The area of DOCG Roero covers the entire administravtive territory of the municipalities of Canale, Corneliano d’Alba, Piobesi d’Alba and Vezza d’Alba, and part of those of Baldissero d’Alba, Castagnito, Castellinaldo, Govone, Guarene, Magliano Alfieri, Montà, Montaldo Roero, Monteu Roero, Monticello d’Alba, Pocapaglia, Priocca, S.Vittoria d’Alba, S.Stefano Roero and Sommariva Perno.
The municipality has just over 13 total vineyard-planted hectares, 9.95 of which are planted with Arneis and 3.82 with Nebbiolo. The region spreads from the Rocche all the way to the central part of the geographical area of the Roero denomination. The part just before the Rocche has a soil rich in sand of marine origin, with a large number of fossils present, and almost no calcareous components on a superficial level; it is generally arid, as precipitations filter through it very fast. These soils are best suited for the making of Roero Arneis, while the Roero are usually harmonious, delicate, and with a moderate level of alcohol and tannins. The central part of the region, in the direction of Corneliano d’Alba, has the presence of a bluish-gray loam slate (found in spots throughout the Roero), more calcareous and with a clay content of over 20% – it is the ideal soil for complex and well-structured Roero wines.
Canale could be considered the wine capital of the Roero: with its 370 vineyard-planted hectares, it is the most important viticultural municipality of the area. Of these, 240 hectares belong to the DOCG denomination – 175.62 are of Arneis and 63.10 of Nebbiolo, making up over 23% of the total hectares planted belonging to the denomination (and over 30% of the total vineyards of the Roero). The soils are mostly sandy (of Pliocene origin), with a grayish-blue loam component and a clay content of over 20%, as seen by the most part in the central Roero area: it is the ideal land for complex Roero wines, with great structure and suitable for aging. The hills of Canale have great expositions, altitudes and slopes, somewhere in between the extreme slopes of Santo Stefano Roero and the gentle hills of Castellinaldo and Castagnito. Towards Priocca, we find marly soils with a calcareous content ranging from 3 to 10%, as well gypsum/sulfur formations (a complex of deposits of the late Miocene period, made up of loose gypsum, sulfuric limestone, rock salt and other highly-soluble salts, alternated with soil deposits), which lead to full-bodied wines, rich in aromas and with a good alcohol level, while towards Santo Stefano, the soils highlight the mineral and sapid characteristics of the wines (as supposed to their body or structure).
We are in the southeastern part of the Roero, which is the closest one to the Tanaro, facing the Langhe, and in particular, Barbaresco. The soil is cooler and marlier than most of the soils of the Roero denomination. It has an average mixed soils, with clay mixed into calcareous deposits, ideal for the production of full-bodied, well-rounded Roero Arneis wines. There are 58.34 hectares planted with Arneis, while there are only 6.40 planted with Nebbiolo.
Castellinaldo is a municipality that has over 260 vine-planted hectares, 120 of which belong to the denomination. At 11.70%, it is the second-most important municipality for the denomination in terms of its total vine-planted hectares. There are 107.88 hectares belonging to the Roero Arneis DOCG denomination, while 12.33 hectares are planted with Nebbiolo. The municipality can be divided into two main areas: the southeastern part, which from Bric Cenciurio and Bric Zoanni heads towards Priocca, with gentle hills and marl/sand soils with a calcareous component of up to 50%, that is ideal for the production of ample and full-bodied wines; and the northwestern part in the direction of Canale, where more steep hills are found, with a larger presence of forests and a sandier soil with loamous components, which is suitable for the production of fresher wines with mineral notes.
A municipality found on the western border of the denomination, but with very typical characteristics, both for the slopes of its hills as well as for the mostly sandy soils, best suited for mineral and sapid Roero Arneis wines. There are just over 32 vine-planted hectares belonging to the denomination – 31.21 of these are planted with Arneis and only 1.52 of them are dedicated to the cultivation of Nebbiolo.
The last municipality of the northeastern part of the Roero has 208 hectares, planted mostly with Barbera; it is only the most western part of the municipality that belongs to the DOCG denomination. There are just over 13 vine-planted hectares that belong to the denomination – 10.17 are planted with Arneis and 3.19 with Nebbiolo. There are two different kinds of soils: those of the central part of the Roero, of Pliocene origin with a clay content of over 20%; the more sedimentary soils, similar to those of Langhe, with more gentle slopes than the typical Roero ones.
