Perfect Piedmont: A Foodie’s One Day Extravaganza
“Piedmont is a paradise for culinary hedonists, especially those who admire the Italian life. This region is home to some of the world’s most sought after gastronomic decadences, including Barolo—the “king” of Italian wine—and tartfufo bianco, the white truffle that’s practically worth its weight in gold.
The real challenge is narrowing down the stops on your food-and-drink-fueled itinerary. We recommend starting a culinary quest at the Villa Tiboldi in the Roero, meandering through the Langhe’s Barolo zone, and finishing off with dinner at the Michelin-starred Castello Grinzane Cavour.
STOP 1: BREAKFAST AT VILLA TIBOLDI
Surrounded by a maze of vineyards, Villa Tiboldi, an 18th-century villa, offers breathtaking views, elegant accommodations, and an extensive breakfast buffet to help fortify you for a long day of indulgences. Fill up on fresh eggs, local cheeses, cured meats, fruit, and yogurt. Top it off with a creamy cappuccino.
STOP 2: MALVIRÀ
It’s just a short stroll down the hill to your first wine tasting at Malvirà winery where the Damonte brothers are known for their award-winning nebbiolo and arneis. A tasting with the spirited Roberto will be both educational and entertaining!
Insider Tip: Start with the arneis crus and move on to the bold Roero Riserva nebbiolos. Finally, sweeten your palate with Malvirà’s strawberry-scented Birbet.
STOP 3: MATTEO CORREGGIA
Just up the road you’ll find the Matteo Corregia winery. The work of this pioneering young winemaker helped define the Roero’s reputation for producing quality wines that rival the iconic reds across the Tanaro River.
Insider Tip: Be sure to taste Correggia’s “Anthos,” a dry brachetto; the vibrant barbera, “Marun”; and the Roero Riserva “Ròcche d’Ampsej” nebbiolo.
STOP 4: TARTUFLANGHE
The founders of this gourmet shop started out selling fresh truffles, and then they created the first truffle pasta product in the world. TartufLanghe continues to innovate with their region’s prized White Alba Truffle, creating handmade truffle specialty foods and offering tours, tastings, and culinary workshops. Inhale the intoxicating aroma of fresh truffle, enjoy samples of TartufLanghe’s many specialty products, and get some pasta to go!
STOP 5: LUNCH IN ALBA – LA LIBERA
In the heart of Alba, but on a quieter street just off the main drag, La Libera is one of the best osterias in town, serving classic Piemontese cuisine with a contemporary twist. Try any of the pasta dishes with fresh shaved white truffle and the roasted squab with garlic and rosemary. Wash it down with local libations from the impressive wine list.
STOP 6: E. PIRA & FIGLI – CHIARA BOSCHIS
E. Pira & Figli – Chiara Boschis may be the coolest winemaker on this side of the Langhe. She’s dedicated to sustainable, biodynamic viticulture, and she creates lush, velvety, fruit-forward Barolos from some of the zone’s best crus.
Insider Tip:Try barolo from the Cannubi and Via Nuova crus—expect classic violet, tar, and vanilla notes.
STOP 7: DOMENICO CLERICO
Clerico’s philosophy of using the old with the new is apparent even in the architectural design of his new winery, which was inspired by—and blends into—the hills that surround it. The venerable Domenico produces robust Barolos from crus in Monforte and Serralunga.
Insider Tip: Go for Clerico’s famed Barolos, and try the original super-Piedmont, “Arte,” Clerico’s nebbiolo and barbera blend.
STOP 8: CONTERNO FANTINO
Conterno Fantino, a revered two-family winery, produces opulent Barolos from crus in Monforte and great wines from the barbera, dolcetto, and chardonnay varietals. Check out their state-of-the-art cellar, and enjoy the winery’s panoramic views.
Insider Tip: Start with the chardonnay, savor the Barolos “Sori Ginestra,” “Vigna del Gris,” and “Mosconi,” and finish with the Barolo Chinato liqueur, which pairs well with chocolate.
STOP 9: DINNER AT CASTELLO GRINZANE CAVOUR
The atmosphere of the charming 13th-century Castello Grinzane Cavour can’t be beat, and having a meal in the castle’s intimate dining room will make you feel like royalty. Enjoy young Michelin-star chef Alessandro Boglione’s tasting menu with local wine pairings.”
Source: This is excerpted from an article “Piedmont, Italy: Foodie’s One-Day Tasting Tour”, which appeared on Fodors.com, posted by Jen Laskey 10/14/ 2013 …