UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2020
Even in the midst of a global pandemic, there is something magical about the Langhe in the autumn (or Fall if you’re that way inclined…). Sure, you’ll have to enjoy it in a more socially-distanced way this year, masks are very much de rigeur and there will be fewer parties than normal, but that also means fewer tourists to share all the delights with!
At this time of year, there is always a tangible buzz in the air as harvest gets underway, truffle hunters and their dogs scour the forests looking for white truffles, the vines turn every imaginable shade of yellow, orange and red, often changing from one day to the next, and tourists flock to Alba for the White Truffle Fair. The weather plays it part too, with foggy mornings giving way to cool, clear days, but, most of all, the wine and food in these parts is pretty much designed for autumn… there is nothing finer on a chilly day than a good glass of Barolo and a hearty plate of Brasato.
Now is the perfect time to start planning your autumn trip to Piemonte, so in case you need any more convincing, here are 5 reasons to visit the Langhe this fall…
With the locals heading back from a summer by the sea desperate to show off their tans, September is usually party month. This year, the parties are a little fewer and farther between than normal, but there are still a few things happening. Under normal circumstances, name a food or drink and some village somewhere will be celebrating it. From hazelnuts to Barolo, honey to cooked salami… the only hardship is choosing which ones to go to! See www.langheroero.it for the latest details.
As the days start to get shorter and the mornings foggier, truffle hunters and their dogs head out into the forests in search of white truffles. You can join them on a hunt, (it’s genuinely exciting chasing the dog through the trees as he picks up a scent) or if you’re feeling lazy just order some white truffle in a restaurant. You can have it shaved over pretty much anything but simplicity is always best… just get it on a fried egg and thank me later.
Wine is more than just a drink in the Langhe, it’s an obsession, and for many people a livelihood. At no time is this more apparent than during harvest. You can feel the excitement in the air as the beginning of harvest draws closer. It’s the only thing anyone talks about… when are you starting? Have you seen the weather? How will it be this year?
The Langhe is always beautiful, but in autumn it goes to another level entirely. It’s just ridiculous. The morning fog slowly lifts to reveal a sea of colours. What’s more, the sky is usually clear, which means you can see all the way to the snow-capped Alps. See what I mean?
The white truffle festival
Even this year, Alba will be the centre of the white truffle world. From 8th Otcober to 10 December, every weekend, the city will host the International White Truffle Fair, where you can touch (possibly) smell (possible) and buy (definitely) your own white truffles. There are also wine and food tastings and dozens of stalls selling cheeses, salami, oils… pretty much anything you can imagine putting white truffle in, and a few things beside.Outside of the fair itself, Alba also hosts a medieval parade and fair, a donkey palio, exhibitions, wine tastings, live music and much, much more. See www.fieradeltartufo.org for more details.