Piedmont Wine Guide

WINE TRAILS OF ITALY: langhe and roero

Commencing our Italian road trip in the Langhe and Roero in Piedmont, where we visit the wineries and sample the cuisines that express this unique place

Italy exudes charm. In parts utterly beautiful, this relatively new nation-state is a tapestry of cultures, all of which carry their own flavor but are unified in their unmistakable “Italianness”. It speaks of a way of life, the pleasure in sourcing local produce, refining recipes passed on through generations, creating wines that are a pure expression of the terroir. It is about seeing great design as pivotal to the good life, cherishing art and architectural history, yet championing the avant-garde. It is a question of attitude, of sprezzatura, and of honoring the aperitivo culture as an integral part of the working day. Most of all, Italianness is about the enjoyment of life.

A visceral Italian experience therefore must involve delving deep into the food and wine culture. But where to start? Although the country offers access to some of the world’s finest wines, rich and diverse gastronomy, exquisite restaurants and hospitality, for the wine adventurer the sheer volume can be a touch overwhelming.

With this in mind, we are featuring a series of trails that take you across Italy in search of the wine and food that express each micro region’s unique historical and cultural landscape. We have gathered a list of some of the finest vineyards and restaurants, recommending areas to explore and accommodation to stay which combined will make an ideal base upon which you can build your own personal wine trail.

And we will begin our journey here in the Langhe and Roero area of Piedmont, in the north. But don’t miss out on our next stop though to the Val d’Orcia in Tuscany, and Sicily’s Mount Etna and its surroundings…

PIEDMONT, THE LANGHE AND ROERO

The vineyards in this authentic, rugged part of Italy produce the celebrated Barolo and Barbaresco, while the region offers unique gastronomic experiences to include the prized local white truffle. And, with its vast countryside, great walks, mountaineering, and serious skiing, it offers an easy escape from bustling Milan and Turin.

WINERIES TO VISIT

The UNESCO World Heritage protected hills of the Langhe and neighboring Roero produce some of the world’s most revered and structured red wines, Barolo and Barbaresco, both of which are made exclusively using the local Nebbiolo grape.

Ratti

Renato Ratti was the first winemaker in Piedmont to craft a single-vineyard Barolo, and as president of the Barolo Consorzio, he initiated drafting the DOCG bylaws. The La Morra winery is now run by his son Pietro who is carrying on his father’s legacy and creating acclaimed wines that are the hallmark of the Barolo zone.

Ceretto

Run by Alessandro Ceretto, the third generation of the family, the Alba winery is certified organic since 2016, with the vineyards farmed biodynamically. The family are patrons of the arts and are passionate about food.

Michele Chiarlo

The winery hosts art shows and the façade boasts a vertical lawn to reflect the Chialo family’s love for nature. Close by is the Art Park La Court, the largest open-air museum in a vineyard displaying works by world artists and sculptors.

Vietti

Located in the heart of the Langhe hills, at the top of the village of Castiglione Falletto, the historic winery was founded in the late 1800s by Carlo Vietti. Today the estate boasts some of the most prized terroirs within the Barolo region.

Giacomo Conterno

The story can be traced back to 1908 when Giovanni Conterno opened a small inn in the village of San Giuseppe just outside Monforte d’Alba in Piedmont. Today the estate makes highly regarded Barolo and Barbera wines through traditional methods.

Gaja

Set in the Langhe region, and with a history spanning some 150 years, the estate now produces a number of prized Barbaresco and Barolo wines. The current owner Angelo Gaja helped pioneer the production of single-vineyard designated wines and planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc in Piedmont.

banner image: RELAIS SAN MAURIZIO. Clockwise from top: A CASK AT RATTI Winery. La Villa wine cellars. Ratti cellar rooms. The wine cellars at Palás Cerequio Barolo Cru Resort. ALL images © FEATURED ESTABLISHMENTS

PLACES TO EAT

The Langhe and Roero are famed for the celebrated aromatic white truffle, and the best time to visit is in the autumn when the season is in full swing, and restaurants are weaving truffles into their menus.

Arborina

Visit the Michelin-starred, zero-waste osteria in La Morra to experience chef Enrico Marmo’s creations, a modern take on Piedmontese traditions.

Agnulot

A small and unassuming restaurant in Verduno, the focus is on using exceptional produce to make delicious dishes, while the menu changes daily.

Bovio

In La Morra, this is a perfect spot for sampling the traditional flavors and textures of regional cuisine, and there is an extensive wine list offering over 1000 different wines. Famed for its Brasato al Barolo — it’s a must-have when on the menu.

Enoclub

With a strong focus on expressing the local food and wine culture, the Alba restaurant’s kitchen is led by chef Marco Serra who serves classic local cuisine that is seasonal and sustainable.

