It was just two years ago that UNESCO made the “vineyard landscape” of Piedmont a designated heritage site — for its historic and cultural significance and for its pure beauty.
According to UNESCO’s website:
This landscape covers five distinct wine-growing areas with outstanding landscapes and the Castle of Cavour, an emblematic name both in the development of vineyards and in Italian history. It is located in the southern part of Piedmont, between the Po River and the Ligurian Apennines, and encompasses the whole range of technical and economic processes relating to the winegrowing and winemaking that has characterized the region for centuries. Vine pollen has been found in the area dating from the 5th century BC, when Piedmont was a place of contact and trade between the Etruscans and the Celts; Etruscan and Celtic words, particularly wine-related ones, are still found in the local dialect. During the Roman Empire, Pliny the Elder mentions the Piedmont region as being one of the most favourable for growing vines in ancient Italy; Strabo mentions its barrels.
Thanks to a new initiative spear-headed by Donne del Vino (Women in Wine, an Italian association made up of women winemakers and winery owners), Piedmontese wineries have been asked to organize vineyard hikes and walking tours for visitors. Piedmontese estates are the first to be approached by the group for the pilot program but ultimately it plans to include wineries across Italy.
The idea behind the newly launched program is to let wine tourists and lovers soak in and appreciate not just the wines and the winemaking but also the sheer beauty of Italian wine country.
The project’s website is not yet available online but according to a statement by the group, it will have a page devoted to each participating winery and the vineyard trails that will be covered. Visitors will be accompanied by a winery guide who will lecture on the vineyards and the natural landscape.
We’ll share more details as soon as they become available.