On The Hills Of Barolo, Before The King Of Wines


The village of Barolo and the extraordinary hills of the "King" of wines in autumn

There is not just one Barolo.

Seppure prodotto in una piccola zona del Piemonte meridionale, il Barolo è un mosaico di paesaggi, di territori, di suoli e di differenze microclimatiche. Ed è proprio questa sua “pluralità” a renderlo un vino così affascinante.

Sfatiamo subito un mito. Il Barolo non è un vino complesso, ma profondo. È un vino che sa farsi amare da tutti, anche dai non esperti. Più lo si assaggia e più lui si rivela nella sua grandezza grazie ad un carattere sfaccettato, intrigante e nobile: da vero “Re”.

Although they cover just a small portion of southern Piedmont, the hills of Barolo are a mosaic made up of landscapes, territories, soils and different microclimates. And it is precisely this “variety” that makes its wine a profound and fascinating one.

But let’s immediately set the record straight. Barolo is not a complex wine, but a profound one. A wine that can make everyone fall in love with it, even those with less experience. The more it is tasted, the more it reveals its multifaceted, versatile and intriguing nature.


Barolo Docg (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) can only be produced with Nebbiolo grapes grown within the borders of 11 municipalities in the western section of the Langhe, an area roughly included between the city of Alba and the Tanaro River. We can name the most famous ones: the homonymous town of Barolo, Serralunga d’Alba, La Morra, Monforte d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto, Novello and Grinzane Cavour. But there are also towns which are not usually associated with this wine: Barolo can also be produced in some areas in Diano d’Alba, Roddi, Cherasco and Verduno.

The territory of Barolo is usually divided into three areas in order to properly analyze it. The eastern section, which starts from Grinzane Cavour and continues up to Serralunga d’Alba; the central area, which extends from the town of Barolo up to the “high lands” of Monforte d’Alba and Novello; and the western section, where we find the soaring hills of La Morra and Verduno, which rise to the right of the state road that connects Alba to Barolo.


The richness of Barolo is given by the soil which, in this particular area of the Langhe, has found its perfect vocation to Nebbiolo, the only grape used to produce this wine. These are ancient soils that were once a portion of an ocean floor now long gone. They are rich in precious microelements that enable the perfect ripening of the berries and the development of aromas.

Observing the same distinction made for the hills, we can broadly divide the denomination into three geological areas. The hills of Serralunga d’Alba present the so-called “Serravallian” soils (13 million years old) characterized by the Lequio Formation, alternating layers of clay and sand with presence of limestone: this type of soil yields extremely powerful Barolo wines. On the opposite side, we have the hill of La Morra and its “Tortonian” soils (11 million years old) made up of Sant’Agata Fossili Marls: layers of marl containing some sand and fine sediments such as silt and clay. The peculiar soils of La Morra yield Barolo wines characterized by exceptional finesse. «Balanced» is the proper word to describe the wines from the central area, located between Barolo and Monforte: here, the Serravallian and Tortonian soils meet and give life to harmonious and elegant Barolo wines.

Panorama from the hills of Barolo. In the distance you can see the ridges of the Roero,
divided by the valley of the Tanaro river and, in the background, the Alpine chain with the peak of Monviso


As we have already mentioned, we can identify a great Barolo when it embodies the complex nature of its territory. And that is precisely what Barolo Docg di Duchessa Lia does. Made with grapes from the exceptional hills of the denomination, this multifaceted wine reveals the perfect balance between power, austerity and classic and moderate elegance. It is not an extreme Barolo, but one that can make people fall in love with it from the very first sip: a perfect pairing to traditional Piedmontese and Italian dishes, it is also a remarkable meditation wine, for a more intimate and mindful experience.


DUCHESSA LIA s.r.l. - Corso Piave, 140
12058 Santo Stefano Belbo (Cn) Italia
Tel. (+39) 0141843006 • Fax (+39) 0141843929