The Barolo region is about 2,000 hectares (4,940 acres) located in southern Piemonte,
in the north-west of Italy. It lies in a region known as the Langhe, close to the south west Alps.
Barolo can be produced in 11 different communes, some of which lie entirely within the Barolo region (Barolo, Castiglione Falletto and Serralunga d’Alba). The others lie partially within the Barolo region, having some of their municipal boundaries outside Barolo – La Morra, Monforte d’Alba, Roddi, Verduno, Cherasco, Diano d’Alba, Novello, and Grinzane Cavour.
Barolo wine should be produced following specific procedural guidelines, which allow, among other things, to use only Nebbiolo grapes cultivated within the Barolo region boundaries, unchanged since 1966. Since 2011, new plantigs have been restricted and today the total Barolo production per year is around 14 million bottles.
The geology of the region is characterised by calcareous Marl: sedimentary rocks composed of clay and calcium carbonate, along with some sedimentary sandstone.
The loose granular nature of the loam (mostly made up of silt) varies according to the proportions of sand and clay in the soil.
The entire zone dates back to the Cenozoic Era, during the Neogene period in the Miocene epoch: the soils we have today were formed between 5 and 15 million years ago. Within the Barolo region, however, the ages of the soils differ quite dramatically: the south-eastern part (the southern part of Serralunga d’Alba) is the oldest, dating from the Helvetian and Serravallian age (11 to 16 million years ago); the central part is from the more recent Tortonian age (7 to 11 million years ago); the north-western part of the region is the youngest, from the Messinian age (5 to 7 million years ago).