Circling the vineyards of Barbaresco
- Written by Diana Zahuranec
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This quick trail is perfect for exploring the wine town of Barbaresco and a bit of its surrounding territory in just half a day. Circle vineyards of Barbaresco around and up to hamlets of houses and groves of hazelnut trees, never far from a chance to taste this famous wine.
Visualizza A spasso nei vigneti del Barbaresco in una mappa di dimensioni maggiori
Begin in Barbaresco in Piazza del Municipio. The choice is yours to walk up the central Via Torino before or after the hike. In either case, you may want to stop by the Church of San Donato, which now houses the Regional Enoteca of Barbaresco, full of locally produced wines available for purchase, as well as tastings and tourist information. To the left of the Regional Enoteca is Strada del Cimitero, a paved road that leads down into the valley to a cemetery (here you may park your car if there is no space in Piazza del Municipio), to the right of which the trail starts. Take the right-hand path that leads into the surrounding vineyards, then a left at the first fork. Continue straight and, after the trail curves right, instead of going straight up the side of the hill, take the left that leads above a wooded area. If the trees are not yet in full leaf, it’s possible to glimpse the Tanaro River in the valley to the left, and beyond that, plains stretching out until they rise up again into rolling hills with towns erected on their summits. Here is the Roero area; and spread out from the left to the right, it’s possible to see the Castle of Guarene, Castagnito, Castellinaldo, Magliano Alfieri and Govone.
The trail cuts mid-hill through the vineyards, down and up again towards a farmhouse. Admire the view from this height, the Asti plains unfolding in front of you, the Langhe to the right, and Neive’s hills, famous for producing four well–known wines: Barbaresco, Moscato d’Asti, Dolcetto d’Alba and Barbera d’Alba. Follow the path until it meets with a cracked asphalt road next to a lone tree, and continue straight down following Strada Vincenziana.
Descending into the valley, vineyards of Barbaresco reach out before your eyes, dotted with cascine, or farmhouses, wineries, and great Barbaresco estates. You will see the traffic from the main road SP3; upon nearing it, turn right onto a dirt road at a hazelnut grove just before the SP3.
This wide, grassy path stays level as you bypass poplar trees planted in rows. Look down, and perhaps you’ll notice the tracks of the wild boar, deer-like in form but slightly squarer.
Vineyards give way to open fields cultivated with other vegetation, and you’ll approach red and white signs pointing to the right towards Barbaresco. Follow the path up through vines; the incline becomes quite steep, but it is worth the climb for the magnificent view from the top. To the left, the community of Montestefano juts out on top of the hill, and in front of you is a patchwork quilt of vineyards, planted in all different directions. Behind you are hills and valleys of vineyards, with the town of Neive visible nearly straight ahead on top of a hill.
Head up the road opposite of Montestefano; as you crest the hill and pass Strada Ovello, laid out in front of you is Barbaresco, its tower prominent with a frosty Alpine background in the distance. In the center of the town you can glimpse the roof of the Barbaresco Castle, reconstructed in the Baroque Era to be a noble residence. Later, at the end of the 19th century, it housed the Cantina Sociale of Barbaresco under Professor Domizio Cavazza, founder of the first oenologic school in Italy and enthusiastic promoter of Barbaresco wine, helping it gain in value and international prestige. Today, the Castle is the private property of producer Gaja. Re–enter Barbaresco in its Piazza del Municipio just two steps away from where the hike began.