As October draws to a close, the landscape of Northern Italy is bathed in the deep rusts of autumn. Imagine those stunning hues folded over the regions infamous rolling vineyards… Add a castle, a rustic village full of wineries, restaurants and a local glass of one of the world’s most celebrated wines to the picture and what do you have? Barolo, in the heart of Piedmont, perfect for a day trip from the neoclassical streets of Turin.
The best way to travel to Barolo is to hire a care and take your time on a drive through the hills of Piedmont’s stunning provinces and vineyards. As you may already know, Barolo also gives its name to an exceptional local wine from Nebbiolo grapes. A wine for special occasions, it’s a full bodied red perfect with red meats, creamy risottos or earthy pasta dishes and meat sauces.
The area in which Barolo is produced is very limited and is certified and protected by the DOCG label. The harvest of Nebbiolo grapes normally takes place in mid-October, so now it’s the perfect time to visit Barolo and see the harvests in action.
The village of Barolo is dominated by the majestic castle that once belonged to the aristocratic Falletti family. Having been abandoned for many years the castle was acquired by the Barolo municipality and completely renovated before local authorities embarked on an ambitious project to house a wine museum to celebrate the glorious Barolo inside of the prestigious castle itself.
The WIMU Barolo Wine Museum is unlike other exhibits of its kind. The museum is colourful, catchy, interactive and definitely worth a visit to discover the history of wine at large, and the particular secrets of Barolo production. Close to Turin, known as the ‘cradle of Italian liberty’, the museum also celebrates the personalities involved in the fight for Italian independence, including Piedmontese Camillo Benso, the Count of Cavour.
At the end of the permanent exhibition you can take part in Barolo wine tasting in order to test your tastebuds! Having taken part in it ourselves, we can honestly say that you may be surprised – it turns out that you can teach an old dog new tricks! Even better, the wine shop has a great choice of locally produced Barolo for you can buy and take home as gifts… or keep for yourself…
Unsurprisingly, life in the village of Barolo itself is centred around wine. On the pretty narrow streets you will find adorable little restaurants serving fantastic food brilliantly paired with the local Barolo.
The Osteria Rossobarolo is located on the main street, via Roma. Come here to taste the best of Piedmontese cuisine: pasta with truffles or porcini mushrooms and thinly cut veal with tuna sauce. I can still taste the delicious braised beef with Barolo sauce that I opted for after a huge amount of deliberation. If you’re looking for a place that’s a bit more relaxed, you could head to Easy Così Vineria on piazza Municipio. Here they serve great meals like homemade lasagne or a delicious roast-beef, but you can just stop for a mixed platter with prosciutto and a selection of local cheeses, obviously accompanied by a glass of ruby red Barolo.
Whilst Barolo is a relatively expensive wine, there are a number of slightly cheaper options that will not leave you unsatisfied. Other local wines include reds like Barbera or Nebbiolo and white wines such as Arneis or Favorita. We fell in love with Nebbiolo but with so many to choose from you’re sure to find your favourite too!
Blog by Bibianna Norek