Barolo: Orange Flag awarded by the Italian Touring Club and 50th UNESCO site
The Vineyard landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato
The site is developed along smooth hills covered by vineyards as far as the eye can see, interspersed with small villages and valuable medieval castles, where the wine-growing activities are the focus of economic and social life since centuries.
The site is serial, which means it is formed by six components located in the area of the provinces of Alessandria, Asti, Cuneo, across 29 municipalities, totalizing an area of 10.789 Ha From the geographical point of view, three areas are located in the Langhe aera, two in the higher Monferrato and one in the lower Monferrato. As a whole, they represent the exceptional quality of the vineyard landscape of Piedmont and its deep and still alive culture of wine.
The components have specific natural, man-made and perceptive features, which are combined in their essence and in their mutual relations in order to represent the different aspects of the millennial "wine culture". This process has shaped the landscape through an ongoing relationship between the man and the nature.
The components were selected with particular reference to the association between wine productions and territories, the importance at the national and international level, the need to fully represent important places for the wine making activities (cultivation, production, storage and distribution) and historical/urban/architectural elements (road network, towns, rural villages, castles, churches).
The components 1, 3, 4, 5 are therefore representative of the four most important production systems in Piedmont, each one generated by a special bond between grape variety, terroir (soil and climate) and winemaking technique. The result of each system is a high quality wine, protected by a specific Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin, such as Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera d'Asti, Asti Spumante.
The site is characterized by a rich and diverse system of farms, wine industries, cooperative wineries, public and private wine shops, some of which are landmarks in the history and development of wine-making and national and international oenology (Grinzane Cavour Castle, component 2). This wine cycle is then completed by the presence of artifacts of "vernacular" nature, such as the infernot carved in Cantoni Stone, intended for home filing of the finest wines (component 6).
A wide buffer zone surrounding the components has been defined too (around 76.000 Ha). It involves more than 100 municipalities. Its aim is to guarantee a higher protection of the nominated site and allows to give continuity to the landscape of the single areas.
A complex system of regulations and laws protects the site, operative at different scales of territorial planning, as well as on a national level. The coordination and management of all joint initiatives about valorization and awareness is entrusted to the Association for the Heritage of the Vineyard Landscape of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato, active since January 2011.