Only the northernmost part of the municipality is located within the denomination zone – particularly the Montebello hill – but this does not undermine the fact that Guarene holds more than 20 hectares belonging to the denomination. There are 19.02 hectares planted with Arneis and 1.14 with Nebbiolo. Guarene is located in the southeastern part of the Roero that is closest to the Tanaro, with compact and cooler soils, with the St. Agatha Marl Fossils (Marne di S. Agata Fossili) and a larger presence of clay mixed in with gypsum deposits. It is a soil that is suited for the production of wines with higher alcohol content, well rounded and full-structured, often apt for aging.
Magliano Alfieri (along with Sommariva Perno) is the municipality with the least vine-planted hectares belonging to the DOCG – 5.39 Arneis hectares and 2,31 of Nebbiolo, making up only 0.75% of the total hectares belonging to the denomination. We are on the easternmost part that is closest to the Tanaro. The soils here have low permeability, they are sedimentary and generally more humid and cooler than the average Roero soil, which are suitable for the production of well-structured wines with rich alcohol content.
The municipality of Montà is located on northwestern extremity of Roero. All together, Montà makes up 10% of the total vine-planted hectares of the denomination, with 74.00 hectares planted with Arneis and 23.65 planted with Nebbiolo, found on different types of soil. Along the Rocche, especially above an altitude of 350m, there are very sand-rich soils of a Pliocene matrix, with a low calcareous content. As we move west at a lower altitude, we find still sandy soils, but which are looser and generally arid, lacking a calcareous element on a superficial level, older, of marine origin and rich in fossils. These are soils that are suitable for the making of Roero Arneis wines of notable elegance, freshness, and aroma; it leads to delicate Roero with a moderate level of alcohol and tannins. Going towards Canale, we find the Pliocene matrix mixing in with a loam slate, with higher calcareous and clay components, ideal for complex and well-structured Roero wines. It is worth noting that the north-central soils of the municipality allows for the making of wines with great freshness and minerality. Known especially for its Roero Arneis wines, Montà has a soil that is suitable for the making of Roero, with several high-quality vineyards.
Located just next to the Rocche, Montaldo Roero is one of the municipalities of the Roero with the least vine-planted hectares, with just over 50 of them. Of these hectares, just over half of them belong to the denomination – 22.14 are planted with Arneis and 5.73 with Nebbiolo. The soil is light and loose, mostly sandy, of marine origin (with 80% sand content) and not very calcareous, and it is rich in fossils. The center-most portion of the municipality – bordering Vezza d’Alba, Corneliano d’Alba and not too far from the Occhetti location of Monteu Roero – has more calcareous soils with presence of grayish-blue loam, as well as a higher clay content, suitable for the production of well-structured and complex Roero wines.
With about 150 vine-planted hectares and located at an altitude of 400m, Monteu Roero is one the most important and highest-located municipalities for the Roero. Monteu is also one of the most important municipalities for the DOCG denomination, with 70.63 hectares dedicated to Arneis and 17.26 to Nebbiolo. The territory extends from the Rocche all the way to the central part of the Roero, with varying types of soils. Below the Rocche, we find loose and sandy soils, with almost no calcareous content on a superficial level, of marine origin and fossil-rich, mostly arid, suitable for the making of fresh and vibrant Roero Arneis wines; for the Roero, these soils lead to wines with a moderate alcohol level and tannins, elegant, fresh, and greatly aromatic. Towards Vezza d’Alba and Canale arises a bluish-gray loam slate found throughout spots in the area, more calcareous and with a clay component greater than 20%, ideal for the making of complex and well-structured Roero wines with a potential for aging.
Monticello d’Alba holds just over 2% of the total vineyards belonging to the DOCG denomination of Roero – 18.48 hectares are planted with Arneis and 5.38 with Nebbiolo. This region recall portions of the Alba area, with gentle hills and sedimentary soils in which sand mixes in with marl and gypsum elements, but in this case is best suited for the production of well-rounded Roero Arneis wines with good sapid notes.
