Let's discover the Langhe, unique wine territory and landscape
La nuova barricaia di Duchessa Lia

 LET'S DISCOVER THE LANGHE

UNIQUE WINE TERRITORY AND LANDSCAPE

 

«Langhe». The name is enough to recall images that have become part of our imagination as closely related to wine.

When you say «Langhe» the mind is immediately filled with waves of green hills dotted with villages with red roofs, on which the towers of a medieval castle stand out. Say those two syllables, «Langhe», and see the perfect lines of the vineyards, which seem to have been traced by a divine ruler to fill every curve of the hills, from the tops of the ridges, on which a grove of downy oaks appears, to the gorges of the “rittani” shaded by the woods, the ravines at the foot of the hills where mysterious rivers flow from the humid banks and the vegetation is so dense that you cannot cross them.

Today, the Langhe are one with their image because here, wine and culture, men and rows have learned to live in perfect harmony and the boundaries between “life” and “vine” are blurred, inseparable. Unique territories, which UNESCO has recognized as a World Heritage Site because, anthropologically speaking, they are a perfect example of a “wine landscape”, a place where winegrowing has given birth to millenary traditions which, in turn, have contributed to improve and enhance the economy linked to the world of wine.

But what is the Langhe, where is it and which wines from Duchessa Lia come from this ideal territory? Let's see it in detail.


WHERE IS THE LANGHE?

The Langhe is a treasure chest filled with green hills located between the Tanaro river and the Ligurian Apennines, whose altitude can vary from 200 to over 500 meters. To simplify things, the Langhe can be divided into two distinct areas: the Bassa Langa that runs along the right bank of the Tanaro river on the Barolo - Alba - Neive axis, characterized by the monoculture of vines, castles, medieval towers and medium and large villages; and the Alta Langa, whose high hills extend close to Liguria, wild, less inhabited and wooded, furrowed by thousand-year old stone terraces: here the vine gives way to hazelnut groves and, in the area of Ceva, to wheat fields and pastures.

Actually, there is a “third” Langa, often not mentioned and yet of vital importance for wine production. It is the Langa Astigiana, located in Monferrato towards the Northeast, which belongs to the area surrounding Santo Stefano Belbo. Here, we find characteristics of the Bassa Langa (hills largely planted with vines) and of the Alta Langa (steep and high ridges, woods, hazelnut groves and terraces). It is a productive and lively Langa, whose main grape is Moscato, from which two exemplary sweet wines are made, Moscato d’Asti Docg and Asti Docg Spumante. But we will talk about this Langa and its “Moscato Hills” in another entry.

CLIMATE AND SOILS

The great predisposition of the Langhe to wine is partly due to its climate and soils. The former is continental, with excellent temperature ranges between day and night. Most importantly, and contrary to popular belief, the Langhe has a fairly dry climate, which pushes the vines to seek nourishment deeply in the ground, where those microelements that give wine complexity are preserved, making it richer and more fragrant. The soils are essential for the characterization of wines and those of the Langhe are first class. These are ancient soils, originating from the Miocene era (over 20 million years old): ancient sea beds that emerged from the ancestral waters, rich in clayey marl, limestone and a certain percentage of gray-yellowish sands. The clayey marls are the geological element that gives the wines body and structure; while the limestone and sandy part gives aromas and elegance. It is no coincidence that the Langhe is famous for its reds: in these territories the wines are able to balance power and finesse, depth and freshness. Langhe wines are austere, noble and complex, but they never lose their natural drinkability, or their innate ability to be sipped with gusto, glass after glass.

LANGHE WINES BY DUCHESSA LIA

The main vines grown in the Langhe are Nebbiolo and Dolcetto, red berried vines that are somewhat complementary: the former produces the excellent Barolo Docg and Barbaresco Docg, but is also vinified to make Nebbiolo d’Alba Doc (which has a shorter refinement period); the latter is dedicated to Dolcetto d’Alba Doc, a fascinating wine because it is harmonious and drinkable, suitable for all tables and occasions.

Barolo Docg and Barbaresco Docg Duchessa Lia are aged for a long time: the Barolo for at least 38 months, 18 of which in wooden barrels, while the Barbaresco for at least 26 months, of which 9 in wood. The wines thus obtained are very complex, warm and deep: the typical aromas of Nebbiolo, with notes of violet and ripe fruit, are enriched by those obtained from the wine’s passage in wood, which gives balsamic and spicy sensations.


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BAROLO DOCG DUCHESSA LIA

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BARBARESCO DOCG DUCHESSA LIA

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Although born from the same grape variety, Duchessa Lia’s Nebbiolo d’Alba Doc ages for at least 12 months in steel. It has a solid structure and a wide aromatic range that combines the fruity hints of raspberry, geranium and wild strawberry with the ethereal and spicy ones of cinnamon and vanilla. 


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NEBBIOLO D’ALBA DOC DUCHESSA LIA

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Finally, Dolcetto d’Alba Doc is perhaps the most typical wine of the Langhe, that bottle that never fails on the table and accompanies the entire meal. With a strong and vinous flavor, not too alcoholic, it is versatile, easy to pair: a sip of daily pleasure.


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IL DOLCETTO D’ALBA DOC DUCHESSA LIA

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