One of the greatest wine and food-producing regions in Italy, Piedmont occupies the country’s northwestern corner. Characterized by lush, rolling hills and fertile river valleys, this is truly one of Italy’s culinary hotspots, arguably the ultimate destination for a food and wine tour in Italy.
Custom Wine and Food Tour in Italy: the Best of Piedmont’s Langhe region of Barolo, Barbaresco, and Monferrato
Especially the southern part of Piedmont, which is one of the 20 distinct regions of Italy, is of particular interest to lovers of wine and food. Dotted with beautiful ancient villages, historic farms, and vineyards as far as the eye can see, this so-called cultural landscape is a prime location to indulge in many Mediterranean staples.
The Ultimate Gastronomic Experience in Northern Italy
In southern Piedmont, in a region known as Langhe and Monferrato, you can find culinary classics such as Alba white truffles, various local cheeses, hazelnut and chestnut products, honey, veal dishes, and many more. The star of the show, however, is the Piedmont wine, which is absolutely world-class and renowned around the globe.
In fact, this region is of such importance to global wine-making that UNESCO designated it as a World Heritage Site in 2014.
Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont UNESCO World Heritage Site
Officially known as the Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato, it’s arguably Italy’s number one wine-growing region. It’s particularly famous for its specific vines that have been thriving here for many centuries.
Cultivated, cared for, and perfected for hundreds of years, the Moscato, Nebbiolo, Bianca, and Barbera vines transform into delicious, world-renowned wines like Barbaresco, Barolo, Barbera d’Asti, and Asti Spumante.
The region’s capital is charming and pretty Alba, while Pollenzo is home to the University of Gastronomic Sciences. Additionally, in Bra, you can explore the very place where the Slow Food movement originated back in 1986. So, as you can see, the southern Piedmont region is a phenomenal destination to go on customized food and wine tours in Italy.
The Piedmont Vineyards UNESCO World Heritage Site actually consists of six different wine-growing areas. Those half-dozen sites are divided equally between two distinct areas, three in each: the Langhe Region and Monferrato.
A fantastic place for a custom food and wine tours in Italy, the Langhe Region is in the province of Cuneo in the southern part of Piedmont and even extends beyond its borders. This is arguably the most famous of all wine regions in (northern) Italy, a place blessed with gorgeous vineyards, historic towns, and astonishing cuisine.
This is where you’ll find delicacies such as the famed white truffles of Alba, but also delicious cheeses and plenty of wine. In fact, the Langhe Region has been known for its wine-growing practices since Ancient Roman times. This rich heritage and history of wine-making, which thrives more than ever, is one of the main reasons it’s now (part of) a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Langhe Region encompasses three of the six sites that make up the UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
- Langa of Barolo
- The Hills of Barbaresco
- Grinzane Cavour Castle
You’ll find numerous different vintages in the Langhe Region, but there are a few that really stand out, that have been this region world-famous. When visiting Langhe on the food and wine tour in Italy, you simply must try Barolo, Barbaresco, Arneis, and Barbera d’Alba.
The Monferrato Region lies a bit further to the north, in the provinces of Asti and Alessandria in central Piedmont. This region, too, is one of the country’s, Europe’s even, most important wine-growing locations. It’s also a recommended destination for custom food and wine tours in Italy.
Additionally, there’s a rich literary history here, too. Both Vittorio Alfieri and Umberto Eco hailed from the Monferrato Region.
In terms of traditional food in Monferrato, it includes classics like risotto and polenta dishes, as well as cheeses and mushrooms. It’s the wine, though, that steals the spotlight here.
As the second main part of the Piedmont Vineyards World Heritage Site, Monferrato is basically a triangular wine lover’s paradise. Vineyards are spread out in all directions, while atmospheric towns and award-winning restaurants dot the countryside. The three specific, distinct sites of the greater World Heritage Site found here are:
- Nizza Monferrato and Barbera
- Monferrato of the Infernot
- Canelli and Asti Spumante
When on a food and wine tour in Italy’s Monferrato Region, focus on Moscato d’Asti, Asti Spumante, Barbera del Monferrato, Freisa and Grignolio.
So, if you’re planning a food and wine tour in Italy’s Piedmont, whether it’s the Langhe Region or Monferrato, you can check out our Slow Days culinary tours here.