Barolo is an area in the region of Piedmont and about two hours from the campsite.
The area is mostly known for its dry red wine, the Barolo, named after the village of his origin. It is one of the most exclusive and expensive wine that is made. In 1860 the wine had already a nickname “Wine of the kings and king of the wine”. The grape that is been used to make the wine is the Nebbiolo-grape. One of the characteristics of the wine is that is smells like tar, violets and roses. The wine gets a more orange colour as it gets older. The wine is matured long before it is served and contains a lot of tannin. Several manufacturers now make Barolo wines that are also for youthful drinking.
With the introduction of the Italian classification system (more or less similar to the French AOC) in 1980 Barolo received the highest rating: DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita). For a Barolo wine, this means that it must fulfil the following qualifications:
The vineyards from which the wine is made must lay in the appointed area.
The wine must be made 100% of the Nebbiolo grapes.
Alcohol level must be at least 13%.
The wine must been wood matured for at least two years. The wine may be released only three years after the harvest.
In addition to the requirements to the regular Barolo, there are also the following requirements for additional indications on the label:
Barolo riserva, three years of wood maturation and released four years after the harvest.
Barolo riserva special, four years of wood maturation and released five years after harvesting.
The area is beautiful to drive through or to enjoy a nice walk. The rolling hilly landscape is characterized by the many vineyards that are, especially in the autumn are beautiful to see. They are coloured in all different shades of red and brown.
The village of Barolo, with a view over the hilly vineyards, is dominated by the castle of Faletti. Nowadays in the castle is used to make the Barolo wine. It also contains a museum and an enoteca were you can taste the wines. It is also worth visiting the furnished rooms of the castle with maybe the most beautiful views of Barolo.
The village is picturesque and mostly in terracotta colours, it is possible to walk around it in half an hour. The parish church is Romanesque and probably has functioned earlier as castle chapel: many memorials to the family of Faletti, once the owner of the castle are founded here.
In La Morra you will find two churches. The larger of the two is devoted to San Martino, the patron of the village. The smaller church is devoted to San Rocco. The main reason La Morra is worth visiting is not because of the churches or the many monuments but because of the many local wineries were you can enjoy a good wine tasting. Besides the Enoteca Civica, with an exposition of the local Barolo wines (also for sell) you will also find smaller cellars were you can find the most unknown wines for sale and the difference in price is huge. Nearby is the museo Ratti (Ratti Wine Museum) in the former abbey of the Annunciation.
From La Morra are running special wine trails through the vineyards; on your way you can taste the wine at various farms. Each path has its own colour marking, depending on the destination. The routes also runs along local wineries where you can fondle your parched throat with a local wine.
Special car tour
The best views of this route are in La Morra, known as the “Venus of Langhe”, you will find sweeping views from the main square in the centre, which is open on one side. On a good day you can even see the snow-capped Alps. The countryside around Barolo is wonderful to see, especially when you reach the town of Alba. Picnicking is recommended. The roads are narrow and not crowded, and there are groves there and you have a view of the small towns far away in the hills.