Where to stay in Barolo wine country
Piedmont’s wine country in Northwest Italy is spectacularly beautiful and varied from the dramatic valleys overshadowed by the Alps to the sparkling lakes, and of course, to the fairytale wine roads of Langhe, Roero, Monferrato, and Alto Piemonte. Yet until only the last few years, luxury hotels in the wine country (especially Barolo and Barbaresco) were few and far between. However, these days, you are spoiled for choice and can choose between castles, luxe country houses, chic wineries with demure rooms, and dreamy villas- all set amid rolling hills draped in scenic vineyards.
We are delighted to share some of our favorite wine hotels with you, here with our “Cellar Tours top selection of wine hotels to stay in while wine touring in Piedmont,” enjoy the read!
Locanda La Raia
Set amidst the vineyards in Monferrato, Locanda La Raia is the new project by La Raia winery, a boutique hotel with 12 rooms, with a country house feel. It used to be a mail station, and careful restoration gave life to an elegant and intimate hotel, whose decor is a mix of historic and contemporary design furniture.
No detail was left to chance, from super comfy beds to stylish bathrooms, the aromatic herbs garden, and a rich and tasty breakfast. There is a small but well-equipped spa, a heated outdoor swimming pool, an art park, with works by the most famous international artists, such as Francesco Jodice, Michael Beutler, Remo Salvadori, Koo Jeong A.
The onsite restaurant is supervised by Michelin starred Chef Tommaso Arrigoni, who strictly follows a farm-to-table approach. All the restaurant ingredients are sourced locally, including many from the estates vegetable garden and the onsite farm. It offers traditional mouth-watering dishes, including anchovies, soft farinata, and fennels; creamy Risotto with Castelmagno cheese and Locanda’s aromatic herbs; rabbit with Taggiasca olives, plums, and pine nuts; potato dumplings, with beef ragout and black summer truffle.
address: Località Lomellina, 26, 15066 Gavi AL, Italy
telephone: +39 0143 642860
Gavi is one of Piedmont’s least visited wine regions. What a pity, as the countryside is pristine. The Monterotondo Wine Resort is set near the well preserved historic village of Gavi’s village. The rustic wine resort has it all top-class restaurant (La Gallina), the famous winery (Villa Sparina)- all set amid manicured vineyards. As in all the wine hotels, the most spectacular months to visit are September and October (harvest time) when the vineyards are at their best, and the weather is still nice enough to sit outside on the terrace, sipping a glass of wine, taking it all in. The resort also offers a range of non-wine-related activities, including bike tours of the area, posh picnics on the river, cooking classes, truffle hunting, and rice producers’ visits. In 2020 the resort underwent a significant renovation.
address: Frazione Monterotondo, 56, 15066 Gavi AL, Italy
telephone: +39 0143 607801
Castello di Gabiano
Monferrato – especially the Lower Monferrato – is a hidden gem for gourmet and wine lovers featuring great wines, authentic cuisine, warm welcome, quaint villages, and castles. One of these is the fairy tale Castello di Gabiano. You can live the dream here, sleeping in one of the luxury suites, eating at onsite restaurant Tre Orologi, wandering in the historical maze, fishing at the estate lake. The castle includes a working winery, whose first vintage was 1804! You can tour the cellar and enjoy a full tasting of their wines, discovering and sampling two of the smallest and off the beaten tracks appellations of Italy: Gabiano doc and Rubino di Cantavenna doc (both made with Barbera, Grignolino, and Freisa grapes)
address: Via S. Defendente, 2, 15020 Gabiano AL, Italy
telephone: +39 0142 090104
Relais Tenuta Santa Caterina
In the Basso Monferrato, near the town of Asti, at the wine estate Tenuta Santa Caterina you can find an elegant country house, immersed in the gentle hills covered with Freisa, Grignolino, Barbera vineyards.
There are six large and elegant suites (each one named after the estate wines), a cozy living room with an antique and grand fireplace, lounges, and libraries. A large pool overlooking the vineyards leads you to complete and immersive relaxation. But there is also plenty to do, if you prefer to be more active: cooking classes, truffle hunting, horseback riding, bike tours, golfing, sightseeing (not to be missed the impressive Grazzano Badoglio abbey founded in 961 by the Marquess of Monferrato or the “big benches” trail), grappa tours and tastings. Tenuta Santa Caterina offers a wonderful wine experience, including a tour of vineyards and historic winery, the visit of the UNESCO World Heritage “infernotto” (a cellar carved by hand in tufa stone ), and of course, exhaustive wine tastings with the winemaker.
address: Via Guglielmo Marconi, 23, 14035 Grazzano Badoglio AT, Italy
telephone: +39 0141 925472
Langhe is one of our favorite Italian wine regions, and Villa d’Amelia is one of our preferred hotels here. What used to be a 19th-century farmhouse is now a luxury hotel, with breathtaking views of Langhe hills and vineyards, imposing the Alps in the background. You will feel pampered and spoiled by the attentive and helpful staff. Indulge in the heated outdoor pool and small spa, deeply enjoy the two onsite restaurants by chef Damiano Nigro (the informal Damà and the Michelin starred Damiano Nigro, where tasting menus are named after Italian composers, like Rossini, Vivaldi, Paganini). The chef and the hotel organize special gourmet events, the most famous of all being “La Nocciola in Tavola” (Hazelnut on the Table), yearly held in November, hosting more than 20 Michelin starred chefs and wine producers.
