Pinch punch first of the month… and what a month! While the rest of the world appears to be going ‘Sober for October’, the Langhe is getting ready to party… Harvest will be all but over in a couple of weeks and the white truffles are beginning to surface. What better reason to celebrate! So, here is a small selection of unmissable festivals taking place in the Langhe over the next four weeks.
International White Truffle Fair – Alba
Now in its 88th year, this is the big one, attracting visitors from all over the world. At its heart is the white truffle market, where trifolau go to sell their wares… you can touch and smell the truffles before buying, and before you commit to a purchase, you can even have it assessed and certified by a white truffle judge. In the same market, you can buy every conceivable white truffle product, from cheese and salami to oils and soaps. And you can taste and buy wine too, of course.
It’s not just the market though. The whole event kicks off on the weekend of October 7th with the hilarious Palio degli Asini and a medieval fair, and then continues throughout October and into November with a series of exhibitions, concerts, demonstrations by famous chefs, wine tastings and markets. There is even a kid’s section for the younger white truffle fan.
The fair takes place every Saturday and Sunday from October 6th to November 25th, with a special opening on November 1st and 2nd. It costs 3.50 euros to get into the main fair (kids are free), with many of the other events being free of charge. For more details, check out the official website. If truffles are your thing, look out for some of the lesser-known truffle fairs too… fewer tourists means more truffles for you! You can find more details below…
Versante Occidentale – Novello
From the oldest event to the newest… On Sunday October 14th, Novello will host 16 wine producers who will be showing off their wines made only from west-facing vines. It may sound a bit niche, but with producers including Dosio, Le Strette and Giulia Negri on hand, you can guarantee it will be a great event! It costs 15 Euros to buy a glass and then you can taste and chat to your heart’s content. And then, you can wow your friends with your newly-found encyclopedic knowledge of west-facing Barolos!
Sunday October 14th, 10am to 6pm, Piazza Rosa, Novello.
More details here
Fiera della Zucca – Piozzo
On the face of it a pumpkin festival doesn’t sound that great, right? But, hold on a second… first off, there are almost 500 types of pumpkin on display, that’s a lot of pumpkins of all different shapes and sizes, some of which are guaranteed to make you laugh. Then there’s also food, markets, music, antique tractors and of course, with Piozzo being home of the Baladin brewery, beer (including pumpkin beer!). There’s always a really good atmosphere, which, for me at least, makes this one completely unmissable!
Weekend of 6-7 October from 9am each day. Just head to Piozzo and you can’t miss it.
More details here
Di Sori in Sori – Diano d’Alba
You can’t have a ‘best festivals’ list without including a walking, eating, drinking festa… and Di Sori in Sori is just that. Set in and around the village of Diano d’Alba, there are six stages, each of which pairs a local wine with a local dish. Starting in Valle Talloria, participants walk between the first 4 stages, eating and drinking as they go, and then a shuttle bus drives them up to the town, where a 1km walk takes in one more stage before everything winds up at the Cantina Comunale for coffee, cake and… you guessed it, more wine.
It costs 38 Euros for adults and 23 Euros for children, and you have to sign up in advance. You can find more details here.
Other ones to look out for:
Fiera Nazionale del Marrone, Cuneo, October 19 – 21
Fiera del Tartufo, Moncalvo – October 21 and 28
Fiera Regionale del Tartufo, Montiglio Monferrato – October 7 and 14
Festa del Tartufo Bianco e dei Vini del Roero, Vezza d’Alba – November 18-25
Sagra della Castagna, Frabosa Sottana – October 12-14