I Cedri at Villa Pattono

The restaurant is run by the Ratti winery and serves local delicacies and seasonal recipes to be enjoyed with the vineyard’s wine collection.

La Cantina Vineria con Cucina

Located in Rivalta, the chef uses local produce combined with innovative interpretations to make dishes such as the Fassona Piemontese Tartare.

La Ciau del Tornavento

In Treiso and with stunning views of the hills, the cuisine is famous for its use of the white truffle, while the wine cellar is legendary.

Piazza Duomo

With three Michelin stars, chef Enrico Crippa at the Alba restaurant celebrates the Langhe region’s gastronomy while using Japanese techniques.

clockwise From top: Chef Enrico Crippa of Piazza Duomo © Letizia Cigliutti. Fàula Ristorante at Casa di Langa. pasta preparation at Ratti. truffles at Guido da Costigliole. MICHELIN-STAR RESTAURANT GUIDO DA COSTIGLIOLE AT RELAIS SAN MAURIZIO. INSPIRED MENU AT LA VILLA HOTEL. All images © featured establishments

PLACES TO STAY

Stay in a selection of luxurious accommodation in the heart of the Langhe and Roero, ideal for exploring the wineries and gastronomy of the region.

Villa Pattono

Located in Costigliole d’Asti, in the heart of the Barbera d’Asti between the Langhe, Monferrato and Roero, the beautiful luxury country villa has 13 rooms, a spa, swimming pool, and a restaurant serving Piedmont specialties and Ratti wines.

Palas Cerequio

In La Morra, the luxury wine hotel and resort offers a mixture of modern and classic baroque rooms, exclusive tastings of Barolo from the best producers.

Relais San Maurizio

The former 17th-century monastery by Santo Stefano Belbo in the Langhe’s wine and truffle region, is now a luxury hotel with 30 rooms and a Michelin-star restaurant on-site.

Casa di Langa

Between Barolo, Barbaresco, Alta and Fàula, the luxury eco hotel’s restaurant specializes in contemporary takes on local classics, and offers wine tasting, cooking lessons and truffle hunting.

Casa Scaparone

The charming, rustic agriturismo and restaurant sits on the outskirts of Alba and is an ideal base from which to explore the Langhe.

La Villa Hotel

In Mombaruzzo, the 16th-century palazzo is converted into a family-run, boutique hotel, set in a beautiful location overlooking the region’s vineyards.

Clockwise From top: the spa at Relais San Maurizio. Accommodation at La Villa Hotel. outside RELAIS SAN MAURIZIO. views from Casa di Langa wine resort. Relais San Maurizio. Rooms at la villa hotel. ALL images © featured ESTABLISHMENTS

THINGS TO DO, PLACES TO DISCOVER

Wander among the historic castles and meander through century-old villages, while the Mangialonga hike takes you through the vineyards of La Morra, the region’s highest point, for panoramic views over the Langhe, and with plenty of food and wine tasting along the way.

Alba

The main town is a must-visit for its exceptional restaurants, great shopping, and the annual truffle and wine festivals. At the local market, sample the protected Piedmont hazelnut, one of the world’s finest varieties, cultivated here and used to make delicious sweets.

La Morra

The picturesque hill-top village offers stunning views of the Langhe region. Surrounded by vineyards, it is the perfect spot to discover the region’s wines and take part in the seasonal white truffle hunt.

Barolo

The postcard village is home to the Enoteca Regionale del Barolo, run by Barolo’s wine-growing community, and is an excellent base for sampling the region’s wines. Whilst there, be sure to visit the cool and quirky Corkscrew and WiMu wine museums.

Cuneo

A beautiful town with alpine views and fresh air, Cuneo has excellent slow-food restaurants, and is home to the Cuneesi al Rhum, and the large, rum-laced pralines.

Bra

Known for starting the slow food movement and internationally recognized cheese festival, Bra is home to some of the best Baroque style architecture in Piedmont.

Turin

Italy’s first capital is a Mecca for food, with the Salone del Gusto running the celebrated annual Slow Food festival. The Turinese are famous for their sweet tooth so be sure to try the local bicerin and cioccolato. Meanwhile, visit the Fiat Factory rooftop racetrack, where the Lingotto racetrack (immortalized in the Mini race scene in the 1969 “The Italian Job”) is now Europe’s highest rooftop public garden replete with La Pista 500 electric car track.

clockwise From top: Scenes from Turin. Church of San Donato in Barolo. TURIN at aperitivo. views of Piedmont from Casa di Langa wine resort. Vietti winery at Castiglione Falletto. Turin © Leigh banks. ALL others images © featured ESTABLISHMENTS

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