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After crossing the River Po, the road that runs across southern Piedmont from Turin towards the sea works is way through the mysteriuos tangle of hills known as the Langhe. Geographically they lie between the Ligurian Alps, the Monferrato area around Asti and the River Tanaro, but their precise borders remain a moot point.

At a distance it is not always easy to make out the houses and villages. In the summer it is more soothing to dwell on the roundness of the contours, accentuated by the lush swelling of the woods, vineyards and fields of corn. In winter it is the turn of the brightness of the snow to add to the disorienting effect of the rolling landscape, while in spring and autumn a light mist seeps into the valleys, blurring the heavily-outlined knolls.

Venturing inside, though, reveals - as the celebrated local writer Cesare Pavese remarked - the infinity of details with wich nature and agriculture have merged into a harmony that kindles peace, respect and nostalgia.
The roads run along the ridges linking farmsteads, castels and villages where the colour of the ploughed fileds reapperas in the bricks used to build the houses.

The endless series of hills owes its origins to the formation of the land, which is clayey in the upper layers, and marly limestone or even decidedly sandy underneath.
The surface and meteoric waters have flattened the crests - know as langhe in the local dialect - and the sides of the hills with ease, ofter carving out deep furrow.

The local inhabitants of ancient times, who belonged to the prehistoric Ligurian people and fought at length agains Roman colonisation , where already known as langenses.
The history of the Langa largely reflects the history of Italy itserlf: in 89 B.C. Alba and the Langhe became a Roman province, and they remained such until the rout of the empire.
The region was then dominated in turb by the Visigoths, the Longobards and Charlemagne's Franks, until Otto I's feudal regime at the beginning of the millennium broke up the territory into a lot of small possessions which were politically opposed to each other. The Langhe were not united until 1700, under the Kingdom of Savoy.
Regardless of the historical events, however, the people of the Langhe have always been joined spiritually - and this is what strikes visitors still today - but the strenght and tenacity of their character.
The men and women of this area have tilled, drained and cultivated what would normally seem to be impossible land, and they have faced an incredible succesion of historical and natural disasters with the same determination, becoming strong, proud people with a deeply-rooted culture in which every gesture, sign and thought represents a scar left by their suffering.

The distinction between the Upper and Lower Langhe is mainly due to the altitude, which is higer in the south-west, and consequently to the type of farming, which is more intensive and specialised in the Lower Langhe (vines and cereals) and more extensive and barren in the Upper Langhe (hazelnuts, chestnuts, woodland and pastures).
Diano d'Alba and Rodello, the heart and the soul for the "Azienda Mario Giribaldi" production are to be found right in the center of the Lower Langhe.


Azienda Agricola Mario Giribaldi - © 2018