The medieval tower of Barbaresco on the left, the castle of Guarene on the right: arriving from Asti, the welcoming Langhe hills greet you. Beyond Guarene and the Roero lie the Alps and France, but driving this valley you lose sight of them, and imagine them to be far away. Climb the hills, to Barbaresco, say, or Treiso, which is higher still, you find them once again, majestic and clear. And they seem much closer.
On a clear day you can see Monte Rosa and Monviso – due west and almost tumbling into France. On days such as these, at sunset one is left breathless. The adventure of perception leads us to feel the mountains in our glass. Beneath our feet as we look, layers of sandstone and blue marl: here is the ancient seabed that ‘flows’ under the vineyards. There is no shell we can put to our ear to hear the suggestion of long-gone seas, but is there a distant echo in the glass? Here the word ‘terroir’ has substance, for there are many subtle nuances, even on the ridge of the same hill: all these differences are clearly delineated by the Nebbiolo grape. The Tanaro river flows in the midst of these hills, influencing both land and climate, and giving rise, as the magical stage designer of the Langhe, to the mystical autumn fogs of the region.