Let Taste of Life Tours take you on a guided gourmet escape around the jewel in the Italian fine wine and fine food crown – Piedmont. This bespoke, all-inclusive food and wine tour is available throughout the year but for the month of September 2019 winemaker and long time Barolo zone worker Robert Gherardi will personally host a Best of Barolo wine tour.
Think private wine tastings in the most prestigious cellars to rustic, small backyard producers, touring the vineyards and meeting the personalities behind the wines. Think of dining on picturesque terraces hosted by the up-and-coming, new wave chefs who are re-interpreting the region’s famed cuisine, to those off the beaten track restaurants that serve quality food with no menu, just what is prepared fresh that day for the meal. Combine this with visits to local food markets, truffle hunts, cheese tastings, tours through artisanal chocolate houses or a local grissini cooking lesson and you have yourself an oeno-gastronomic tour of a lifetime.
This tour is strictly limited to a maximum of 7 people to allow for a relaxing, personalised tour, experiencing the best food and wines with a focus on both Barolo and Barbaresco as well as a little sightseeing on the side. With the exception of flights, this is an all-inclusive tour and for those looking to stock up their cellar back home, let us arrange delivery to your doorstep in your home country.
Rendezvous with the group at our luxurious accommodation located in the heart of the ‘Centro Storico’ (historic old city center) of Turin. The hotel is located an easy stroll or short taxi from the city’s main train stations, a short hop from the Turin airport, and walking distance to all of the old town’s points of interest. Meet the rest of the travelling group whilst enjoy the first of many apperitivo’s. Apperitivo summarises the Italian philosophy of drinking, eating and socialising, all in one enjoyable package. Enjoy a drink or two and graze over a selection of little bites, all whilst talking and watching the world go by. We will venture out for dinner and perhaps take a stroll through the beautiful twilight streetscapes of Turin.
Start the day with breakfast at the hotel before heading out to explore the streets and laneways of the Centro Storico again. We will start our gourmet journey by visiting one of the famous Turin chocolate houses for a private talk and comprehensive tasting of their world famous chocolates. Turin is the birthplace of the sweetened chocolate, which we all know and enjoy today. They discovered that if the finely ground the bitter cocoa beans were mixed with ultra-finely ground local hazelnuts, a sweet and delicious creation is made.
From the chocolate house we will head to the Porto Palazzo markets on the edge of the old town. These are Europe’s largest open air markets and a true marvel to walk around admiring all of the seasonal produce from an amazing array of fruit and vegetables, to the full manner of meats and seafood. This should get all of the juices flowing in readiness for a fantastic lunch in the city before we make our way south to the world famous Barolo wine zone.
We will base in the stunning hilltop town of Monforte d’Alba. Once settled into your room we will meet for an apperitivo then head out to dinner.
We will start the day with a gentle walk along one of the sentiero trails linking the villages of Barolo itself and Monforte d’Alba. This is a gentle 4km walk and predominantly downhill. We will take the opportunity to absorb some of the culture and stories behind the wines and people of the Langhe by visiting the small WiMu Barolo wine museum located within the Castle of Barolo before we head to our first appointment wine tasting. The tastings we attend on this tour are at cantinas which the average person simply would not be able to gain access to. The concept of the open cellar door as we know it in Australia and the USA only exists in the ‘wine-factory’ type producers in Italy. Personal, pre-arranged tasting appointments are required to be made to taste at the quality cantinas. Taste of Life Tours pride ourselves with showing our guests the best wineries of the Barolo zone, indeed at what are recognised as some of the best wineries in the world.
Lunch will be taken on the terrace of an Osteria in the famed Barolo village of La Morra where the ever-changing menu created by their chef displays a real sense of flair and modernity whilst still staying true to Piemontese roots. Following lunch we will take a walk up to the piazza which provides one of the greatest panoramas of the region, maybe you will still have room for an amazing artisanal gelato along the way?
In the afternoon we will head to another fantastic tasting appointment and then enjoy a bit of downtime before heading to dinner.
This evening we aim to change tack slightly and head to a small island of craft beer in a sea of wine. Dinner will be in a small town outside of the Barolo wine zone, removed from the vineyards, which has home to one of Italy’s most renowned craft breweries and an awesome brewpub. The brewer is seen as a Godfather figure of Italian craft brewing. They produce some amazing beers which you will have the chance to taste and drink over an Italian style counter meal. If you feel up to the challenge, try their famous Stinco di Maiale (pork shank, braised in beer with sour cherries).
Today we will break up our appointment wine tastings with a visit to a true artisan cheese producer. Far removed from the mass produced cheeses that so many of us come to expect as the norm, Italy home to a veritable myriad of tiny producers making cheeses as they were made literally ages ago. Hand milking of small herds, lovingly cared for animals and careful but traditional styles of cheese that vary from hill to hill and town to town are what you can expect to experience.
For lunch today we are going to experience the essence of Slow Food, the international food movement that was born in the hills of Piedmont. We will visit the hilltop village of Verduno to eat at a family run tattoria where there is no menu, just course after delicious course of traditional country cuisine. This will be a truly long lunch after which, we can head to another tasting appointment with another master of the local winemaking craft or you may wish to just relax back at the hotel or be dropped into one of the picturesque local towns for some free time to explore, take a quiet glass of wine or maybe sample some of the area’s incredible gelato.
This evening we will take a simple meal in the local pizzeria. Whilst the Langhe is a long way from Napoli, the local pizzaiolo is deft at producing amazingly authentic pizza bases and being in a famous Barolo village, the wines we choose from to match our pizza are top level.
Tr break up the tasting today we will head into the regional centre of Alba to have a walk around their amazing Saturday morning food market and have a look through the streets which are overflowing with market stalls of all types. Another great area of the markets to see is the Mercato delle Terre – literally meaning earth ,market, it is what most non-italioans would know as a farmer’s market where all of the produce on show has been grown/made by the producer who is presenting and selling it. If you like a spot of shopping, cruising the streets of the centro storico in Alba might provide you with a great opportunity to get your shopping fix as it is home to a plethora of top clothing and homewares stores.
We will enjoy our final wine tasting this afternoon and then have some free time to perhaps enjoy a late afternoon apperitivo or just to sit and relax and soak up the atmosphere of town before dinner. We plan to take our final dinner at one of the most unique restaurants in the region, indeed one of the most unique eateries I have ever visited. Not only does this place serve great food and in an amazing setting, but the cellar is both well stocked and stunningly presented. Here we will have the opportunity to sample some older vintage wines so you will see the incredible aging capacity of the wines.
This morning we will meet for our final coffee before departing for Turin where drop-offs can be organised for an accommodation point you book in the city, at one of the city train stations or to Turin Airport if required.
What the package includes:
Small group size (maximum 7 people)
All transfers and travel within Italy
All accommodation (twin share/double)
All activities, visits and entrance fees
Personal tour guide for your group
Tours priced from €2,470 pp twin share/double
Single supplement applies.
N.B. where possible, Taste of Life Tours endeavors to visit the wineries, breweries, restaurants and attractions described in the Itinerary. If it is not possible to visit the specific locations mentioned, we will visit others of equal quality.
What You Will Need: