Wine tour Alto Piemonte
25-26-27 May 2022
Maximum 8 persons participation
Departure from Belgium
Alto Piemonte in the picture
Alto Piemonte certainly deserves your attention. In former times this area was more important than Barolo, Barbaresco or Roero. But then came Phylloxera. Many vineyard owners left wine growing for what it was and looked for work in Turin (Fiat) or Biella (wool industry). In the last decades, especially young wine producers have a strong belief in their terroir, in the modern techniques of winegrowing with respect for tradition. The difference with Alba is that here you see relatively young enologists-owners of wine estates at work. They are all 300% enthusiastic, aware of their task and how to make the difference compared to Barolo and Barbaresco, take the time to inform the customers about how they started and where they are now.
Let it just be the climate changes that give Alto Piemonte a strong advantage. Summer temperatures of 30 degrees during the day, but a strong cooling down at night. The end result at harvest is quite visible. At the time of our trip, the harvest is already behind us.
These will be intense days of wine culture.
Wine is central, but at every lunch and dinner, we pair wine with a dish. It is also important to know that we will not only be tasting recent vintages but also older vintages at a number of locations.
Take a look at our programme.
Accommodation: Your first and second night will be spent in Cossato, Castellengo, in the dependencies of the Castellengo Castle.
Day 1 - Wednesday 25 May 2022
With a departure at 7.50 a.m. in Zaventem - Ryanair flight FR 2963, arrival at Malpensa is expected at 9.20 a.m. on the tarmac.
Logically, we can expect the bus to depart at 9.45am and we will be at our first appointment Enrico Crola by 10.20am approximately.
In this state of the art winery we get a guided tour by Enrico himself and afterwards we taste the main wines: Vespolina, Nebbiolo based Spumante. Enrico has insisted on using only natural materials in the construction of his new winery, hence the very beautiful wood construction and the large windows.
We have lunch in Suno, in a typical restaurant that specialises in Risotto's, which are served in a very special way in a three course menu with appropriate wines.
Francesco Brigatti - our next wine visit in the same village by the way - is a completely different type of enologist compared to Enrico Crola. We first visit Francesco Brigatti's vineyards Mottobello, Mötfrei and Mötziflon, Ghemme Oltre Il Bosco and also taste the wines on site in his very classical cantina design. An enormous contrast with Enrico Crola but contrasts are nice.
Francesco is the brother-in-law of that other Ghemme producer that we used to share, Rovellotti. The owner of the Rovellotti winery described Francesco as the man in Alto Piemonte who is strongest in recognising all wines blind, even those from far outside Piemonte. Especially with the Ghemme, Francesco is very strong as a storage wine.
Want to know more about Franscesco Brigatti? Check online https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mC3UzLnA-hU
Our last wine appointment of the day is with Paride Chiovini, a stone's throw away from Francesco Brigatti.
Paride Chiovini is a young but very talented wine producer from Sizzano. He will welcome us with a selection of his wines. The Athena (Erbaluce), Afrodite (Vespolina) but also back here Ghemme and Sizzano.
Of course, here too the inner man will be taken care of and the following will be served during the wine tasting.
Formaggi: Toma di Piode e Gorgonzola DOP
Salumi: Lardo e Salami tipici del territorio
Grissini rustici in abbinamento
After this meeting, we head for our overnight location, a boutique style b&b style location as dependencies of the historical Castellengo Castle.
In the evening, we dine at Cascina Foresto, a recently opened restaurant where honest and tasty cuisine is on the menu, composed of ingredients only sourced from nearby products and tastefully prepared by one of the greatest local talents. During this menu we will taste the wines of the Castle Castellengo including wines dating back to the harvest of 2014.
Day 2 - 26 May 2022
After a delicious breakfast, we will of course visit the cantina of Castellengo Castle as a wine producer before we start our trip.
Since we are very close to Biella, we also introduce a cultural moment with a visit at the highest point of Biella to the Santuario Di Oropa https://www.santuariodioropa.it/en/guided-tours/. This is an exceptionally beautiful site with a storyline. Since the main thing in our trip is wine, we reduce the visit here to a maximum of 1 hour.
After a bit of culture, we continue our journey to the prestigious winery Podere ai Valloni where we arrive around 11:15 am. This winery is located in the nature reserve Monte Fenera, ex volcanic terrain with fluvial influences. Without any doubt, this is the most beautiful wine estate of our trip, not only because of its panoramic views but also because of the wines we will taste here, dating back to 2010! The legendary Boca is produced here, as well as the Gratus and Sass Russ.
Visit the online link of this wine estate on You Tube Podere ai Valloni
We have lunch at Osteria Ori Pari, with this menu and delicious wines
Ori Pari menu
Piccola Entreè di Benvenuto
(Small Welcome )
Magatello al Rosa con Salsa Tonnata
(Veal Magatello with Tuna Sauce)
Riso Carnaroli con Porcini Freschi
(Carnaroli Rice with Fresh Porcini)
Punta di Petto di Vitello con Patata Biscotto
(Veal Breast Tip with Potatoes)
Panna Cotta, Salsa al Cioccolato Aromatizzata,
e Gelèe ai Frutti di Bosco
(Panna Cotta, Flavored Chocolate Sauce,
and Gelèe with Berries)
After lunch which takes about 2 hours to visit the wine cellars of Cantina Del Signore, we head for Gattinara where we will have an aperitivo on the most panoramic point of this village with the wine of the same name in red, Il Putto and Borgofranco by Cantina del Signore. This point has magic with the high tower, the vines and especially the 360 degrees to Gattinara.
You can get acquainted with Cantina del Signore through this video prior to the trip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVzCpvSAz7I.
After this visit we will return to our accommodation and enjoy a four-course dinner with different wines compared to the first evening, in another location that is also the restaurant of Castellengo Castle.
Day 3 - 27 May 2022
After breakfast we check out of this location and visit the artisan cheese producer Luigi Guffanti, www.guffantiformaggi.com. After this visit, we have a two-course lunch with two exceptional Alto Piemontese wines and then we start the drive to bring you to the airport at 14h00, flight planned for 16h00 with arrival in Zaventem at 17h30.
As it is our intention to give as much personal attention as possible to the participants, we foresee this trip for a maximum of 8 persons.
Everyone needs to have a Green Pass (proof of the two vacinations. You may have this on your mobile phone but remember to bring it along on paper as well. What if your battery is dead?
We will provide a system where your shoes or boots will not get dirty when you visit the vineyard.
The flights have to be arranged by the participant himself as we are not sure if some people might want to add extra days onsite, e.g. Shopping in Milan for which buses are present on the spot to possibly supplement your trip with such an activity. From Malpensa you can still extend your trip with a visit to Milan (every 20 minutes by bus) or Turin (2 hours by bus, every 2 hours by bus).
All costs except the flight are included except your personal consumption outside the lunch & dinners which are already included wine, water, coffee.
This trip is very clear with 100% focus on the authentic wines of Alto Piemonte.
Everything that is listed in the programme is also included in the budget price per person.
All wines can also be found on our website and can be ordered after the trip.
Rooms are on the basis of a single double bed, of course we calculate your specific price if you participate as a couple
Price per person based on 8 participants in total: € 545.00 VAT included - Price is calculated on the basis of double room
Single room means 28 € reduction on this price.
Extra: only your flight