If you are a big wine lover, Italy offers quite a lot of opportunities as grapes are cultivated everywhere within the Country. However one thing is sipping a good wine at home in front of your fireplace, which is a relaxing activity by the way, while a completely different experience is tasting a wine at a cellar where the wine is actually made, under the guidance of an expert vine grower.
In Italy you will find an unparalleled quantity of grape varieties and wine as well as hundreds of thousand cellar which open their gates to visitors. Some are better than others obviously, but there is one area in Italy where, regardless of the cellar you pick, your wine tasting experience will be at its best: it’s called Langhe and Monferrato. The Langhe and Monferrato Area is located in the Northwest corner of Italy within the context of the Piedmont Region. Thanks to its unique landscape, in 2012 The UNESCO decided to include this territory among the World Heritage sites list. A wide set of high quality wines are produced here such as Barolo, Barbaresco, Nebbiolo, Barbera d’Asti and Barbera d’Alba, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Grignolino, Ruchè just to mention some of them.
To get to the area you have plenty of choices. Should you be willing to spend some day in full relax and hop from one cellar to the next for a couple of days, there is a wide range of comfortable bed and breakfast disseminated all across the Langhe and Monferrato region. On the other side, if you just want to have a one day trip and pick one or two cellar to visit, you may book a hotel in Torino, the capital city of the Piedmont Region, spend some days in town, have your cultural visits and then move to Langhe and Monferrato for a sensational one day trip. Don’t forget your camera as depending on your destination you’ll find two incredible panoramic views along the way: La Morra in the Langhe Region and Albugnano in the Monferrato area. Places you should go may vary quite a lot depending on your palate. If you like aged wine such as Barolo, than Langhe will be your destination, if you rather prefer full bodied wine you’d better go to Monferrato. In the first case my recommended places are the villages of
Barolo (obviously), Verduno, Dogliani, Barbaresco, in the second case you might go to Nizza Monferrato, Canelli, Calamandrana (in Southern Monferrato) or to Cocconato and Albugnano in Northern Monferrato. Should you choose to visit Albugnano do not skip a visit to a unique romanesque Abbey standing lonely in the bushes that surrounds the village: the Abbey of Vezzolano. Some cellars supply free visit and a basic wine tasting, some others ask for a contribution and your wine tasting will depend on the quality and the vintage of the wine you decide to taste. You will never spend your good money in a better way. What makes these wine special and unique is the fact that most of the wine cellars are small family-run business, each one owning just few acres. That is why the care they pay to their land is ultimate, as if the vineyard was a family member. You also have to consider that most of the grape varieties are natives, thus making the final products strictly linked to its territory, the quality of the soil and a blessed geographical location in close proximity with the Alps and the Mediterranean sea. The whole areas was a seabed too millions of years ago. Find more info on the website of the local tourism authority. Need more info? Fill in the contact form and I will be happy to provide you with more suggestions and recommendations.