Monday, 29 June 2020

On the hills of Barbaresco

The town of Neive The town of Neive

To the east of the city of Alba is a small hilly area that borders the Tanaro river and merges with the hills of Monferrato.

It is the land of Barbaresco wine, which includes only 3 municipalities and a small hamlet: Barbaresco, Treiso, Neive and San Rocco Seno d’Elvio, located near Alba.

BAROLO AND BARBARESCO, THE DIFFERENCES IN THE LANDSCAPE

Many confuse the hills of Barolo with those of Barbaresco: after all, they are both part of the Langhe. However, here are some differences that people with a keen eye recognize well.

The river

The hills of Barbaresco are crossed by the Tanaro river, which runs along the entire stretch of these hills, from east to west. Although Treiso and the hamlet of San Rocco are not overlooking the river, the slopes of Barbaresco and Neive directly face it, giving a glimpse of its impressive beauty. Furthermore, the river and the park to which it belongs are crossed by paths that can be travelled by bike or on foot.

The Rocche

The Rocche are a particular karst formation typical of the Roero, a hilly area located on the left side of the Tanaro river. These are badlands of sandstone rock which, due to landslides and underground erosion, suddenly rise among the green of the woods. They have a yellow-ochre colour, a sign of their sandy nature. The hills of Barbaresco also have their Rocche, but they are of a different nature. These are mostly found near Treiso and along Valle del Tinella (a stream on the right of the Tanaro) and appear as huge greyish ravines, a sign that the soils are marly and clayey here.


WHAT TO SEE

The town of Neive

Considered among the most beautiful villages in Italy, Neive is divided into two distinct areas: Borgonuovo, the more modern and commercial part, and Neive Alta, the historical centre, definitely a must visit. Its marvellous baroque and eighteenth-century palaces, owned by noble Piedmontese families, wind their way up to the top of the hill where a castle once stood. Every corner, square and garden in the inhabited area is of high value, infused with an ancient and well-organized atmosphere that blends in perfect harmony with the surrounding hills, where Barbaresco vineyards as beautiful as gardens can be found.

The Tower of Barbaresco

Built during the Middle Ages, the tower is the symbol of the village which gives its name to the most famous wine of this area. 36 meters high, with slits and an unusual entrance located at the height of 13 meters, it served as a watchtower and was part of a stronghold that included walls and a castle, which are now gone. After undergoing a total restoration, the Tower is now open to visitors: an elevator will take guests to the top where they can enjoy the most beautiful view of the Langhe.

The Enoteca Regionale del Barbaresco

If there is a place to not to be missed while visiting these hills, it would be the Enoteca Regionale del Barbaresco. Located at the entrance of the homonymous village, opposite the Tower, the Enoteca is found inside the beautiful deconsecrated church of San Donato. Visiting the Enoteca is the best way to get to know the local wine heritage and, thanks to the numerous activities available, actively explore the denomination and the surrounding area

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