Piedmont (Piemonte) is the heart of winemaking. in northern Italy and is arguably the greatest wine producing region of Italy. Whatever the truth is, there is no escaping the fact that Piedmont is rich in famous wines and outstanding producers. Many wines take their names from the towns and cities where they are mainly produced such as Barolo, Barberesco, Asti and Alba.
Despite the size of Piedmont (in both geographic and wine production terms), the zones and teroir that is capable of supporting the quality of vines required is relatively small, this means that it is possible to tour the vineyards, hills and towns of this outstanding area without turning each day into a marathon. The three major provinces in which our vineyards and cantina's can be predominantly found are Asti, Alessandria and Cuneo and one could use these boundaries to split each day of visits and tours. In the province of Asti we find the rolling hills of the Monferrato, in the province of Cuneo the hills of the Langhe Roero and in the province of Alessandria the rolling hills lead directly into the high Appennini mountains. Each of these three provinces have an interesting sub culture of the wine growing techniques, wine making and variations on the type and taste of grape. You can read more about the zone and wines here.
There are many possible driving routes that can be taken and we are proud to be a member of the Astesana (ancient area of Asti) "association "Strada del Vino". We are located on one of the 8 wine routes, all designed to take you on a journey that exemplifies the best local traditions, monuments and scenery as you tour, stopping when you like to sample the wine, meet the artisans or just drink in the atmosphere.
Astesana's modern vine-dressers have made significant investments in land in order to be able to compete in the world wine economy. However, the reference measurement in this area is still the vineyard, with its dimension calculated in terms of work (a "day" of land is equivalent to approx. one third of a hectare). Each vineyard has its own history and name, which has been handed down from generation to generation and which the Communes have now gathered together in an official map of place names. The traditional vineyard had its "casotto" for storing tools and for rests in summer, as well as a few fruit trees, a tank for collecting rainwater, a willow tree for tying up the vine shoots and the cane-brakes for supporting the vine rows.
The presence of all these vineyards enhances the diversity of taste of each Barbera d'Asti: more than 40 million bottles, with thousands of individual bouquets.
Each area boasts many cantina's (wineries) both large and small. There are many family run cantina's handed down over the generations alongside associations and cantina-sociale all of whom it is possible to visit and taste their unique products. Some cantina's will require an appointment whilst others can be called into during any working day. In the major towns of Nizza Monferrato, Canelli, Asti, Alba, Acqui Terme, Barollo and Barberesco there are Regionale Enotecnica where you can taste the surrounding area's wines and experts are on hand to guide your tasting and understanding of the wine.
During festivals (of which there are many), open days and promotions it is possible to take tours of many of the world famous vineyards and cellars, including the "underground cathedrals" in Canelli.
We are delighted to assist any of our guests with suggestions for itineries to tour the area, visit cantina's and so forth.
Here at Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana we are also able to offer custom made tours of selected cantina's and vineyards coupled with stops at some exquisite restaurants. During the year we offer bespoke events as a package of transport, accommodation and tours for an all inclusive price. Please contact us to discuss any requirements you may have.
Download our 2008 brochure about our Piedmont B&B and what to see and do in Piedmont in pdf format
we wish you very a pleasant stay in piedmont