Ah, Piedmont. A magical wine land that I now call home. My journey here began quite by chance during my wine studies in the States. I’d grown enamored with Italian wines and was setting off for a solo trip to explore the wines of Italy. In my limited knowledge, that meant Tuscany and the Veneto.
At a business dinner with an Italian I gushed about my pending departure, very proud to have the Veneto on my itinerary. Much to my dismay, she was not impressed, “No, no. If you want Italian wine, you go to Piemonte.” I had never heard it – shocking to me now that it wasn’t represented in my wine course.
Despite my best efforts it took me two years to find my way to Piedmont. Information online was scarce on how to navigate the region with details lacking on where to stay and how to get around. It took a lot of work to finally get here and to find a way to explore the wines of the area. But, it was well worth it. Now, four years later I’ve settled into expat life directly between Barolo and Barbaresco in the city of Alba. The region is slowly getting better at communicating with visitors, but it is still not easy.
The Langhe sits in the southwest corner of the Piedmont region. It is accessible by train or bus into Asti and Alba as well as by car. Visitors to Barolo and Barbaresco are privy to a wine region unlike any that westerners have experienced. Producers remain primarily small, family run-operations, so most wineries require appointments for visits. Family members welcome visitors with a full tour of the cantina (often the family home), then a tasting of their wines.
The vineyard landscape of Barolo and Barbaresco is breathtaking at any time of year. Selecting the right time to come really depends on what you want to experience.