I’m still getting used to east coast time after spending 2 weeks in Europe. So, I’m up early on a Saturday rummaging through our photos from Barolo, Italy. This town is magical for so many reasons! Of course, if you can spend a longer amount of time there, do it! But if only for 1 day, it’s worth it! Below are photos and links to everything we did if you ever find yourself in the Italian wine country.
We were in Nice, France for about 1 week and decided to take our rental car on a road trip to Italy.
We stayed in La Morra which is a commune (small town, ~2,500 people) of Barolo. Our hotel was called Arborina Relais and was literally situated right in the vines overlooking miles and miles of grapes. Magical reason #1, the view is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Literally MILES of vineyards on rolling hills, truly breathtaking. At our hotel, we were greeted by some Italian sparkling and the most friendly woman that showed us to our room.
Appointments at wineries are necessary when visiting Barolo. I set up a tour/tasting with Oddero and it was definitely the highlight of the day. Magical reason #2, pulling up to the charming vineyard home, our car was greeted by 3 doggos! Watching these pups run around the vineyard showed how much they were a part of the Oddero team.
The family is in its 7th generation of winemaking and paved the way for Barolo wine importing into the United States. Their wines have always been pesticide free (yay! no hidden nasties into our bodies!) However, Italian laws will officially recognize Oddero as an organic vineyard starting with their 2017 vintage. This means that they are grown WITHOUT the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers.
Their tasting room made me feel so at home! Wine is very intimidating to a ton of people (including myself before I joined the industry), but when you visit many of these places, you see how charming, personable and humble the families really are! It’s a shame that some wines give the image of pretentiousness because I believe at the heart of it all, are good people with a passion for making delicious wine to share with the world. Creating and enhancing moments and sharing memories for generations.
Barolo wine is made with 100% Nebbiolo. The grapes derive their name from the Italian word nebbia which means fog. During harvest, a white powder-like natural fog develops on the grapes. The best Nebbiolo sites are also located above a fog that collects in the valley. It’s the most famous grape from the Barolo region and makes full-bodied red wines with very high tannins, alcohol and acidity. Red fruit flavors with some earthy elements that evolve with age into aromas of tobacco, mushroom and tar! Perfect with any meat or mushroom dish! Look for Barolo DOCG on the bottle!
The maps below show how many different soil types and combinations there are in the Barolo region. We tasted through bottles from different plots of land, the differences were incredible! The tannin and acid levels varied as well as the complexity. We tasted a 10 year aged reserve bottle (2008 vintage) that was magical reason #3 and not released to market until mid-September 2018. Literally bursting red cherry and a ton of fruit flavor. On the opposite end, there were random flavors of menthol, tobacco, leather and iron. The juice gripped your entire mouth and the acid left it watering for more. This bottle was so complex, it didn’t need food – it was a meal on its own!
Also, if you know about our kitchen wine wall collection, you know how excited we were that they gave us an Oddero wine box lid! The cherry on top!
After our 2 hour tasting lesson with Oddero, we headed to Barolo Land! Yes, basically like Disney Land but a quiet town with century old buildings and stores filled with hundreds of bottles of Barolo! Since we were already half way through our 1 day in Barolo, this was the perfect spot to check out multiple producers. There is a tasting room that has machines that allows you to taste through over 40 Barolo producers from different vineyards. If you don’t have time to hit multiple vineyards individually, this is the next best thing!
They also have an interactive display that singles out wine scents so you can help train your nose to identify different characteristics (rose, mint, cinnamon, white flowers, peaches, cherries, citrus, tobacco, barnyard, etc…). Inside Barolo Land there is also a corkscrew museum for 4€ per person that guides you through the life of wine opening techniques.
Right next door to the wine tasting room is the Barolo Castle and Wine Museum! Linked here!
Castles & delicious red wine, sitting front row to the grape show! One day well spent that’s for sure!
If you have questions about Barolo or specifics on the wine, leave in the comments below!