It is a village, and a territory, particularly fertile and suitable both for viticulture and for the cultivation of other fruits (such as the pear from the Madernassa). The conformation of the landscape, with hills with soils rich in sand, gives the wine a great freshness, structure and complexity.
Vezzad’Alba is a hilltop town in the central portion of the Roero of ancient origins, and the Rocca where the Castle once stood is today one of the scenic stops on the Romantic Road of the Langhe and Roero. Surrounded by woods and vineyards, Vezzad’Alba is home to the Naturalistic Museum of Roero and offers hikers four thematic trails, one of which is dedicated to the world of truffles and seekers of the precious underground mushroom, to which the town dedicates the November Fair .
The oldest mention of the name (Vicia) appears in a donation, assignable to the year 901, by the emperor Lodovico to the Church of Asti. The name derives from a herbaceous species (the viciasativa), in the past also cultivated as a fodder in the Roero area, where it left other names.
The names of the area reveal ancient, pre-Ligurian and pre-Indo-European settlements. The Roman presence has left traces in the road system and in a “fundus Rubiano”, today Rubiagno. The first nucleus of the castle is connected to the Lombard period, built almost as a continuation of the “room” (tax house of the tax quotas for the products of the earth), while on the San Martino hill there was already a parish for some time.
In 1228 the bishop of Asti redeemed, by pressing, the fiefdom of the “domini de Vicia”. Shortly after the mid-14th century, Vezza suffered the looting and destruction of the castle. The fiefdom was granted by the bishop of Asti to Antonio de Ponte. In 1401 this family sold it to Oddone Roero. The division that took place in 1468 among the Roero family assigns the Vezza fief to Oddone Roero, progenitor of the Vezza and Guarene branch. This family was, by the Duke of Savoy, invested with the fief of Sommariva Bosco and Teodoro Roero had the title of Count.
Shortly after his death, however, the fiefdom was confiscated and his son Giovanni returned to live in Vezza. Its descendants stayed there for about 2 centuries and then moved to the new Guarene castle. “Terra di Chiesa”, Vezza was subject to interference and looting, until – in 1610 – the Roero were deprived of the fiefdom and the Terre di Chiesa, after the contract that the duke Carlo Emanuele I of Savoy had concluded with the bishop Aiazza , are included in the Savoy dominions. Returned in possession of the fiefdom in 1631, the Roero family left the charming residence, now uncomfortable and decadent, in favour of the one built in Guarene, on a project by Carlo Giacinto Roero at the beginning of the 1700s.
WHAT TO SEE
Located at an altitude of 352 mamsl near the town it can be reached on foot. It constitutes the central nucleus around which the capital developed, the centre of human and religious activities. The ruin of the tower that meets at the stage of the romantic road is what remains of an ancient residence that has seen the different territorial lords alternate, up to host the Roero, who abandoned it in 1697 in favour of Guarene.
The earthquake of 1887 then destroyed it largely, the keep was saved (the “tower”), still restored in 1929, but collapsed later.
CHURCH OF SAN BERNARDINO
also known as the Confraternitadeibattuti Bianchi, it is the most beautiful building in Vezzese, dedicated to San Bernardino, built between 1744 and 1768 almost certainly based on designs by Count Carlo Giacinto II Roero di Vezza and Guarene.
The slender bell tower was finished in 1792, inside houses valuable paintings. The church is used for temporary exhibitions and concerts of sacred and classical music.
OUR LADY OF THE WOODS
Sanctuary built in a typical “high place”, clearly visible from the stage of the romantic road, between the Sanche Valley and the Val Maggiore. The single-nave Romanesque church was built in the 12th century. In 1471 the bishop of Asti granted the patronage to the Roero family who, some decades later, had the adjoining convent built. The construction of the vault on the nave in 1731 had the effect of confining in the attic a precious Gothic fresco depicting the Annunciation, painted towards the end of the fifteenth century. Various members of the Roero family from Vezza and Guarene were buried in the crypt from 1608 to the end of the 19th century.
NATURAL MUSEUM OF ROERO
The Naturalistic Museum of Roero offers the opportunity to observe and get to know the different natural environments of Roero closely, both from a geological and a naturalistic point of view. It consists of two rooms: the geological room, which, through plastic reconstructions and fossil collections, tells the origin of the Roero territory as we know it now, and the fauna room, where in nine showcases the particular environments and related inhabitants of the Roero, to which an entomological section is added.
The Museum, managed by volunteers, is a training place for children and adults as it adequately represents the different natural environments that make up the Roero, constituting a centre of tourist-naturalistic-cultural interest available to the community.
EDUCATIONAL TRUFFLE OF ROERO: in the heart of the Roero woods stands the Didactic Tartufaia, a place where tourists, schools and the simple curious can discover the process of origin and the magic that hides behind the most precious and sought after fruit of our territory.
Located halfway along the Path of the Trifolao, the truffle ground can be reached on foot along the path, or by car by parking along the Alba-Canale state road. A short distance from the truffle ground there is also an artificial pond covered with lotus flowers which in summer offer magnificent flowering.
The vintners of Castellinaldo
A village with a strong winemaking tradition, it is now strong for the group of producers who work together.
Castellinaldo is an ancient village, which town boasts archaic Roman origins, has a sixteenth-century castle, six ancient churches and a vocation for the wine-growing qualification of the territory of ancient and consolidated tradition.
The Municipality of Castellinaldo has always shown its massive wine-growing vocation, which for centuries, earth and sky have given very particular taste and refined bouquet characteristics to all wines: Nebbiolo, Roero, Roero Arneis, Favorita, Barbera, Bonarda and Birbét (Brachetto). The Association of “Vinaioli di Castellinaldo”, whose wines found a permanent display window in the municipal “Bottega del Vino”, housed in the ancient stables of the Castle, was established in early 1992. A few months earlier it had taken shape l initiative aimed at obtaining the denomination of “Castellinaldo” (subzone) for Barberad’Alba DOC
A long time has passed since the first experiments, this wine has become a reality, a specification has been drawn up governing production.
The group of producers who work together has also grown with the culture of wine!
The Association and the Wine Shop The “VINAIOLI DI CASTELLINALDO” are 22 small companies of ancient winemaking tradition operating in the Municipality of Castellinaldo, sensitive to the enhancement of the wines of their land and of the entire economic, tourist and historical-cultural environment.
“I VINAIOLI DI CASTELLINALDO” annually promote numerous food and wine events, aimed at enhancing the resources of the territory of Castellinaldo.
Furthermore, 9 production sub-areas,
corresponding to as many geographic areas of the territory, further qualify
Roero and Roero Arneis, DOC wines, together with Nebbiolod’Alba, Favorita,
Bonarda and Birbét (Brachetto), to underline the full title of this dynamic centreroerino
to be part of the National Association of “Cities of Wine”.