Overview and Itinerary

fontanafredda-grapes

A Taste of Piedmont

October 12-19, 2013

Hosted by Svetlana Yanushkevich

Diplomat in Wine & Spirits, WSET (London)

Professional Sommelier, & Owner of WineNot Boutique, Nashua, NH

 

WineNot Boutique is partnering with Grab Your Bag Travel and Tour de Forks to offer a 7-night guided wine tour to the finest wine region in Italy: Piedmont.  Along with its superb wines, Piedmont is the birthplace of the Slow Food Movement and is famous for its white truffles, creamy cheeses, and rich chocolates. It also boasts picturesque hill towns, elegant cities and stunning mountain vistas. We’ll visit opulent baroque cafes in Turin, shop at bustling produce markets, hunt for truffles in Alba, meet wine makers, and make some of the regional specialties.

Highlights Include

• A visit to the historic Cafés in Turin: Caffe Platti, Mulassano, Baratti Milano

• Wine tastings at Scagliola, Malvira, Contratto & Fontanafredda

• A private visit to the University of Gastronomy and the Wine Bank

• A workshop about the Langhe with tastings of premier cru Barolo and Barbaresco

• A truffle hunt in Alba

• A hands-on cooking class preparing Piedmontese specialties

ITINERARY

Saturday, October 12: Turin

Arrival Turin airport. Transfer by private bus to Turin, accommodation at the 3 * Hotel Amadeus in the historic center.

Turin is an elegant and sophisticated city that was Italy’s former capital, and before that, the seat of its Royal Family. The city has preserved its elegant palazzos and other attractions from that era. Beautiful shops and miles of portici (arcades) make Torino an ideal place for shopping and outdoor meetings before lunch or dinner. Its gianduiotto, a soft paste made of quality cocoa and hazelnuts (another local product) is not to be missed.

Time at leisure.

Late afternoon: Meeting with the guide at the hotel for a visit of some historic Cafés:  Café Platti and Cafè Mulassano, stop at Café San Carlo in San Carlo square for a bicerin ( espresso, chocolate and milk) tasting.

CaffePlatte

A Short history of Historic Cafès in Turin 

A large part of the behind-the-scenes business prior to Italy's unification took place in the historical cafés of Turin.  Famous personalities of the 18th century unification, such as Cavour and Massimo D'Azeglio, or from the world of literature, such as Cesare Pavese and Guido Gozzano, could frequently be found at these cafés, which were the cornerstones of social life at the time. The cafes are in the city center and are still steeped in the atmosphere of the past, as can be seen in the refined interiors.

Turin's patisserie art, is known for its delicacy, variety, and dainty size, made small to ensure that aristocrats could eat them as 'decorously' as possible .

Welcome dinner with wine included, in a typical Piedmontese restaurant.

Sunday, October 13: Turin - Guided tour of the Historic Center; Egypt Museum and Eataly

Breakfast at hotel.

This morning, a guided visit of the historic center of Turin: Royal Savoia Palace, Piazza

Castello, Piazza Carlo Felice, and Mole Antonelliana.

This afternoon, visit the Egypt Museum, which houses the world's second largest collections of Egyptian antiquities after Cairo. Afterwards, transfer to Eataly for a tour and time at leisure for dinner (choose from many restaurants and pizzeria there). Eataly is a combination of food market, cooking school, and restaurants. It was founded by Oscar Farinetti and opened its doors in 2007. Eataly was created in Turin because it is the birthplace of the Slow Food movement.  Slow Food is an organization founded in 1989 in response to the concept of fast food and all it brings with it: fast life, disconnection from the origins of our food supply and disappearance of local food traditions. Instead, Slow Food protects the heritage of food and culture by strengthening the connections between plate and planet. It believes that farmers, producers, cooks, and consumers must work together to protect the world's food heritage.

Transfer back to the hotel.

Monday, October 14: Contratto Wines, Asti, and Scagliola Wines

Breakfast at hotel and check out.

Travel by private bus with your guide to the Langhe area. Contratto Wines was founded in 1867 by Giuseppe Contratto.  The winery is known as the oldest producer of sparkling wine in Italy. In fact, the "Metodo Classico" 1919 Contratto Extra Brut was the first vintage sparkling wine ever made in the country.  At the turn of the 20th century, its wines were leaving Canelli for destinations all over the world (predominantly to royal houses), and Contratto was the personal supplier to the Vatican as well as to the Italian Royal Family. Awards and medals from international exhibitions and contests of the time emphasize why the name of Contratto has long been synonymous with prestige and quality in the world of sparkling wine. Contratto also specializes in Vermouth production. We are planning to taste a few of them.

Lunch in the town of Asti.

Scagliola Vini is recognized regularly by Wine Spectator and Parker and is truly a hidden gem in the heart of Piedmont. The Scagliola estate is located in the town of Calosso in the Barbera d'Asti appellation of Piedmont. The estate is run by two brothers: Maggiorino and Mario Scagliola. Before the two brothers took over the helm, the previous generations at Scagliola we re just growers selling their wines in bulk to cantinas around sti. Since 1980, Maggiorino and Mario have focused their efforts on creating world class wines at the estate. The Scagliola family produces Dolcetto, Cortese, Chardonnay, Grignolino, Monferrato Rosso, Brachetto and Pinot Nero, in limited quantities. It is one of Svetlana's favorite producers from Piedmont. “All their wines have amazing texture, elegance, and pure expression of unique terroir”– Svetlana.

