Barolo is a small city in the Piedmont region of north west Italy. It is part of the larger Langhe wine growing region. Barolo is world famous for the red wines made there from the nebbiolo grape. The Barolo zone extends into the communes of Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d'Alba and parts of the communes of Cherasco, Diano d'Alba, Grinzane Cavour, La Morra, Monforte d'Alba, Novello, Roddi, Verduno, all in the province of Cuneo. Only vineyards, planted in primarily calcareous-clay soils, in the hills with suitable slopes and orientations are considered suitable for Barolo production.
Barolo is made from 100% Nebbiolo and usually has the aromas of tar and roses. Barolos are noted for this ability to age and usually take on an orange tinge as they get older. When subjected to aging of at least five years, the wine can be labeled a Riserva. In the past all Barolos used to be very tannic and they took more than 10 years to soften up. Fermenting wine sat on the grape skins for at least three weeks, extracting huge amounts of tannins; then it was aged in large, wooden casks for years.
In order to meet the international taste, which preferred fruitier, more accessible styles, the "modernists" cut fermentation times to a maximum of ten days and put the wine in new French barriques (small oak barrels). The results, said "traditionalists", were wines that weren't even recognizable as Barolo and tasted more of new oak than of wine. The controversies between traditionalists and modernists have been called the "Barolo wars".
Barolo is a world famous wine city. It is the namesake city for the "king of wines and the wine of kings." Barolo is a very scenic small town. The surrounding countryside is spectacular. There are some very panoramic views from the Castello Falletti. However, if you are not interested in wine, there is not much to see or do in Barolo. For the non-wine lover, it is probably not worth the drive up from Alba.
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