back from Italy and my first visit to one of Italy’s most famous and important wine regions (no, not Tuscany): Piemonte (or Piedmont). The top-producing wine zones in Piemonte are in the Langhe, Roero, and Monferrato regions in central and southern Piemonte. You may have heard of them: in 2014, the Langhe-Roero and Monferrato countryside was included as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
It was also my first time to visit a vineyard during harvest season – now I understand what all the excitement is about! It’s a lot of work and must be done quickly. If the weather changes the harvest can be compromised. So there’s a lot of work , but also fun and camaraderie. Every place I visited was family-owned and very old. For example, Marchesi di Barolo (which you’ll hear a lot more about later) has a history of 150 years.
In all, I spent spent six days in the area – and only scratched the surface. There are over 2,000 wine producers in the Langhe-Roero-Monferatto regions. I visited seven.
I’m going to get started by sharing this photo postcard (taken with my iPhone) from Barolo, a tiny village which just happens to be the name of a top wine produced there. I spent six days in a lovely agriturismo, Ca San Ponzio, just a short walk from those vineyards. However, the village is farther away than it looks – about an hours walk.
Those vineyards are all Nebbiolo grapes that are grown almost exclusively in this newly designated UNESCO site. Barolo is only about 6 kilometers in size, and under 1000 inhabitants. It’s a charming village to spend an afternoon walking, eating, visiting the wineries, and, of course, drinking Barolo wine.
I will soon follow up with in-depth information about my fabulous tour guides, the wineries, places to stay, the divine food of Piemonte, and more.
Big news! I passed my WSET exam, with merit! That’s right, I’m now a WSET Level 2 certified wino. If you missed my article about studying for the WSET exam check it out! I’ve had great feedback from fellow winos interested in studying up more themselves. Here’s the link.
Cin cin! As they say in Italy.
Love to hear from you. Have you been to Piemonte? Are you a fan of Nebbiolo?