There is evidence of trade, consumption and production of wine in Piedmont since the seventh century BC, as confirmed by the discovery of Etruscan wine amphorae and pomace from cultivated grape vines. Wine production, thus, has developed in the area of Roero since the presence of the Ligurian (and, so, before the arrival of the Romans), thanks to the likely influence of the Etruscans.
As in all of continental Europe, however, it took the Romans to device an efficient and systematic viticulture. The crisis of the Roman Empire and the subsequent invasion led to an abandonment of viticulture in favour of cultivation of crops more useful to subsistence. Only the monastic orders continued to grow vines.
Viticulture started to expand again in the eleventh century, particularly with the development of the alteno, land where different types of culture were present and the vine was leaning and was “kept high”, as in ancient times, by living supports, i.e. saplings of maple or elm. This is testified by the many laws enacted in following centuries for the preservation and regulation of wine production, the municipal registers keeping track of vineyards and, with regard to land exclusively dedicated to the cultivation of the vine, the birth of place names that refer to the vineyard or to the vines. With the arrival of the Savoy, between the end of 1500s and the beginning of 1600s, the consolidation phase of the wine industry began, which continued uninterrupted until the nineteenth century.
“American” diseases and in particular Philloxera, which affected the entire continent from the second half of the 1800s to the first half of the 1900s, radically changed the vines and ways of working them. They would not however leave particular marks on Roero viticulture. On the contrary in some ways they would help to naturally “select” the most suitable areas, in particular with regard to areas more suitable for cultivating nebbiolo, so that today the viticulture of Roero is done almost exclusively on hillsides (with often very steep slopes), up to and over 50%. Today there are 1027.47 hectares of vineyards registered under the Roero denomination; of these, 832.89 are of arneis and 194.58 are of nebbiolo.