Piedmont Wine Regions Road Trip

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Photo by Martha Bakerjian

Taste some of Italy's top wines in picturesque wine towns and castles

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Piedmont is home to some of Italy’s top red wines including Barolo, Barbaresco, and Nebbiolo. The Piedmont wine regions of Langhe, Roero, and Monferrato make up a UNESCO World Heritage site based on their preservation of their historical wine-making methods and the natural landscape. One day for each of the three regions is fine, although a longer time in Langhe is recommended.

Piedmont’s wine country makes the perfect place for a leisurely road trip, but be sure to have a designated driver! Some of these places can also be explored by bicycle, too. While these regions can be visited any time of year, fall is the ideal time for the colors and because the area is also a top place for truffles.

Visiting the Langhe Wine Region

The Langhe, south of Alba (known for its truffle fairs), is one of Italy’s top red wine producing regions. Vineyards cover rolling hills below castles and picturesque towns.

Barolo is a charming town with a castle. Inside the castle is a wine museum and on the lower floor is a tasting room where you can try Barolo wines as well as other wines from the region. Take some time to wander through the little streets of the historic center and visit the shops. Just outside the center, the historic Marchesi di Barolo winery is an interesting place to visit and taste Barolo wines.

North of Barolo, La Morra is a wine town built on a hill with great views from the top. La Morra has several shops and restaurants. For those who like to walk, a 14 kilometer trail through the vineyards, called the Path of Barolo,  starts here.

Next stop is the castle of Grinzane Cavour, about halfway between Barolo and the town of Alba. Local wines and grappas are available for tasting or purchase in the castle’s large regional Enoteca. The park around the castle is one of the top view spots in the Langhe.

Barbaresco is a tiny town that’s worth a visit for its unusual tasting room and wine shop inside a former church. There’s really only one street in the town, with a church and tower at the other end. Barbaresco has several other wineries and several restaurants.

barolo castle photo
Barolo castle in autumn

Roero Wine Region

North of Alba across the Tanaro River, the Roero wine region produces the white Roero Arneis wine as well as Nebbiolo and Roero reds. This area is also known for its fruit production, especially the peaches grown around the town of Canale.

In Canale you can taste and buy wines at the Regional Enoteca of Roero (closed Sunday afternoons and Wednesdays). It has Langhe and Asti wines as well as Roero. There’s also a restaurant (closed Sundays and at lunch on Mondays). At the top of the hill, visit the sanctuary from where you’ll have great views of the surrounding area.

If you like hiking, head to le Rocche Ecomuseum, a canyon through the Roero area with a network of trails. The official tourism office for le Rocche is in the town of Monta’. There’s a castle in Monta’, however it’s not open to the public.

The medieval castle in Cisterna d’Asti houses a museum of local arts and crafts of the past.

Sparkling Asti Wines

Sparkling wines, Asti spumante and Moscato d’Asti, are produced in Monferrato, the area around the town of Asti.

Spend some time walking around Asti’s medieval center. Its 13th century cathedral is one of the biggest in Piedmont. There are shops, restaurants, and places to taste wine in town. There is also a train station, making it easy to visit as a day trip from Turin.

In the town of Bubbio, taste or buy wine at the Enoteca of the Castle. In the town of Nizza Monferrato you can taste wine at the Enoteca Bersano (closed Sundays). Walk along Via Carlo Alberto, lined with old buildings and shops, between Piazza Garibaldi and Piazza XX Settembre. Top sights in its historic center include its old town hall and bell tower, the 18th century Palazzo Crova, and the historic cattle market, Foro Boario.

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