The term Langhe is used today to roughly indicate the hills, at altitudes of between 450 and 800 metres, between the Rivers Tanaro and Bormida: a remarkably fertile area. These hills can be geologically considered as an extension of the Northern Apennines. The soil consists mainly of marl, clay , limestone and sandstone which can easily be eroded and through which the waters have carved a tight network of valleys of varying width. The Langhe is a territory made up of a variety of soils which are not common to any other Italian or possibly global winegrowing area. The high number of grape varieties cultivated is justified by the complex pedo-climatic conditions in the Langhe, where we have soils which are sometimes combined in a way that is absolutely unique. To understand the meaning of the term “Langhe”, we can look at different intellectual interpretations: there are those, for example, who claim that it stems from the Latin “linguae”, a
term used to indicate the typically shaped roads which resemble lots of tongues (the Italian for tongue being “lingua”). According to others, its origin is Celtic, deriving from the term “landu” or “londe”, meaning desert and wooded region. Then there is the theory of origination in Liguria, from the term “lanca”, meaning a group of hills or valleys. The towns and villages are usually situated on the hilltops and are characterised by the presence of castles and watchtowers once used for defence. Alba can be considered as the main town of this winegrowing region, which is home to famous wines like Dolcetto, Barbera, Barolo, Nebbiolo and Moscato, to name but a few. Another acclaimed local product is the Alba White Truffle, and every autumn the town hosts a specially dedicated fair which attracts thousands of visitors from Italy and beyond.
FFrom the 1950s onwards, the Langhe district has become popular with tourists, thanks to its geographical, literary and other typical characteristics. The setting for “La luna e i falò” by Cesare Pavese, “Partigiano Johnny” and “23 giorni della città di Alba” by Fenoglio, as well as Nuto Revelli’s “Vinti”, the Langhe hills have become one of the most famous literary landscapes. From being the home chosen by large numbers of emigrants, it has gradually become a rich land of wine, truffles and hazelnuts. For several years now, the area has been a favourite destination for food and wine tourism,
thanks to its excellent products, and also for artistic-cultural visits, thanks to the beauty of its landscapes and the presence of ancient castles and monuments almost all over the territory. The Langhe, home of the world’s most noble wines, truffles, enchanting landscapes, the most interesting fêtes and wonderful castles, is a district with a heritage that is unique in its kind and a beauty that leaves everyone who visits it breathless. These are the factors that resulted, in 2014, in the addition of the Langhe to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
“An exceptional living testimony to the historical tradition of grape growing and winemaking processes, of a social context, and a rural economy based on the culture of wine”
“The vineyards of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato are an outstanding example of man's interaction with his natural environment”