Provare, produrre, progredire – test, produce and progress! The grandfathers of Roero Arneis nailed their colours to this mast in the 1970s by founding the Club 3P. At the time, Roero was still somewhat of a no man’s land in terms of winemaking techniques: small farmers who had a few rows of vines alongside their fruit trees and vegetables were the norm, but even then a few innovative winemakers were beginning to examine the potential of Roero and its wines.
Roero changed a long time ago: the region between Vezza d’Alba and Montà, Canale and Piobesi d’Alba discovered its wines! There is a signpost advertising an Agriturismo or winery around almost every corner, with neat rows of Nebbiolo or Arneis decorating the landscape between numerous forests, meadows and plantations with cherry, pear and peach trees. Because unlike nearby Langhe, which is firmly in the hands of the winemakers, diversity is the watchword here: cycle and hiking routes are devoted to truffles, chestnuts and bees, and untouched nature in the rocche ravines stands alongside culinary delights. But of course, the next vineyard or cellar is never far away. Because Roero is the home of fine wines: since 2005, Roero Rosso made from Nebbiolo and Roero Bianco made from Arneis have been DOCG wines with a goût de terroir. 135 special MGAs – menzioni geografiche aggiuntive, an additional geographical designation for crus – have been identified since 2017, and account for the features of the different terroirs. The primarily sandy, in some cases loamy soils are the basis for fruity wines that can nevertheless age very well. This applies to both Bianchi and Rossi in equal measure, which inspired Francesco Monchiero – president of the Consorzio di Tutela del Roero created in 2013 – to describe it as the ‘Burgundy of Italy’.
In any case, it is a region that is well worth exploring.