A Guide to the Langhe Region, the Undiscovered Jewel of Italy
Langhe is a region in the Piedmont area of Italy that is famed for its rolling hills, quaint villages, and, most significantly, its world-class wines. We would like to use this opportunity to welcome you to this beautiful part of Italy. As people who are passionate about wine, we have put up a detailed guide to the Langhe region, which covers everything from the region’s history and geography to the wineries and restaurants that are considered to be the best in the area and should be visited.
The area known as the Langhe may be found in the northwest corner of Italy, sandwiched in between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea. It has a lot of different types of land, like rolling hills with vineyards, orchards, and hazelnut groves in between. The landscape is also home to a number of lakes. The area is also well known for its truffles, which are often thought to be some of the best in the world.
The rich history of the Langhe area dates back to the time of the Romans. Even back then, this region was well known for the quality of its wine and served as a major conduit for commerce. During the Middle Ages, several aristocratic families, notably the House of Savoy, took turns ruling over the territory.
The Langhe region of Italy had a renaissance in its winemaking sector throughout the 19th century as a result of the introduction of new grape types. The Langhe is increasingly recognized as a prime location for wine tourism since it is home to some of the most acclaimed wineries in the world.
The Langhe area is composed of a total of four subzones, each of which has its own distinctive terroir and approach to winemaking. The following are the sub-zones:
Nebbiolo grapes are used in the production of Barolo, which is famous for producing full-bodied red wines.
Red wines made from the Nebbiolo grape are called Barbaresco. These wines are comparable to Barolo but have a lighter body and a more refined taste than Barolo.
The region of Roero is famous for the white wines that are produced from the Arneis grape type as well as the red wines that are produced from the Nebbiolo vine.
Alba is the largest sub-zone, and it is where many different wines are made, including the famous Moscato d’Asti and Barbera d’Alba.
Grape varietals and subregions
The region of Langhe has a lengthy tradition of vinegrowing, and many of the wines produced in this region employ old, well-established grape types. For example, Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, and Freisa are used to make red wines, while Arneis and Favorita (Vermentino) are used to make white wines.
The DOC covers a much bigger area than most of its other counterparts, and some of the most famous DOCG wines in all of Italy are found within its borders.
These include the great Nebbiolo hubs of Barolo and Barbaresco, as well as Asti and Dogliani. Numerous producers of such wines also make an super easy-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo that is created in conformity with the production requirements of the latter appellation, which are (enormously) less stringent.
Production In fact, the rules for the Langhe DOC are less strict, so winemakers can try out grape varieties and winemaking methods that aren’t allowed in other DOCs. This is advantageous for winemakers producing wines that do not conform to the production criteria (production area, grape varieties, or winemaking techniques) associated with many of the prestigious names within the area.
One of these is the ability to make grape varieties that aren’t allowed by smaller regional labels. Another is the ability to combine grape varieties that have been grown in different places, like Nebbiolo. The most visible result of this advantage thus far is a spike in production of Langhe Chardonnay wines.
Since it was created in November 1994, the Langhe DOC has gotten a lot of praise for its forward-thinking approach to viticulture and use of varieties from all over the world, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc.
The freedom of expression that this gives the local vintners has resulted in a new generation of wines of exceptional quality, many of which are on par with the illustrious “Super Tuscans” produced in Tuscany.
Some of the best-known wineries in all of Italy, if not the globe, may be found in the Langhe area. We highly recommend paying a visit to the following wineries:
Gaja is recognized as one of the most illustrious wineries in the area and is credited with creating some of the finest examples of Barbaresco and Barolo wines.
The Vietti winery is operated by a family and produces a broad variety of wines, some of which are quite well-known, such as the Barolo Castiglione and the Barbera d’Asti Tre Vigne.
This winery, Conterno Fantino, is renowned for making Barolo wines that are both sophisticated and complex. It is situated in the very center of the Barolo zone.
Poderi Aldo Conterno is another another legendary vineyard located in the Barolo zone. These wines have a reputation for being full-bodied and robust.
Barolo and Moscato d’Asti are two of the most well-known wines produced by the Massolino winery, which has been in operation for more than a century and is owned and operated by the same family.
The restaurants in the Langhe area serve up delectable regional specialties that go wonderfully with the wines produced in the region. These restaurants are among the best in all of Italy. The following are some of our top recommendations for dining establishments:
This restaurant, known as Osteria del Boccondivino, can be found in the center of Alba and is renowned for the delectable meals that use truffles.
La Ciau del Tornavento is a restaurant with a Michelin star that is located on a hilltop near Treiso. This restaurant is known for its exquisite traditional Piedmontese food and its breathtaking views.
Piazza Duomo is a restaurant in the town of Alba that has been awarded three Michelin stars and is known for delivering inventive meals that are made using regional products.
In the heart of the picturesque town of La Morra sits the warm and inviting Da Guido, a restaurant famous for the mouthwatering handmade pasta dishes it serves.
Enoclub is a wine bar and restaurant in the town of Barolo. It offers a large selection of wines from the area as well as food that will make your mouth water.