Transfer to Villa Tiboldi in Canale, Roero .

Welcome drink and dinner at Villa Tiboldi .


tiboldi

Tuesday, October 15: University of Gastronomy and Wine Bank; Barolo

Breakfast at hotel.

Meeting with the guide at the hotel and transfer by private bus to the Agenzia di Pollenzo for a guided visit of the Wine Bank, a workshop and wine tasting. Located in the historical cellars of the Agenzia di Pollenzo, the Wine Bank is a repository for the best wines of Italy.  It is also a museum of Italian wine, offering visitors the chance to taste the wines from some of the most prestigious wineries.

Workshop: The Langhe and Her Vines

Learn your way through one of the finest regions in the world of wine by tasting some of Italy's most authoritative oenological examples: Barolo and Barbaresco . Includes a degustation of 2 Barolo cru and 2 Barbaresco cru and the book An Atlas of the

Vineyards of Langa. Transfer back to the hotel.

Afternoon at leisure.

Wednesday, October 16: Cooking Lesson, Lunch & Malvira Winery

Breakfast at hotel.

This morning, a hands-on cooking lesson with the chef at Villa Tiboldi. You will prepare a complete Piemontese menu. Lunch will follow.

After lunch, a tour of the family-owned Malvira Winery.  All their wines are produced from estate fruit, organically farmed across 104 acres and six vineyards. Malvira was one of the first vineyards in Piemonte to recgnize the importance of Arneis by creating special crus for their Arneis vines, identifying and designating the hillsides that provided the best growing conditions for this indigenous varietal.  Grapes Arneis is an ancient, fragrant and vibrant white-g rape variety known the world over as the "little rascal." The Nebbiolo wines produced by Malvira, especially the Superiore, have garnered high praise in the press, both in Italy and the US. Basically, Barolos from the “wrong side” of the TaneroRiver have a grace and elegance not always found in their big brothers on the “right” bank.

Transfer to 3* Hotel Barolo in the village of Barolo.

 Barolo

Thursday, October 17: Truffle Hunt and Visit to a Cheese Producer

Breakfast at hotel.

WhiteTruffles-tastetruffles

Transfer by private bus where you will meet with a trufalaio [truffle hunter] for some truffle tasting. Transfer to a truffle field where the truffle hunter will show you how to find them, different techniques, and everyhing you ever wanted to know about truffles.  Lunch of typical local products and wines.

 

In the afternoon drive to Azienda Agricola Abate in Bossolasco for a visit of the cheese factory where typical cheeses are produced, such as the D.O.P. Mulassano and Langhe Tuma. These cheeses are made only with raw sheeps milk. A tasting of cheeses, bread and wine, will follow.

Article:  White Truffles: Why They're Worth $2,000 a Pound

Friday, October 18: Leisure Time, Wine Tastings & Farewell Dinner

Breakfast at hotel.   Morning at leisure.

Are you a traditionalist or a modernist? Whichever you are, you'll find satisfaction in Italy's famed Barolo wine region. We will visit two unique wineries to taste their traditional and modern-styled wines.

Traditional Style : Fontanafredda Winery . Since 1878 Fontanafredda Estate & Winery, located in the heart of Piedmont's Langhe region, has been a benchmark for Barolo and Barbera wines that deftly balance deep aromas and concentration of fruit with elegance. Among the prized vineyard sites belonging to Fontanafredda are those in the commune of Serralunga d'Alba, a source of some of today's most distinctive and intriguing Barolo wines.

fontanafredda

 

The history of Fontanafredda is a noble one. It began in 1858, when Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of Italy, purchased the Fontanafredda estate – a former hunting preserve – as a country home. Soon there after, he began to produce fine red wines from indigenous grape varieties dolcetto, barbera and nebbiolo. In 1878 King Vittorio II died and his first-born son, Count Emanuele Alberto di Mirafiori, inherited  Fontanafredda. Count Mafiori created the commercial business of wine from the estate and released the

estate's first nebbiolo labeled as Barolo with the vintage 1878. Beginning in 1932, the estate transfered to Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the world's oldest bank, which retained ownership of Fontanafredda for 76 years

Their philosophy: Barolo should reveal itself little by little, rather than all at once. – Danilo Drocco

Modern Style: La Spinetta Winery . La Spinetta has become a modern Italian superstar winery, producing some of Piemonte's most delicious wines at their main estate in Castagnole Lanze and their newer Campè estate (acquired in 2000) in Grinzane Cavour. Enologist Stephane Mazzetta settled in at La Spinetta several yea rs ago after working at other top Langhe wineries. Three Barbarescos are produced - Gallina, Valeirano, and Starderi - as well as a single Barolo, a Moscato Passito called 'Oro,' and seve ral others. From Moscato to Nebbiolo to Sangiovese, whatever Giorgio touches turns to gold. His pioneering single - vineyard Barberas and Barbera / Nebbiolo blend Pin are considered to be the best of the Langhe. His Barbarescos and Barolo are at the very top of their category. In fact, his wines are among Italy's most celebrated, as he has attained the coveted "Tre-Bicchieri" award for more than 30 of his wines throughout his relatively short career.

Their philosophy: The secret to making great wine is no secret, it is all about producing great fruit. – Giorgio Rivetti

Transfer back to the hotel and farewell dinner in a local restaurant.

Saturday, October 19: Departure

Pick up from the hotel and Transfer to Turin airport.

Note:  We will offer optional days to extend your trip, or you can make your own plans, if you wish to stay longer.  Watch for updates.

What’s included?