PIEMONTE - BAROLO
When planning our trip to Italy we knew we absolutely HAD to visit the Piemonte region. This northwest region of Italy is known for its wines – Barolo, Barbera, Barberesco and Asti Spumante are four that immediately spring to mind. And what do you need for all that wine? Why vineyards of course! And what’s more scenic than acres and acres of vineyards sprawling over rolling hills? And if there are mountains in the background and medieval villages in the foreground, you might say the area is pretty damn scenic, or you just might say it’s PIEMONTE!
Wow! This area is so gorgeous that it’s hard to drive anywhere within the ‘expected’ time since you keep stopping to take photos! We were lucky enough to be in Piemonte in the fall when the crowds were a little lighter and the grapevines were just starting to change colors.
One day we took a trip to Barolo. The castle still sits on the hill, surveying vineyards for as far as you can see. The medieval village is still small and not overly touristy (whatever that means!). My only disappointment of the day was the relatively new wine museum inside the old castle. I found the displays rather boring after a while – I mean who but an wine expert or a farmer wants that much information? Additionally, in making the museum they covered up any trace of the medieval castle! Personally I’d rather see the intact medieval castle and do without the wine museum at all.
One of the BEST things about the town of Barolo is the regional enoteca. There are regional enotecas sprinkled all over Piemonte and this is where you can taste the local wine(s) from a variety of producers and get lots of good information about the wine, from basic stuff like what varieties are used in the making of a wine to more detailed info like what direction a specific vineyard faces.
Here’s a slideshow from our day in Barolo: