Tips and Tricks on how to make your perfect Barolo vacation a reality. Insider tips on how to get around the small towns of La Morra, Barolo, Monforte d’Alba and some fun facts about where to taste some of the most famous vineyards (Cannubi, Bussia, Villero, Brunate, Vigna Rionda, and many more).
The wine region Barolo is made up of eleven different villages, in which only three are entirely inside the Barolo boundaries (Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d’Alba). The total vineyard space of the Barolo area is one of the smallest wine regions in the world making up only 2,000 ha (4,942 acer) and producing in a good year about 14 million bottles. Making these precious Nebbiolo vines some of the most sought after wines in the world.
Before all the wine is drunk, here is some things to defiantly check out on your trip to Barolo are.
In the small town of Barolo, the heart of the Barolo winemaking area, a walk around the Barolo Castel where Marchesa Juliette Colbert Falletti (the first woman behind Barolo) is a must. From the Castel area you can see the tower of Castiglione Falletto, and the famous Cannubi vineyard. Don’t forget to take a pitstop into the Enoteca Regionale di Barolo (the regional Barolo wine shop) located in the Castel of Barolo here you can taste over 20 different Barolo producers coming from every part of region and is divided by soil type so you can understand how Nebbiolo changes from place to place. http://www.enotecadelbarolo.it/?lang=en
La Morra Village:
La Morra the highest peak in the area of Barolo, reaching about 550 meters above sea level the views from this hill top town are breath taking. From here you can see all the castles and towers in Barolo, important Barolo vineyards, and on a clear day even the Alps.
Cappella delle Brunate La Morra – up up up a narrow and windy streets through the Bunante vineyard through hazelnut groves to find this little colorful treasure. Painted and designed by Sol LeWitt and David Tremlett it is a little piece of art and culture Surrounded by Barolo vineyards. When the family Ceretto bought 6 hectar in the famous Brunate vineyard they had also acquired the SS. Madonall delle Graze Cappella and due to their love for the arts, they had sponsored these two artists to come and paint this church how they saw fit. http://www.ceretto.it/it/ceretto-cultura-alba/cappella-ceretto-cultura
Serralunga d’Alba / Sinio Villages:
The perfectly intact walled medieval town of Serralunga d’Alba, a castle with represents a unique time period in Piedmont architecture in a time where the French were particularly influential. A visit to this castle is a must! http://www.castellodiserralunga.it/en/castello-serralunga.php
In the town of Serralunga d’Alba you have some of Barolo’s most sought after vineyards: Vigna Rionda, Francia, and Cerretta. Stop into the local Enoteca to give some of these prized Barolo wines a taste.
Castiglione Falletto Village:
A sleepy little town, that is kind of a hidden gem. Where some of the greatest vineyard site in Barolo are located. Here being located in the center of the Barolo area you have a great mixture of the influences of La Morra and Serralunga/Monforte in the wines. Power and Elegance.
Monforte d’Alba Village:
Monforte d’Alba is where it is at! In the Barolo area this is the most lively of towns, where the locals and many of them being winemakers will be out partying until the wee hours in the morning. Here you have plenty of wine bars to visit, pizzeria, and of course great restaurants.
In the historical part of Monforte d’Alba they host Jazz festivals every summer in the Roman built amphitheater. Located outside you can bring with you a bottle of wine and some snacks and enjoy the outside ambient and some live music. http://www.monfortinjazz.it
Hike through the vineyards – You can choose if you would like to do a hike in a couple of hours or a whole day. Novello to Monforte d’Alba to Barolo: I recommend asking your hotel for a map of the vineyard trails, and if you plan to do this whole tap it will take a good day to do so. Make sure you stop in each village, enjoy the views and have a glass of wine or maybe a bite if hunger strikes.
Once a year as a tradition, this village hosts one of my favorite festivals. The Pelaverga festival the first weekend in September. This annual wine party is a tradition of when all the wines for that year will be released. The Pleaverga wine is something very special to the Barolo area as they are able to produce it only in the town of Verduno and Roddi. There are only 10 wineries who make this wine and about 200,000 bottles produced annually. Making this wine super rare, and to boot, it is so easy to enjoy that one bottle is never enough!
You must have a meal at a Trattoria and there is one in this town worth visiting. A quick stop to the view point to get another great view of the Barolo area, and here is a nice little park where you can lie on the grass and take a nap after lunch of course.
Diano d’Alba Village:
Diano d’Alba has two major wine designations going for them. They are a small part of the Barolo wine area and they also have a very special designation for Dolcetto called Diano d’Alba DOCG.
In the center of Diano d’Alba there is a wonderful viewpoint/park with a 360° view of all the Barolo, Barbaresco, Alta Langa, and Roero areas.
Grinzane Cavour Village:
Castle Grinzane Cavour – Not only is this castle beautiful to visit but the historical importance to not only for the Barolo wine but the union of Italy. This castle was once the home to Camillio Benso Conte di Cavour who was an Italian statesman and the leading figure in the movement toward a United Italy. He was also the founder of the original Liberal Party and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Piemonte-Sardegna.
Inside the castle you have a wonderful Enoteca where you can have a Barolo wine tasting, and if you have room afterwards give a try to the very special Barolo Chinato wine.
Home of the snails (lumache) here you can find plenty of snails on menu’s and also in many of the spa’s used as beauty treatments. Here the beautiful medieval town of Cherasco was once where Napoleon rested his head for a night, in the middle of many of his battles before he was finally defeated.
A little fun fact: Cherasco is also the smallest land area located inside of the Barolo area a total of 5 hectare.
Barolo Wine Tour Activities
Wine & food pairing
Visits to Historical Towns
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