Most Italy wine and food tours travelling trough Piedmont will visit Barolo, Bra, Alba and Asti, however there is so much more to see if you have the time and the right contacts. Italy wine tours should include these gems , they are well worth it.
ROCCAVERANO in the ALTA LANGA
There is a small village located in the Langhe of Asti region, Roccaverano, famous as the municipality of highest altitude in the Asti region and the exclusive area for the production of the DOP cheese Robiola di Roccaverano.
NOVARA and the Rice Region
The village of Casalbeltrame, reported by slow food as the city capital of the black rice variety ARTEMIDE, a unique black indica variety cultivated only in this region, well known worldwide and awarded by Slow Food.
GORGONZOLA cheese and BOCA wine. Stunning.
Hard to find but well worth it. The commune of Boca is home to the DOC wine which includes 15 hectares producing a single red wine. The wine is a blend of 45-70% Nebbiola 20-40% Vespolina and up to 20% of Bonarda Novarese. All grapes destined for DOC wine production need to be harvested to a yield no greater than 9 tonnes per ha. The wine is then required to be aged in wooden barrels for at least 2 years with another additional year of aging in the bottle before it can be released to the public.
Gorgonzola is one of the world’s oldest blue-veined cheeses. The Cheese is mainly produced in the northern Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy, Gorgonzola. Unskimmed cow’s milk is used while preparing the cheese. Generally it takes three to four months to attain full ripeness. Legend has it that the Gorgonzola from this area has ancient origins and a DOP to boot. The town of Gorgonzola is a little further north closer to Milan. Try the gorgonzola Risotto, truly amazing.
Tucked away in its own little corner of Piedmont’s magical hillside landscape, Roero is a world of its own. Rugged terrains, steep vineyards and charming small provincial towns are all part of the makeup of a region that deserves to be more widely discovered.
The Roero district is situated at the heart of the wine hills between Langa and Monferrato. An aristocratic land, it is named after a noble local family that was powerful during the Middle Ages. The characteristic landscape alternates towers, vineyards, orchards, woods and the wild beauty of the so-called rocche. In the Roero hills this ancient and unique phenomenon of erosion of the River Tanaro has created precipices that appear all of a sudden, some of them hundreds of metres deep. The sandy hill walls create sharp rocks with the most wild and wonderful shapes, and magnificent natural amphitheatres through which it is possible to walk following the old peasant tracks. The castle at Govone is stunning, overlooking rolling hills of vineyard , and well worth the drive off the beten track.
The little town is situated at the entrance of Langhe hills, along the left bank of the Belbo stream. The territory is covered in vineyards and a centre of production of the Asti Spumante, the slightly sweet, bubbly white wine, which is a symbol of Cannelli and also of the whole province of Asti. The wine production industry is striclty connected to the local economy and history. The city of Canelli is divided in two areas: the lower part in the valley, called “Borgo” and the upper part, called “Villanuova”.
Loazzolo, an isolated village built on the hills, was called Lupatiolum (place of the wolves) and it should be included in wine and food tours of Italy.This place, though, hides the most precious treasure of Langhe, an amber-coloured nectar, which contains every flower, herb and smelling of this hill.They call it Loazzolo wine, to emphasize the relationship of this village with people and the most famous Italian raisin wine, the wide moscato vines, from which they produce the precious raisin wine.
Arneis. The other grape variety. Everyone knows the Nebbiolo grape. Its king in this region, but go looking for Arneis, in the Roero its making a huge comeback, known locally as the “Little Rascal”
Wine and Food Traveller has a Slow food gourmet tour in September travelling through these areas of Piedmont as well as Emilia Romagna. Read more here. All of these regions will be explored, and then some.