Cuneo – Asti – Alessandria
The Langhe, Monferrato and Roero (appointed in 2014 UNESCO World Heritage Site) are located in the South of Piedmont, taking in the ranges of hills in the Provinces of Cuneo, Asti and Alessandria, the basin of the River Tanaro and the Belbo and Bormida valleys. Alba and Bra, Asti and Acqui Terme: towns which are the focal points for an area comprising hundreds of small villages, each of which has its own distinguishing feature, may it be a product, a viewpoint, or a castle. Places of memories, imagination and literature, where every village has a castle or tower testifying to its history and legends, and every historic centre is distinguished by an overlapping of Roman, mediaeval, Renaissance, baroque and liberty styles. The landscape is a geometrical succession of vineyards – dropping above 500 metres into wooded ravines of multicoloured flora – in an ideal setting for nature holidays, trekking on horseback or mountain bike, rambling and sports activities.
The hills of the Langhe district south of Alba sketch out a helter-skelter route, uphill, downhill, and round the bends that form the boundaries of Piedmont’s finest vineyards. This is the kingdom of Barolo: wine of kings, king of wines. Not that other important wines are lacking; Nebbiolo, Dolcetto and Barbera, for example. Within the space of just a few kilometres the route takes in all the most famous towns and hamlets of the area, from Barolo itself to La Morra, from Monforte to Serralunga d’Alba, in a succession of ancient estates and mediaeval towers hidden in a succession of fields and vineyards.
The Monferrato, a generous Piedmontese wine area, extends from the threshold of Turin to an eastern border with Alessandria.
From north to south, it includes all the band of hills lying below the Po river, eventually losing its identity in a district called the Langa Astigiana around Roccaverano. The part nearest the Appennines is called “Upper Monferrato”. It comprises the towns of Acqui Terme and Ovada, as well as the zone where Gavi and Cortese wines are produced. The second part, Monferrato Casalese, takes its name from the town of Casale, even though it is only located on the edge of the hills. The centre, on the other land, comprises the Astigiano, the most substantial and personal part of the Monferrato, which lies astride the Tanaro river and is heart of the production of a large number of appellation of controlled origin wines.
The name Roero, as a geographic identity, is fairly recent. From the beginning of the seventies, this name has identified the hilly region situated north of Alba where, a long time ago, an old and noble family of Asti named Roero ruled the country for ages. During the following years, new villages situated on the left side of the Tanaro river (due to their geographic affinity and similar capacity) joined to the first group of villages identified by Roero. Today, this group includes twenty-four towns, twenty-three of which are situated in Cuneo Province and one in Asti Province.
Food and Wine
The cuisine is a great tradition of this land, reconciling two schools – the farmhouse and middle-class styles – with a few touches of nobility. The truffle, a seasonal ingredient of great prestige, rounds off the excellence of the local produce for refined, demanding palates.
Mountain cheeses and a hazelnut dessert made from the highly-prized “tonda gentile delle Langhe” variety complete a regal menu.
It is a land brimming with fine red wines, such as Barolo and Barbaresco, as well as dessert wines like Moscato d’Asti and Brachetto d’Acqui, and every hilltop has its own speciality: superb Dolcetto, strong Barbera, smooth Nebbiolo, and – in the Roero – a special white: Arneis.