Asti is 60km (37 miles) SE of Turin, 127km (79 miles) SW of Milan; Alba is 60km (37 miles) S of Turin, 155km (96 miles) SW of Milan
South of Turin, the Po valley rises into the rolling hills of Langhe and Roero, flanked by orchards and vineyards. You’ll recognize the region’s place names from the labels of its first-rate wines, among them Asti Spumanti, Barbaresco, and Barolo. And vines are not all that flourish in this fertile soil—truffles top the list of the region’s gastronomic delights, along with rabbit and game plus excellent cheeses.
Piedmont’s Regional Wines
The wines of Piedmont are of exceptional quality and usually made with grapes unique to the region on tiny family plots, making the countryside a lovely patchwork of vineyards and small farms.
Barolo is called the king of reds (and is considered one of Italy’s top three wines, the others being Tuscany’s Brunello and Sassicaia), the richest and heartiest of the Piedmont wines, and the one most likely to accompany game or meat. Barbaresco, like Barolo, is made exclusively from the Nebbiolo grape though it is less tannic. Barbera d’Alba is smooth and rich, the product of the delightful villages south of Alba. Dolcetto is dry, fruity, mellow, and dry, not sweet, as its name implies. Nebbiolo d’Alba is rich, full, and dry.
The white Spumanti DOCGs are the sparkling wines that put Asti on the map, and Moscato d’Asti is a floral dessert wine, while the fiery local Piedmmont grappas are none too shabby either.