Wine tours in Piedmont, Italy, are sure to have the area around Asti and Alba high on their agenda.
Not only are the towns themselves attractive to stroll around, particularly Alba with its wealth of restaurants where the visitor cannot help but eat well, but they are located in the heart of Piedmont’s most prolific wine-making region, where you can find the likes of Barolo, Barbaresco, Gavi, Moscato d’Asti and Asti Spumante, some of Piedmont’s most prominent wines, as well as plenty of local grapes, such as Arneis, Grignolino and Nascetta. At times, the vineyards and small parcels of vines seem so densely planted that there could surely be room for little else. However, Alba is also home to the famous Ferrero chocolate factory, creator of Nutella.
The verdant countryside is a source of wonderful ingredients for hearty, yet elegant, autumn fare. Mushrooms, white truffles, chestnuts, hazelnuts and a wide range of cheeses are all born in the rolling hills of the Langhe and they are sure to make their way onto your plate in Piedmont, Italy. Wine tours are an exciting way to sample the delights of Piedmontese cuisine. The delicately sweet Asti Spumante, with its refreshing surge of acidity makes the perfect aperitif. Barolo and Barbaresco pair well with dishes such as mushroom risotto, truffles, tajarin pasta finished with sage and butter, and beef braised in the king of wines itself. Bagna càuda, a dip from garlic, anchovies, olive oil and butter, works well with the acidic Barbera.The Krumiri biscuits from Casale Montferrato will make the ideal partner for a splash of Moscato d’Asti.
Medieval towns perched on the hill throughout the Langhe will also tempt you to visit as you meander through Piedmont. Wine tours are bound to take in treasures such as Monferrato, Nizza and Canelli.
Anyone touring Piedmont is also likely to arrive in or pass through its eclectic capital Turin, which was briefly the capital of Italy following its unification. Turin boasts beautiful arcaded avenues, numerous Savoy palaces including the UNESCO-listed Stupinigi hunting lodge and Porta Palatina, one of its few relics from the Roman era and one of the largest Egyptian museums in the world. The Mole Antonelliana, now a cinema museaum, dominates the skyline. You should also visit the Renaissance Duomo which houses the Shroud of Turin and drink a Bicerin, a local speciality comprising espresso, drinking chocolate and hot milk, served layered in a small glass before heading off on your wine tours.
Piedmont not only has rolling hills to discover, its mountainous horizon will beckon you as you leave Turin and head north on more adventurous wine tours. Piedmont, Italy, lies in the foothills of the Alps, hence its name – foot of the mountain. Although 90% of wine originates from the area southeast of Turin, the north also holds surprises for the curious. Heading north, you’ll travel through the provinces of Novara and Vercelli with their rows of poplars, old farmhouses and rice paddies, the origin of the rice for the risottos so popular in Piedmont. Wine tours in this part of the region should take in the so-called northern Nebbiolos of Ghemme, Gattinara and Boca, where vines are grown high up on steep slopes in the mountains. These wines are lighter and more ethereal than their bold southern relatives and in all but the best vintages need a little blending help from Bonarda and Vespolina.
If all these wine tours in Piedmont, Italy, have left you thirsting for a dip in a refreshing mountain lake, you may continue towards Lombardy and take in the sights, islands and villas at Lake Maggiore, the longest Italian lake, which Piedmont shares with Lombardy and Ticino, Switzerland.
At Wine Paths, our local expert can arrange the finer details of exclusive wine tours in Piedmont, Italy.