Italian Wine Tours for curious people:
This post is based on the email of my nephew, wine expert and sommelier, manager of an international company of wine’s commercialization, and also a gourmet at my request in order to better advise me on Italian Wine Tours
To begin I will make a list of the wine zones of origin and “denominazioni” of the major wines in order from north to south; then I will propose a couple of wine tour itineraries according up to several days that could be proposed for potential Italian Wine Tours curious tourists.
We depart from the northwest, Piedmont
Piedmont in Italy is to the wine such as Burgundy in France. Historically the Italian region with the most awarded wines (along with Tuscany) and multiple international acknowledgments.
First and foremost it’s all due to his prince’s appellations that are Barolo and Barbaresco.
The main grape variety of both the appellations is the Nebbiolo vineyard autochthonous with a predisposition to long and incredible aging.
Barolo is definitely the denomination the most famous and well known of Piedmont and of these realities definitely the vineyard Damilano is one of the most prestigious! (also because it holds 70% of that small piece of land called Cannubi, which is considered the most prestigious cru of the entire denomination).
For someone who comes in Italy and he’s willing to try wines, he MUST visit this area, because despite being quite narrow (we are talking about a DOCG of about thirty miles, in which there are so many different facets of different types of barolo).
In addition, you also have the advantage that with a half hour drive we transition from Barolo to Barbaresco, municipality a bit ‘less known, which boasts among its producers Angelo Gaja that is the world’s most important Italian producer (its wines are sold profusely more than of € 180/200).
My advice is the producer Cà Del Baio from the family Grasso. An historical reality of Barbaresco that in the last 10 years they had received a large number awards for theirs wines of higher gamma: Barbaresco Asili is the most important cru of the “denominazione”.
Very interesting, but not at the level of the previous productions, it’s also the Roero DOCG area with the Nebbiolo as base (or base Arneis in the case of white wines); it is about 30-35 miles north of Barolo and 20-25 km from Barbaresco and it is very valid. It changes mainly the morphology of the land. This is because the river Tanaro has basically divided the topography of the area by configuring two completely different territories, but of great depth.
My advice is to spend at least three days for the Italian Wine Tours of Piemonte:
- day one Roero DCG area and Barbaresco, with a fantastic stay at the Relais San Maurizio luxury spa resoert
- day two Barolo and Dogliani where we will find Cà Viola, a very small farm that produces Dolcetto wine and Barbera wine that are with nebbiolo the reds more typical of the area (and Cà Viola is, in my opinion, the best expression of Barbera d’Alba, Dolcetto d’Alba: atomic!)
- third day I highly recommend a trip of an hour and a half by cars to go to Poggio dei Gorleri near Ventimiglia (as well as near France and Principality of Monaco) that produces a sensational white! (Pigato and Ligurian Vermentino) and to terminate a night in Monte Carlo.