Piemonte wine tasting tour

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    • #7041


      Your excellent answer to the Chianti wine tour query last September begs me to seek like advice from you or your site members.  I am spending 2 weeks in Italy focussing on wine tasting in just 2 areas in May/June 2015 – Piemonte and Tuscany.  I already have your guide for Chianti and there are many “shared tours” one can join so I cover the 3 main DOCG/DOC wines.

      However, Piemonte is not as well served.  I will spend 3-4 days and thought I would base myself in Alba as it is central.  I am also traveling alone and therefore would like to walk to venues in a town in the evening.

      My aim is to do 2-3 vineyards daily focussing on Barolo, Barbaresco and probably finish with a “varieties” day.

      I would be grateful for any advice on the following

      1. value accommodation in Alba (3 star is fine)
      2. restaurants for lunch in Piemonte region primarily but perhaps dinners in Alba
      3. any recommendations on vineyards (there are so many so probably would prefer smaller with one or two of the stars)
      4. and most importantly, being alone and from a country that drives on the other side of the road, do not want to drive so any advice on a taxi/driver service that does day trips (prefer to avoid the limo services!) would be appreciated

      I realise this is a large request but any comments no matter how brief would be appreciated.

      Although it is unlikely I will get to your HQ any-time soon, I do like the website and the articles posted and stories of your travels.  The article on Camogli has started me amending plans to see if I can fit it in for a day or so.

      Warm regards

      John L


    • #7046
      Michael Horne

      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.


      Michael Horne, CS
      Los Gatos, CA USA
    • #7048

      If you’re looking for someone to shuttle you around, I have worked with Travel Langhe in the past. Please tell them I sent you!


      -Robbin Gheesling

    • #7050

      Have struck up a friendship online with the folks at Azienda Giribaldi after enjoying their Dolcetto and Barbaresco immensely, so much so that I looked up their location on Google Earth to see what it was like…and was not disappointed!


      Rodello look and sounds lovely, and we’re planning on a personal visit in April to go check it out.

      Looking forward to recommendations from others as well.

    • #7051
      Stan Brody

      My first thought is… only two weeks in Italia!!!  2-3 days in Piemonte tasting what is arguably the finest varietal know to mankind is nowhere near enough time… a tease at best!

    • #7055

      Another place I want to check out:




      Got a great deal on some of their 2004 Tebavio as it was getting to the end of its rope and our good friends across the street at Sovereignty Wines here in CO Springs didn’t want to let it get past its prime.  Needed about an hour opened and decanted to really come to life, but once it did it was a fantastic value…and their website and accommodations both look very inviting.  Can’t wait to try it at the source.



    • #7067

      We were in Piedmonte in October 2014. Had a wonderful lunch at La Pialo, Piazza Risorgimento, 4, Alba.

      If you make it to Pollenzo/Bra, The wine tasting at the La Banca del Vino (the wine bank) in Pollenzo was wonderfully informative and tasty. We followed that up with a slow food dinner at Osteria del Boccon di Vino in Bra.

    • #7073

      Thank you first for all the very informative information on Piemonte. Does anyone have a reference to a map or guide of the wine producers in the Piemonte region? Thanks.


      • #7091
        Michael Horne

        Ciao Dennis:

        For maps and guides to wineries in Piemonte, you have a couple of good options:

        • The Slow Food “Slow Wine” guidebook is published in both Italian (~2000 winery listings) and English (~350 winery listings that have wines imported to the US). This is a good reference book for any Italian wine lover, as well as someone planning to visit Italian producers on a trip to Italy. The Italian version is most complete, and you don’t need to know Italian to use it well for planning & finding great wines to try.
        • Alessandro Masnaghetti, an Italian who has made a life out of making higly-detailed maps of important wine regions like Barolo and Barbaresco, has a line of great iPhone apps for exploring, planning and visiting winemakers in Piemonte.

        I hope that’s of some help.  You can also check out the Vini d’Italia wine guidebooks that are released each year in Italian and English, but I find their less useful for planning (and more for just buying good wines).



        Michael Horne, CS
        Los Gatos, CA USA
    • #7115


      Been on the road. I appreciate you taking the time to respond with such thoughtful information. I do appreciate it. I will check it all out. Once again, Thank you.


      • #7116
        Michael Horne

        No worries, Dennis — By the way, you may find this useful: The Barolo and Barbaresco Official Maps from the regional winemaking consortium.  I posted the maps in the Wine Resources section of the Forum, you can freely download them here.


        Michael Horne, CS
        Los Gatos, CA USA
    • #7133


      Sorry for the delay in my note of thanks.

      Thank you for another excellent response and I with others look forward to your updates.  I intend basing myself in Sienna for Tuscany because it is smaller and quieter than Florence.

      Best wishes, John L

    • #7143

      Wow John! Your journey sounds amazing. Very jealous! Please keep us updated on how it goes. If you ever find yourself in Melbourne, Australia – Please allow me to show you the wines of Australia.

      Looking forward to some news!


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