The Langa and Roero regions are among the world’s most generous for the quantity and quality of wines produced. The origins of their fortune can be found in a micro-climate peculiar to the area, their geographical position and the richness of soil types to be found there. All these are factors that contribute to the region’s biodiversity – also illustrated, for example by the richness of other plant species, such as the 39 species of wild orchid native to these hills.
The Langa hills are situated in the southern part of the Region of Piedmont, between the Maritime Alps and the Apennines of the Italian Riviera. The name ‘Langa’ seems to be of Celtic origin and signifies ‘tongues of land’, describing the shape of these steep-sided elongated hills which run parallel to one another and are separated by high, narrow valleys.
The Langa’s largest river is the Tanaro, which separates the northern part ( the Roero, from the name of the medieval family’s feudal property), from the Langa in the south. Both of these areas are hilly, although the Roero’s hills possess a different geology and shape, with steeply rising and rocky inland cliffs being a prominent feature.
The Apennines protect the hills from currents of air arriving from the sea. Masses of air from the Mediterranean meet those coming down off the Alps and prevent cold currents arriving from the north from hitting the hills. Natural fluctuations in climate are frequent and can be appreciated in the glass: every vintage is different, in fact, producing endless variety in flavours and perfumes.
The various micro-climates created by the hills and valleys of the Langa influenced by the continental climate of the entire area, stimulates particularly fine and aromatic nuances in the wines. During the summer, the difference between the heat of day and cool nights increase the aromas in the skins of the grapes and ensure the fascinating variety which is the hallmark of this region’s structured and complex wines, perfect for ageing. The tannins typical of these grand wines also contribute to their constant fascination.
The soil of the Langa is the result of the Padano Sea, which withdrew from the area around 16 million years ago, leaving behind it a substrate of clay, calcareous marl, blue marl, tufa, sand and sulphur-bearing chalk. These substances are to be found in alternating layers, giving the area’s wines their structure and finesse. The claychalk terrain of the Langa tends to produce fullbodied reds, whereas the softer and sandier soil of the Roero is perfect for fruity whites.
The geological structure of the Langa initiated during the Miocene period, 15 million years ago, resulting in a compact and solid terrain. The Roero are more recent, having been formed during the Pleiocene of the Tertiary Era, five million years ago, and the earth is still extremely rich in marine fossils of all kinds.