The site stretches for twelve rolling hills covered by vineyards as far as the eye can see, interspersed by small high-altitude villages and valuable medieval castles where viticulture has been the heart of economic and social life for centuries. It is a serial site, namely it is composed of six areas ( called “components” ) within the borders of the Provinces of Alessandria, Asti and Cuneo and of twenty-nine municipalities, that means an overall area of 10.789 hectares. From a geographical point of view, three areas are within the district of the Langhe, two in the Alto Monferrato and one of the Basso Monferrato. As a whole, the selected areas represent the exceptional quality of the vineyard landscape of Piedmont and of its deep and alive wine culture. The components were selected with a specific reference to the wine productions associated to the territories, to the importance at national and international level, to the need of fully represent the crucial places for the production of wine ( from cultivation to production, conservation and distribution ) and the historic settlement and architectural components ( road networks, towns, villages, rural centers, castles, churches ).
Components 1,3,4,5 are, therefore, representative of the four most relevant production systems of Piedmont, each generated by a specific bound between vine variety, terroir ( soil and weather ) and technique of vinification. The result of every system is a top quality wine, protected by a specific registered designation of origin such as Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera d’Asti, Asti Spumante.
The site is characterized by a rich and diverse system of farmhouses, wine-producing holdings, wine industries, wine cooperatives, public and private wineries that sometimes are symbolic sites for the history and the development of viticulture and of national and international oenology ( Grinzane Cavour Castle, component 2 ).
The cycle of wine is finally completed by the presence of artifacts from the vernacular world such as the Infernot excavated from “Pietra da Cantoni”, devoted to the domestic storage of the finest wines ( component 6 ).
In addition, a wide buffer zone of 76.000 hectares was defined, enclosing the six components and over 100 municipalities. It aims to further secure the nominated site and to ensure continuity to the landscape of the individual areas.
The site is protected by a complex system of protection including the different scales of planning in addition to the national protection laws. The coordination of management and of all joint initiatives of promotion and awareness is entrusted to the “Associazione per il Patrimonio dei Paesaggi Vitivinicoli di Langhe-Roero e Monferrato” ( Association for the Vineyard Landscape of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato ) that has been operational since January 2011.