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Best wine tours in Piedmont

Why Visit Piedmont?

Legendary Piedmont, home to some of Italy's most famous wines, is a place where past and present collide in fine style. Creation and innovation coexist in extraordinary natural beauty, with an absorbing culture and a vast array of sights and activities to be enjoyed alongside the incredible viticultural heritage and gastronomic traditions of Italy's second-largest region. 

The region sits in the foothills of the Alps (the name Piedmont means 'at the foot of the mountains') and so stunningly dramatic mountain scenery dominates Piedmont's landscape. Verdant with lush greenery and undulating vineyards in summer, and blanketed in pristine white snow in winter, these mountains have even allowed the city of Turin to play host to the 2006 Winter Olympics. This has made Piedmont an unexpected but no less idyllic gateway for those in pursuit of some winter fun - it's a great stop for skiiers and snowboarders before heading up the mountain. Marvel at views of winding hillsides peppered with vineyards, medieval towns and historic palazzi, and stunningly serene lakes, from the tiny and tranquil to the impressive Lake Maggiore and Lake d’Orta. The Po river, the longest river in Italy, springs from the slopes of the Monviso and sustains the surrounding countryside.

Most pilgrimages to this wine lover's Mecca begin in Turin, the elegant and very lovely former capital of Italy. Best known as the home of Fiat cars, Juventus football club and excellent local cuisine, this serene city simply screams sophistication. There are enough museums to keep culture vultures busy for days - make sure you visit the Museo Nazionale dell'Automobile for a fascinating insight into the region's most famous export, whilst sports fans will love a tour of the Juventus football ground and adjoining museum. 

Piedmontese cuisine is world-renowned thanks to an abundance of great food products, which take centre stage at the hundreds of festivals and fairs organised in the hills throughout the year which showcase centuries of culinary tradition. The star of Piedmont’s cuisine is undoubtedly the white truffle of Alba, which turns a simple dish into something exquisite.

However, the region is not only fine wining and dining; Piedmont also offers relaxation and fun. Enjoy charming hospitality in chalets nestled in an Alpine forest or in the elegant atmosphere of an 18th century lakeside villa, pamper yourself at a spa and indulge in a wine therapy session, let loose amongst the locals at Turin’s Movida or dedicate yourself to sports.  Take a unique underground tour in the “underground cathedrals” of the “spumante capital” Canelli. This UNESCO World Heritage site takes the form of a network of historic wine cellars which extends below the city and is dug out from several levels in the tuffaceous hills. This striking environment is a true masterpiece of engineering and architecture.

Plan Your Visit

Best Known Grapes

Generally considered as one of the world's greatest grapes, second perhaps only to Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo is the iconic grape variety of the region which is used to produce the famous wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. Just like Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo is notoriously picky about where it is grown - but unlike Pinot Noir, which produces great wines in various parts of the world, it is rare to find excellent Nebbiolo outside of Piedmont. The grape is distinctive for a slightly rusty red-orange tinge and an intense, delicious bouquet of aromas including rose, violet, smoke, leather and earth and enjoyed the world over.  Elsewhere in Piedmont, other notable red grapes include Barbera and Dolcetto, whilst the often-excellent sparkling wines of Asti are made from the white Moscato grape.
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Best time to visit

The best time to visit Piedmont is in  spring and summer,  when visitors can enjoy the mild climate and peaceful atmosphere.  October and November  will surprise you with numerous events dedicated to food, wine and local traditions as well as the foliage of vineyards in stunning scenery. December to March the mountains offer a real paradise for winter sport fans.  In October and November, the International White Truffle Fair of Alba takes place. The leading fair celebrating the sought-after white truffle sees an amazing truffle market where truffle searchers sell their goods. Use the occasion to take part in truffle hunting with a “trifulau” and his dog. 
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How long to stay

Visiting the main attractions of the whole region will take at least 5-7 days, but the charming hotels and agriturismi in the countryside are also the ideal spot for a relaxing long weekend.

How to get there

Turin is well-connected with other Italian airports and most major European destinations. Direct flights from London take less than two hours, and on arrival it is advisable to hire a car or private driver to enjoy the best of the region.
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