Stunning Langhe tour with its castles and wines

The Langhe land, in the Piedmont region of Italy offers a marvellous view with its hills, vineyards, ancient castles and historic villages. Piedmont and Tuscany are the most important Italian wine regions, both presenting a territory ideal for the vine cultivation.

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Talking of Langhe, we immediately recall the local food and wine excellences; truffles, fresh and cold meats, cheeses and the famous Barolo. The Alba truffle is famous all over the world and every year an important fair is held starting from October to the end of November (here all information). Discovering the Langhe represents an incomparable experience, definitely the best way to plan a long weekend. Our itinerary runs through the territory of the DOCG Barolo, a wine particularly appreciated in Italy and abroad, made from Nebbiolo grapes, which undergoes a three-year aging, of which two in oak or chestnut barrels. Soft and velvety, garnet-red colored with orange reflections, the Barolo wine has an intense aroma with hints of violet and rose hips. Its minimum alcohol content is 13°, its structure is full-bodied but can be further aged. It pairs perfectly with game meats, roasts, mature cheeses and truffles-based dishes.

Our itinerary will involve Barolo, Monforte D’Alba, Serralunga D’Alba, Castiglion Falletto and La Morra villages

Barolo

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We first decided to visit Barolo (Cuneo) a small village surrounded by hills and dominated by an old castle, which was the seat of the first Barolo production thanks to its last owner, the Marquise Giulia Colbert Falletti. Today it houses the WiMu, the Wine Museum,  a futuristic project of François Confino. Not far away is the Museum of Corkscrews, with over 500 tools collected from the ‘700 to date. Going to Brunate you can reach and visit the colorful Barolo Chapel.

In Barolo the winery Terre da Vino, Via Bergesia, is worth a visit, with its distinctive architecture, perfectly integrated in the landscape and a stunning catwalk above the barrel room, where thousands of oak barrels are stocked. In their enoteca you can enjoy a guided wine tasting with a careful selection, starting from the young red wines such as Barbera, Dolcetto, Grignolino to the classic red aged in wood as Nebbiolo, Barbera, Barbaresco, Barolo. The wines will be paired with local food excellences: typical Langa sauces with dried fruit in wine syrup, appetizers and sweet products.

Opening hours: from 10 to 13 and from 15 to 18. Closed on Monday morning. For booking write to: accoglienza@terredavino.it or tel. + 39 173 560022.

For lunch or dinner you can go to RossoBarolo Inn, via Roma 16, where you can taste meat dishes with truffles, braised in Barolo, the typical local peppers with the inevitable bagna cauda sauce and finally, the local chocolate. Great wine selections, good service and reasonable price. Closed on Wednesdays. For information: tel. +39 173 56133.

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Monforte D’Alba

From Barolo to Monforte D’Alba, a lovely village, whose old center develops in a series of fan-shaped ancient streets heading towards Palazzo Scarampi building, which represent the core of this small town along with the Bell Tower and the church of Sant’Agostino.

After a walk in the village, we arrive to Cascina Sot, Loc. Bussia San Pietro 27, a family owned winery renown for its quality wines. Maurizio, Lorena, Silvana or Leonardo will be pleased to show their vineyards explaining the differences between varieties and wine processing. This is followed by a guided tour of the winery to finally end up with a tasting of five local wines, with local food pairings. For more information contact: info@cascinasot.com.

For dinner we chose Osteria La Salita, via Marconi, 2a . This restaurant provides a refined and a magical setting, with typical traditional dishes and a beautiful garden. Closed all day Wednesday and Thursday at lunchtime. For information contact: info@lasalita.it or tel. + 39 173 787196.

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Serralunga d’Alba

Our next visit will focus on Serralunga d’Alba, which is said to be one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, with its castle perched atop the hill dominating the whole area. The here produced Barolo wine has strong and intense tannins.

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The winery we are going to visit is situated in the historic center, just below the company’s estate residence Massolino, in Piazza Maria Cappellano 8, built in perfect harmony inside the medieval village. At the Cantina Massolino everything happens underground, preserving the historic structure. Here visitors are welcomed by an extraordinary guided tasting tour (advanced booking needed). In the autumn/winter months the wine cellar is open also on Saturdays and Sundays with working hours from 9 to 13 and from 14 to 18. All information can be found at: visite@massolino.it, or tel: +39 613 138 0173.

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Osteria Tre Case, in via Roma 36, will be an ideal place to dinner, a restaurant where a young chef combines tradition with innovation, thanks to the quality of raw materials and his creativity. Excellent meat and good wine selection. Closed on Tuesday, on Wednesday open dinner only. For information: tel. + 39 173 613290.

Castiglion Falletto

Castiglione Falletto offers a splendid view on a beautiful castle with two round towers. After a visit to the medieval center with the church of San Lorenzo and the Battuti Chapel dedicated to St. Anna, we look for a good winery where to sample the best local Barolo, and here we find Livia Fontana’s company, in via Pugnane 13, an eight-hectare estate producing Nebbiolo wines, Barolo, Barbera, Dolcetto and Arneis. Visits and tastings are held by lady Livia assisted by his sons Michael and Lawrence. Saturday and Sunday visit to the cellar and tasting: 10: 30-12; 14-18. For information: tel: +39 173.62844.

In Castiglione Falletto you can enjoy an informal lunch at the Terrace by Renza, via Vittorio Emanuele 6, tel. +39 173 62909, with breathtaking views on the beautiful Langhe hills, the Serralunga Castle which is just opposite, and on Castiglione Falletto and Perno castles.

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La Morra

Finally we arrive to La Morra, a stunning viewpoint on the whole Langhe, an ancient village with its central square overlooked by the baroque church of San Martino and the Confraternity of San Rocco; in the center, in the Village Wine Cellar, you can taste and buy local wines. Further up, in Piazza Castello, you can enjoy a wonderful view on Langhe hills.

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The village cellar, in via C. Alberto 2, hosts La Morra Winegrowers’ headquarters. It was built in the eighteenth century premises of Marchesi di Barolo palace on the Town Hall square and provides a wide selection of wines. Here you can taste Barolo, Nebbiolo, Dolcetto and Barbera from over 70 manufacturers in the municipality of La Morra. Hours: from 10 to 12.30 and from 14.30 to 18.30, including Saturday and Sunday. For information: tel. +39 173509204 – e-mail: info@cantinalamorra.com.

In La Morra you have dinner at Locanda Fontanazza, via  Fontanazza, 4 on the restaurant rooftop terrace. A cosy place offering local and seasonal dishes. Closed Monday for lunch and Thursday all day. For information: tel. +39 173 50718, e-mail: locandafontanazza@gmail.com.

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