The characteristics of Piobesi are more similar to those of the Alba area than they are to the Roero, with more gentle slopes than what is traditionally found in the rest of denomination area, with soils with a greater marl-gypsum component, leading to Roero Arneis wines that are mineral and have a significant body; the resulting Roero have a good structure and intense aromas. There are 44.52 hectares of Arneis and 3.53 of Nebbiolo that currently belong to the denomination.
Located at southwestern section of the denomination, with hills that are not significantly high, most of Pocapaglia’s vineyards are located on the southern part of the municipality. The soils are those typical of the “inner” portion of the Rocche: sandy, with a significant silica component and with almost no calcareous elements, loose and generally arid, of marine origin and rich in fossils, suitable for the making fresh and elegant Roero Arneis. Pocapaglia’s vine-planted hectares belonging to the denomination make up less then 1% of the total DOCG surface; the municipality holds 11.02 hectares, all planted with Arneis.
Located in the northeastern section of Roero, Priocca’s territory makes up the last layer of Roero’s typical soil, which consists of Pliocene sands, with very steep hills that are prone to landslides. It is worth noting that in this municipality we find soil layers interposed with gypsum-sulfur deposits, rich in gypsum, limestone, rock salt and other salts; these are soils that are suitable for the making of wines with a noticeable alcohol content, bold and full-bodied with intense aromas. There are 127 total vine-planted hectares: there is a significant presence of the Barbera varietal, but in the past years, there has been an increase in the number of vine-planted hectares belonging to the DOCG denomination. Today, there are 36.95 hectares planted with Arneis and 6.98 planted with Nebbiolo.
SANTA VITTORIA D’ALBA
Located in the southern portion of the DOCG denomination’s territory, Santa Vittoria’s hills are not significantly high; the vineyards are concentrated on the southern portion of the municipality. The soil, typical of this part of Roero, is of the sedimentary kind, cooler and more compact than those of the rest of the denomination; it is suitable for the production of wines which are often full-bodied and that have a significant alcohol content, with sapid, almost saline notes. There are 22.33 that belong to the denomination – 17.42 hectares are planted with Arneis and 4.91 with Nebbiolo.
SANTO STEFANO ROERO
The forest-rich territory of Santo Stefano Roero extends from the Rocche to some hills that have more the characters of the central area of the Roero. There are 50.09 vine planted hectares belonging to the denomination, with an important presence of Nebbiolo (19.67 hectares), which make up about 10% of the total hectares belonging to the DOCG denomination; there are 30.42 hectares planted with Arneis. Just below the Rocche, we find soils that are particularly sandy with almost no limestone content, older and of marine origin, rich in fossils and with a significant silica content; these are soils that are generally loose and arid. Towards Canale and Vezza d’Alba, instead, we find Pliocene sands of lacustrine and fluvial origin, which are often mixed with loam, giving vitality to otherwise compact soils. Close to the Rocche we find soils that limit the productivity of the vines (resulting in a lower grape yield), suitable for the making of elegant and sapid Roero Arneis wines and delicate and balanced Roero. Towards Canale and Vezza d’Alba, we find soils that are best for the cultivation of Nebbiolo, for Roero wines with elegant tannins and good structure, minerality, and intense sapidity.
Sommariva Perno is the municipality with the smallest number of vine-planted hectares belonging to the DOCG denomination: 4.53 of Arneis and 0.91 of Nebbiolo, making up 0.53% of the vine-planted hectares belonging to the denomination. The soils found east of the Rocche are those typical of Roero, rich in silica, sandy, and generally arid and loose, rich in fossils. These are soils that naturally lead to an underdevelopment of the vines and thus, lower yields, suitable for the production of elegant and fresh Roero Arneis, as well as for delicate Roero, with a moderate alcohol content and tannin levels, noticeably aromatic.
There are 200 total hectares in Vezza d’Alba, and almost 100 of these belong to the DOCG denomination. There are 85.21 are planted with Arneis and 12.73 with Nebbiolo: these vineyards, in some way or another, are representative of the Roero and its viticultural territory, thanks to the sand-rich soils and the extreme inclinations of its hills. The soil is typical of the central portion of the area of Roero, where the Pliocene part comes together with a loam slate that is richer in limestone and clay (with some spots reaching 50%), which increase the viscosity and compactness of the soils, leading to Roero and Roero Arneis that bring together freshness, structure, and complexity.