The Piedmont of wine is represented by regional wine societies (Enoteche Regionali), veritable temples dedicated to a particular wine or territory. The easiest way to get information, arrange a tasting or a visit to a cellar, taste the wines and buy one (or more) of the hundreds of labels present. Langhe and Roero have five regional enoteche as demonstrable proof of their indisputable winemaking excellence. There are the enoteche of Barolo, of Barbaresco, of Muscat, of Roero and the historic first Piedmontese enoteca of Grinzane Cavour, which represents Piedmontese identity in the castle that once belonged to Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, not only the brilliant diplomat and Prime Minister of the history books but also a passionate producer of Barolo and a great modernizer of agriculture in the nineteenth century.
A tour of the enoteche is a brief journey into the secrets of Piedmontese wine, a world made of autochthonous grape varieties, with an inimitable terroir, a unique microclimate and the experience of countless vintages. In the end, here is the secret: "making wine is not that difficult: only the first 200 years are a little hard”.
Enoteca del Barbaresco
It is not a castle but a church (the Brotherhood of San Donato, protector of the vineyards from hail) which plays host to the great Barbaresco. The village is an untouched jewel: a handful of houses, the main road, the castle, the beautiful medieval tower, some restaurants and many cellars. You are probably in the most special corner of all of Langhe, where in a handkerchief of land (650 acres) there are 140 wine producers and 66 defined cru. Come in, take off your hat and go to the bar to atone for your sins!
Enoteca del Barolo
The castle of the Marquis Falletti houses the Wine Museum and the Enoteca Regionale. A journey of adventure and excitement that ends with the fantastic possibility of tasting of 32 different Barolo! The ancient cellars where the Marchioness Colbert kept her wines are now the theatre where the star performer is the most famous Italian wine, not surprisingly named His Majesty Barolo. Seminars, courses and descriptions of the cru complete an extremely professional offering for one of the most complex and respected wines in the world.
Enoteca Regionale Piemontese
At Grinzane, within the beautiful turreted castle, you will find the Museum of the Count of Cavour, a beautiful (Michelin-starred) restaurant and the Enoteca Piemontese. The first structure of its kind, created by the Regional government of Piedmont, where all the wines of Piedmont are represented: not only Barolo and Barbaresco, but also Barbera, Dolcetto, Freisa, Gavi, Asti, Alta Langa, Ruché and Pelaverga to name but a few. You are in the most Savoy of castles, a place in which history and legend blend with the red colours of the bricks and the wine.
L’Enoteca “Colline del Moscato”
The venue, the castle of the Busca family at Mango, would alone be worth a visit: a stone manor house graced by a triumphal staircase and a sandstone colonnade to ennoble the old dungeons of the castle. Then there are the hills: Mango is almost 600 metres in altitude, the view extends over the thousand ridges of the Moscato which run towards Asti and Alessandria but also retain the excellence of the products from this triangle on the roof of the world, among which are Castiglione Tinella, Valdivilla and, indeed, Mango itself. The Moscato Bianco di Canelli (the name of the grapevine) best expresses itself here and forms a harmonious marriage with the hazelnut. Unforgettable.
Enoteca del Roero
This enoteca represents the entire territory of the Roero (the hills to the left of the Tanaro river -the Langhe are those to the right) which owes its name to the noble family from Asti who in the Middle Ages had here its fiefdoms. It is located in the town of Canale and here you will learn about the white Arneis (a very floral autochthonous variety) and the Nebbiolo seen from the left, that is, the Roero, the third grand red of the territory. En passant here you will also find the kitchen of one of the youngest and best starred chefs: David Palluda. Enchanting.
Text by ©Pietro Giovannini