address: Località Manera, 1, 12050 Benevello CN, Italy
telephone: +39 0173 529225
In the heart of Barolo wine country, you find these four luxury villas, built around a large swimming pool, with amazing views of the Langhe countryside. Each villa has a well-equipped kitchen, outdoor barbeque, deluxe interior, lush private garden with views of the Nebbiolo vineyards and Langhe hills. Every detail is taken care of; there is even an original playlist thought and planned for different life moments at the villas. Owned and managed by Scarpa winery, Casa Scarpa offers a large choice of activities: truffle hunts, vineyard walks, picnics, wine tastings with a private sommelier, personal chef at disposal for cooking classes or gourmet dining. And relax at the highest level.
address: Cascina Monvigliero, 28, 12060 Verduno CN, Italy
telephone: +39 348 4765176
Palàs Cerequio – owned by Barbera, Barbaresco, and Barolo producer Michele Chiarlo – is literally in the vineyard, and what vineyards! We are talking about the crème de la crème of Barolo crus Cerequio and Brunate, with spectacular views of the nearby Cannubi hills. This is a wine lover paradise!
Michele Chiarlo restored this palace (thus the name, palàs in local dialect) and turned it into a boutique hotel with four suites in historic style and five suites in a more modern contemporary design; each room has a small en-suite spa. At the helm of the restaurant is Michelin starred chef Francesco Oberto. The cuisine is simple but of high quality traditional local dishes. You can also enjoy what they call “Apericrus” (Piedmontese tapas), a selection of cheeses, cured meats, and tapas-style bites, paired with Barolo or Barbaresco by the glass. The highlight of any stay at Palàs Cerquio is the wine cellar, where you can enjoy a guided wine tasting of the best Barolos you’ve ever dreamt of with a private sommelier.
address: Borgata Cerequio, 12064 La Morra CN, Italy
telephone: +39 0173 50657
Castello di Guarene
Are you looking for a luxurious experience with a hint of nobility? Look no more; Castello di Guarene is the right place for you. Located in the Roero wine region, but within a stone’s throw from Alba and Langhe, Castello di Guarene has twelve large exquisite rooms, with original antiques and aristocratic details, such as silk or velvet elaborated tapestries. They feature the most modern comforts, though, to let you live a real top-notch stay. The hotel spa is terrific, with a stunning swimming pool carved into the rock and beautiful gardens dating from the 17th century. The onsite restaurant servers local cuisine with hints of creativity. There is only a downside: would you be able to leave the castle?
address: Via Alessandro Roero, 2, 12050 Guarene CN, Italy
telephone: +39 0173 441332
Alto Piemonte is a wine region on the rise, a hidden gem the most known and reliable wine magazines and writers are talking about, from Tom Hydal to Antonio Galloni, from Decanter to Wine Advocate, from Kerin O’Keefe to Eric Asimov. If you love Nebbiolo, Barolo, and Barbaresco, the next wines you need absolutely to try are Lessona, Carema, Gattinara, Ghemme, Boca, and Bramaterra. About 20 minutes’ drive from these appellations areas, you can find La Darbia, a renovated farmhouse turned into a delightful apartment hotel, with views of romantic Lake Orta, and breakfast is served every morning in your apartment. There is a small Nebbiolo vineyard on site. They produce a sparkling rosè brut wine from its grapes. In early October, you can experience the harvest firsthand; after the grape picking and a visit to the small cellar, you enjoy a convivial lunch to celebrate this special event.
You can enjoy the saltwater heated pool, e-biking, and wine tasting in the cantina. There is an onsite restaurant, where chef Matteo Monfrinotti creates delicacies made with products from the vegetable garden and this region’s specialties: cheese (Gorgonzola, anyone?), rice, salami, freshwater fish, paired with the excellent local wines, of course.
address: Via Covini, 28010 Vacciago, Ameno NO, Italy
telephone: +39 389 311 3813
Husband and wife team Gino and Clelia Bagnod left Val d’Ayas in Valle d’Aosta in 1946 and moved to Canavese, north of Turin and close to the beautiful town of Biella in Piedmont. They brought their herds with them, settled there, and began producing artisan cheese and premium meat. Over the years, the Bagnod family grew and expanded their business and founded three agriturismos (farm stay resort), a “bar à fromage,” and a wonderful winery. Located in an atmospheric, 13th-century abbey, the small wine cellar of Cellagrande produces unique and relatively rare wines: Erbaluce di Caluso and Carema. Erbaluce is a native, white grape from Upper Piedmont, characterized by its fruitiness, freshness, rich and intense flavor. It is a versatile grape and is used to make dry, sparkling, and even sweet wines. Erbaluce Passito is a highly rated dessert wine and the one you will most likely find outside of Piedmont.
The beautiful, palatial style inn also offers nine rooms, facing the Vivarone lake. Guests can enjoy the small spa, which includes a private experience in the former large wine casks; what a treat! There is also an onsite Bistrot (naturally with a farm to table ethos), wherein their pretty, brick-vaulted dining room, you can taste their cheese in mouthwatering dishes like Carnaroli rice with Erbaluce wine and creamy robiola cheese; slow-cooked locally-sourced lamb with Carema wine sauce; and beef seasoned with mountain herbs, mesclun (a mix of assorted small baby greens) and Gran Gessato d’Ayas cheese.
address: Via Cascine di Ponente, 21, 13886 Viverone BI, Italy
telephone: +39 0161 189 2213