Yesterday we gave ourselves the afternoon off and made a small tour in the direction of Asti - into the heart of Barbera country.
Our first stop was Agliano Terme -- the other thermal town in the Monferrato. We were enchanted. The terme facilities are on the lower part and the town itself is perched on a hill with views all the way to the Alps.. The facades have either been completely restored or are in the process of being redone. The town has everything -- butcher, pharmacy, grocery store, churches, cafes.... and beautiful homes...
One of our favorite wineries in Agliano Terme is Tre Acini, which is an organic farm that produces outstanding Barbera.
The ride on the back roads from Agliano to Costigliole is gorgeous; Barbera vineyards, freshly plowed fields waiting for planting.
Costigliole d'Asti's historical center is dominated by it beautiful and newly restored castle, which houses a cultural museum. In fact, the entire town is tasteful, elegant, and very liveable. One of the best Barbera enoteche in the Monferrato is located here, to no surprise. The castle is surrounded by park grounds and gardens -- in spring it is especially beautiful.