Wine Tours and Food Experiences
Piemonte is one of the best places in the world for wine lovers. We can make all of the arrangements for you to visit the local wineries, to experience the reds of Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera and the whites of Gavi and the lesser know Arneis, as well as many other local grapes.
Visits to the wine producers in their cantinas are often hosted either by the owner, his family of the winemaker/oenologist and many of them can manage visits in English or German, as well as Italian. They will share with you their enthusiasm for their wines and their wisdom acquired over years of tending the vines, fighting the climate and producing great wines. Typically, a visit will last around 90 minutes and often cost nothing if you appreciate the wines and, perhaps, buy a bottle or two.
Many of the cantinas are steeped in history, although some producers have re-invested their money in new cellars and equipment. Experiencing both during your tour is part of the enjoyment.
Imagine a day, where after breakfast you head out to a first tasting, followed by a leisurely lunch in the Piemonte hills or a local town. This could be followed by another visit in the afternoon before relaxing at the hotel before dinner.
You can enjoy these visits in two or three different ways. Firstly, you can head out by yourself, with the visits already booked (this is necessary as most of the wineries work by appointment only). A second choice would be for us to arrange for a private car with chauffeur to drive you to your appointments or, we could work with one of our partners who will pick you up at the hotel and drive you from place to place and host the days visits in your preferred language. These partners are experienced wine professionals, who can add a great deal of knowledge to your trip.
An alternative to travelling to the wineries is to have a wine tasting and wine appreciation session at the hotel. Nicola is our wine expert, supported by sommelier Valentina, who trained formally before becoming our wine buyer for the hotel. She has visited a very large number of the wineries and learned from scores of different winemakers. We have our own cellar, where we age Barolo and Barbaresco wines, only bringing them out when they are at their peak. See also our wines for more details on the wines here at La Villa.
We can arrange private and group sessions and will always focus on the wines of most interest to you.
In addition to the cooking courses that we run here, there are many, many other food experiences that can be enjoyed in this fabulous area of Italy.
You should not visit this area without having experienced the local produce market. Every day, in one of the local towns or cities, the market stallholders will start setting up from around 7.00 in the morning, to await half of the local population. Italians (and we have learned to do the same thing) shop pretty much every day of the week to ensure that the food that they buy is as fresh as possible. You will see them in the market testing each fruit or vegetable selection for its feel, shape and smell just like they learned from their parents and grandparents.
Once you have visited the market, you could choose to head out for a picnic. There are so many spots that we could recommend and we will always help out with the essentials of crockery, cutlery, condiments, plus the all-important wine and corkscrew.
Italians also celebrate food (and wine) most weekends of the year and there is usually a festival to promote what is in season from the famous Asparagus festivals in the spring to the Truffle fairs in the Autumn.
We keep a list of all food and wine events throughout the year and this is complemented by our detailed knowledge of the local restaurants from the 3 star Michelin to the best family run trattorias.