History and Curiosity
The toponym of the village derives from “Barbarica Silva”, since it seems that in ancient times the territory was covered with dense woods that bordered the banks of the Tanaro River. Among the pre-Roman populations that inhabited those hills we remember the Ligurian Statielli and it is said that always in antiquity existed on the hills that now house Barbaresco a sacred forest dedicated to pagan deities, populated by majestic oaks. Later, after the conquest by the Romans, this territory was nicknamed Villa Martis, it was the first nucleus of the current town and included inside a furnace of bricks.
With the fall of the Roman Empire these territories were the scene of invasion by the Lombards, Franks and Saracens, but the current architectural physiognomy of the village dates back mainly to medieval times, when the Tower and the Castle were built. In this period Barbaresco became a fortified village contested between the rivals Asti and Alba. In the following centuries, Barbaresco and the surrounding territories were long contested between various noble families, only to be annexed to the Kingdom of the House of Savoy.
The tower of Barbaresco, the largest and most majestic in Piedmont
The construction of the tower of Barbaresco dates back to roman times, to be precise to the period of the Lower Empire. From the base up to almost half the thickness of its walls is three meters, and then continue with about one and a half meters in the upper part and up to the top. A truly imposing construction that, after centuries of neglect, in 1897 was emptied and rearranged by order of Professor Cavazza, at the time owner of the tower itself.
The tower has no opening up to half height and very few even in the section above, testifying to the defensive function of the majestic building. Formerly covered with a roof, it was removed in 1821 when, for the visit of King Vittorio Emanuele I and the Queen to the Castle of Govone, the Municipality of Barbaresco, on the evening of October 1st, ignited a large bonfire on the tower as a sign of joy. The tower discovered, and exposed to the weather for years, has suffered serious damage for this reason.
Barbaresco and “His” wine
In recent decades Barbaresco has seen the birth of its local economy mainly thanks to the production of the homonymous wine, produced with Nebbiolo grapes. One of the four Italians to have had the first, in 1981, the recognition of the Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin, Barbaresco has owned since 1966 its own “production specification”, which dictates its rules of cultivation and vinification.
Austere, pungent, ruby red in color when young, but tending to garnet as it ages, Barbaresco is also characterized by extraordinary transparency, an anomalous and distinctive crystal clearness, which together with its elegance and finesse of aromas marks and makes unique this exquisitely Piedmontese wine, one of the most loved in the world. Barbaresco comes from Nebbiolo grapes grown on these hills and to the precision of the municipalities of Barbaresco, Neive and Treiso. Let’s take a look and continue our tour also in these charming villages!