Bubbles in northwest Italy


Discoveries

In Piedmont to discover the Alta Langa DOCG, a one-of-a-kind vintage brut. It’s a perfect match with another of the area’s delicacies: the white truffle of Alba

A straw yellow color with soft green reflections. Extremely fine perlage. An intense and complex bouquet with hints of vanilla, honey, toasted nuts and bread crust. In the mouth, a full and enveloping taste with a suggestion of almonds. Ladies and gentlemen, we offer you the Alta Langa DOCG white wine, protagonist of important occasions. Obtained from hand-picked Pinot Nero and Chardonnay grapes, still pressed whole and prepared according to the Classic Method, Alta Langa DOGC, which we can also taste in the rosé version, is a highly refined vintage Brut. Not preceded by a younger cuvée, unlike other denominations, it’s the marvelous interpreter of one of the most renowned wine-growing areas of Italy, known especially for its reds, but which also turns out bubbles from its cellars that are able to compete with the most famous Champagnes and sparkling wines.

Among the rows

We can find it in the most exclusive restaurants and wine shops of our cities, but why not go to taste it where it is born? That is, in the rows where its grapes ripen, absorbing all the strength of the sun and the earth and where skilled winemakers, drawing on their ancient wisdom, transform it all into an exciting and engaging wine.

And here we are in the south of Piedmont, in the Langhe, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2014, in the hilly area to the right of the Tanaro River. Canelli and Acqui Terme are some of the towns of reference, destinations of a journey that leave in your eyes the soft outlines of evocative landscapes and in your mouth authentic tastes amplified by strong and elegant aromas.

The journey can’t begin without knowing what we’ll encounter. Alta Langa is a wine that is only produced in the best years and as such vintage (that is produced only from grapes of a single year), which must remain in the cellar no less than thirty months (only twelve months are required for Champagne) but can remain there over three years to become Reserve. Its tasting is considered a unique experience, made even more so by ‘Grande’, the exclusive glass designed by Giugiaro Design to enhance the perlage, the perfume and the charm of this young (it’s had the DOCG designation for a little more than ten years) “pride of Piedmont”.

In the wine cellar

What better setting for the encounter with Alta Langa DOCG than one of the cellars, where time works in our favor to obtain this refined product? Among the many, we choose that of Contratto, in Canelli, which boasts over a century and a half of history.

A UNESCO heritage site, it’s an enormous underground cathedral that stretches out over 5,000 square meters and arrives to a depth of 32 meters.

As soon as we enter the winery – an elegant Art Nouveau building – we breathe an exclusive atmosphere, that will find its fulfillment in the visit of the wine cellar and the final tasting of its wines. But if we want a real full immersion into the world of Alta Langa, we can opt for a stay at the estate of Fontanafredda, another historic winery, in Serralunga d’Alba. The Foresteria delle Vigne (Vineyard Guesthouse), adjacent to Fontanafredda’s Royal Villa, is available for guests. Restored by rest in the refined rooms of the Foresteria, we can now visit the majestic nineteenth-century cellars, considered among the hundred most beautiful in the world.

At the table

At this point, we know enough about Alta Langa DOCG and we can allow ourselves a close encounter  in the perfect setting: at the table. As an aperitif, Alta Langa DOCG is unbeatable, but we can also combine it beautifully with fish and seafood dishes and, given the context, risotto seasoned with vegetables. For main courses, you can dare, turning to a more structured Alta Langa vintage rosé, combined with braised and stewed red meat dishes. Let loose your fantasy, here’s Alta Langa, once again rosé, flanked by cotechino with lentils.

But it will be with the other great protagonist of the area, the white truffle of Alba, that we will be able to find the perfect match for Alta Langa DOCG at the table.  At the last edition of the International White Truffle Fair held last autumn in Alba, Alta Langa DOCG was the official sparkling wine.

An ideal place to try Alta Langa DOCG, other than the restaurants that may be found in some wineries, is also 100 Vini Caffè la Brasilera in Alba. The historic café in Piazza Michele Ferrero has recently reopened, allowing for a proper tasting of Alta Langa DOCG, which here we can try in the versions produced by all the wineries in the Consortium, ranging from the most harmonious to more acidic expressions, from the finest tastes to more accentuated ones, a wide variety of interpretations of this great Piedmont delicacy.