The Langhe (Langa from old dialect Mons Langa et Bassa Langa) is a hilly area to the south and east of the river Tanaro in the province of Cuneo in Piedmont, northern Italy.
It is famous for its wines, cheeses, and truffles—particularly the white truffles of Alba.
Barolo is a red Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) wine produced in the northern Italian region of Piedmont. Made from the Nebbiolo grape, it is often described as one of Italy's greatest wines. The zone of production extends into the communes of Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d'Alba and parts of the communes of Cherasco, Diano d'Alba, Grinzane Cavour, La Morra, Monforte d'Alba, Novello, Roddi, Verduno, all in the province of Cuneo, south-west of Alba. Only vineyards planted in primarily calcareous-clay soils in the hills with suitable slopes and orientations are considered suitable for Barolo production. Barolo is often described as having the aromas of tar and roses, and the wines are noted for their ability to age and usually take on an orange tinge as they get older.
The Barolo zone is located two miles (3.2 kilometers) southwest of the Barbaresco zone with only the vineyards of Diano d'Alba planted with Dolcetto between the two Nebbiolo strong holds. Compared to the Barbaresco zone, the Barolo zone is cooler and located on higher elevations, rising nearly 165 feet (50 meters) above Barbaresco. The harvest of the late ripening Nebbiolo grape usually takes place in early to mid October though some producers are experimenting with viticultural techniques that allow for an earlier harvest in late September.
The Barolo zone can be broadly divided into two valleys. The Serralunga Valley to the east includes the communes of Castiglione Falletto, Monforte d'Alba and Serralunga d'Alba. Planted with soils higher in sand, limestone, iron, phosphorus and potassium, the wines of Serralunga Valley tend to be austere and powerful and require significant aging (at least 12-15 years) to develop. The Central Valley to the west includes the communes of Barolo and La Morra with soils higher in clay, manganese and magnesium oxide. This region tends to produce wines with more perfumed aromas and velvety textures. These wines tend to be less tannic and full bodied than those from the Serralunga Valley and can require less aging (8 to 10 years) The most widely planted and productive region of the Barolo zone is La Morra which is responsible for nearly a third of all wine labeled as Barolo and produces twice as much wine as the next leading zone of Serralunga d'Alba.
In the Piedmont region, old Barolo wine is used to make an after-dinner digestif known as Barolo Chinato. The bark from the local cinchona tree is steeped in Barolo and then flavored with a variety of ingredients, depending on the producer's unique recipe. Some common ingredients of Barolo Chinato include cinnamon, coriander, iris flowers, mint and vanilla. The result beverage is very aromatic and smooth.
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