Ciao John — sounds like good fun, and I’m sure you will have a great time in Piemonte and Toscana. A couple of quick comments, then I’ll follow-up with a more detailed list of recs:
- Making Alba your home base is a very good idea; I often stay there in the center of town, as it has some charm, very good restaurants, and many great producers are within a 10-15 mile radius.
- Tackling 2 or 3 wineries per day is probably the right number. Most Italian producer visits take at least an hour and usually end up being more like 90 minutes. They’re very proud of their wines and graciously show you around their cantina and estate. I usually recommend 2 winery visits in the morning (say, 9:30AM and 11AM), followed by a great lunch somewhere nearby at 1PM, then one more winery visit at 4PM. That is a very full day.
- For finding good restaurants filled with locals (the litmus test for me), I recommend you pick up a copy of Osterie d’Italia 2015 either in my shop, at a bookstore in Italy, or grab the app in the iTunes app store (if you’re a iPhone user). You won’t go wrong by using this to find some great places to eat while you’re in Tuscany and Piedmont.
Out of curiosity, where are you making your home base in Tuscany?
I’ll pull together some recommendations for you and post them here shortly. Chat soon.