Land of Barolo
A harvest-time Piedmont wine tour featuring Barolo, Barbaresco & Gavi
- Two distinctive regions of Piedmont rolled into one tour: the Langhe hills, home to Barolo & Barbaresco, and the white-wine region of Gavi
- Private sit-down tastings at the Marchesi di Barolo, Silvio Grasso, Giacomo Bologna, Villa Sparina & more
- Kick off truffle season with an exuberate medieval festival and crazy-funny Palio degli Asini (donkey race) in Alba (October only)
- Feast on artisan cheese and salumi during a buffet lunch at a cheese farm in the Alte Langhe
- Hunt for truffles in a hazelnut grove with a truffle hunter and his dog
- Enjoy a hands-on cooking lesson at the company owners’ medieval townhouse in Arquata Scrivia (near Gavi) and catch a peek at village life
If you love wine, Piedmont is a must-see destination. While first-time visitors to Italy often head to Tuscany, Piedmont is tops among wine cognoscenti, and it’s easy to see why.
First, there’s Piedmont’s stunning variety of wine, from regal Barolo and Barbaresco, to rustic Pelaverga and Freisa, to refreshing whites like classic Gavi and newcomer Arneis.
Then, there’s the food: elegant northern Italian cuisine like porcini risotti, creamy pasta with showers of white truffles, handmade meat-filled ravioli, beef braised in wine, and chocolate-hazelnut desserts.
All this comes packaged in a landscape of breathtaking beauty. In the Langhe, every hill is crowned with a medieval fortress or stately castle. And nowhere can you find such contorted hills so neatly pinstriped with vines. Charming wine villages like La Morra and Gavi are still populated by locals, not tourists, so you’ll get a true peak at Italian wine culture.
The first half of LAND OF BAROLO takes place in the Langhe, the hills south of the Tanaro river. From our base in Alba, the Langhe’s red-wine capital, we’ll venture into Barolo territory for two days and Barbaresco for one. Here we’ll hear the fascinating history of these wines, intertwined with kings, prime ministers, and marchesi, and come to appreciate these most coveted of Italian wines.
Mid-week we transfer to southeast Piedmont, home of Gavi di Gavi wine. Here you’ll stay at a winery: Villa Sparina has turned its old agricultural buildings into an elegant 4-star hotel overlooking the vineyards. A highlight of the tour is a visit to our home in the village of Varinella (pop. 252), one hill away from Gavi. In our medieval townhouse, once owned by the great-grandmother of company cofounder Claudio Bisio, you’ll have a cooking lesson and raid our cellar for some aged Piedmont wines.
Being a native of Gavi, Claudio knows Piedmont from the inside out. What’s more, we’ve spent a decade refining LAND OF BAROLO, one of the company’s first tours. So over the years, we’ve come to know the winemakers like family. And indeed, most of Piedmont’s wineries are small, family-run operations, so our tastings are always intimate, familial, and fun.
This is truly a gourmet taste of la dolce vita!