Because it’s not a blockbuster photo topic, a lot of non-professionals aren’t familiar with vines and vineyards out of season. That’s to say, out of tourist season. I think vines are as beautiful, maybe more, in the winter. This is especially true in the ultra-dramatic region of Piemonte (“foothills”) in northern Italy. Home to Barbaresco, Barolo, Barbera d’Asti, Roero, Alta Langa, and other varied and variously-priced wines, Piemonte is worth knowing. From workaday industrial valley floors to pristine vine-coated hills framed by the Alps, it is exceptional.
These photos are from late December and early January. I adjusted them as little as possible to give you a feel for how Piemonte looks and feels in winter. If they appear pale or low-contrast it’s because the light there is very cool and blue, almost like a light smoke has settled over the hills. I have never seen such cold winter light.