The “King of wines is 100% made from the Nebbiolo, a late-ripening, thin-skinned, tannic grape that is best grown in the rich limestone, gypsum and marl soils found in the Langhe hills. It is aged for a minimum of 3 years (2 years in wood) and Riserva for 5. The wines are therefore not released until 4 years after the harvest.
The DOCG zone comprises 11 villages: Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d’Alba, Diano d’Alba, Grinzane Cavour, Monforte d’Alba, Novello, Cherasco,
La Morra, Roddi and Verduno.
The soils to the west of the zone are more fertile and tend to produce softer and more delicate wines. These include the key vineyards of Barolo and La Morra. The slightly poorer soils to the east produce wines that are heavier and more muscular. e.g. Monforte, Castiglione Falletto and Serralunga. Harvest usually takes place in early to mid October although some producers are now experimenting with techniques to bring it forward to the end of September. The wines will generally benefit from extended cellaring and the best can prove to be eternal in a wine sense.