Full of hilly and foggy landscapes, the Langhe is a rich viticultural and eno-gastronomical destination where culture and cuisine are perceived as unique treasure to enjoy, to preserve and to pass on to future generations. While visually stunning, what attracts most visitors to this area is the outstanding wine and culinary scene. Recently recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Langhe offers wine lovers an extensive selection of wines such Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera, Moscato along with great dishes, great products (truffles, hazelnuts) and unmatched natural beauty. Langhe’s cuisine has managed to preserve old culinary traditions intimately linked to local products. It is the birthplace of the Slow Food Movement, and the site where the first University of Taste (Università del Gusto) is located. It is for this very reason that I am so passionate to take you on a journey through one of Italy’s foremost regions for food, wine and beauty – at the very best time of the year: Fall Season!
Where We’re Staying for the Week
Our home for the week is Ca’ Rapulin, located in the small town of Calosso, among the rolling hills of the Langhe area of Piedmont. Just south of Asti is where you’ll find your home for the duration of our trip. We will have the entire property for our use, and the managers, Giorgia and Andrea, are waiting for us to attend to our every need. Ca’ Rapulin is a blend of old and new. Completely restored, the property contains a hay barn and stable on one side, and on the other side where we’re staying, you’ll find the beautifully decorated living quarters. The location is ideal for anyone wishing to spend some time in the quietness of the vineyards, while surrounded by natural beauty, an in-ground pool, scenic terraces, and a relaxing living room. You’ll never know that you’re just an hour away from industrial Turin.
The bedrooms are sizable, by Italian hotel standards, and each has a terrace with stunning views of the vineyards, pool and hills of Piedmont. Click through the pictures below to see more views of the property, and its stunning scenery.
In the morning of day 1, we will offer a group pick up from Malpensa International Airport in Milan. Enjoy a private and scenic bus ride from Malpensa to Cà Rapulin; the ride is about 1 hr and 45 minutes. Check in and relax before enjoying some welcome wines with a late lunch. After a tour of the estate, we will visit a local flour mill. Meet Fausto and Fulvio, the new generation of “Mugnai.” Learn about old and new grinding techniques and about local wheat grains. Take home a bag of freshly ground flour for future use.
Later in the evening, we will have our welcome dinner and enjoy a traditional Langhe meal at Cà Rapulin, prepared by the in-house chef, Chef Andrea. An introduction to local wines such as Nebbiolo, Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera, Moscato, Arneis, Gamba di Pernice, will be led by Jan and Georgia, our in-house wine experts.
In the morning, we depart Cà Rapulin and head to Canelli, Italy’s capital of Moscato. Visit the Contratto Winery, one of the world-famous underground “wine cathedrals,” historical wineries built to produce Asti Spumante. Learn how wine becomes “sparkling,” with the Champenois and Charmat methods. Sample five different sparkling wines together with some local prosciutto di Cuneo.
After our visit, we take Route 456 toward Acqui, one of the most characteristic Italian wine routes named “the Astesana.” On the way to Acqui Terme, our next destination, we will stop to view one of the 195 multicolor giant benches, created by the American designer Chris Bangle. In Acqui, enjoy a walk to the “Piazza della Bollente,” where a spring of therapeutic thermal water (160 degree F), rich in iodine and bromine, flows.
After lunch, we will visit Bertha Distillery to sample their grappas and their Amaretti cookies. When we return to Cà Rapulin, we will take part in our first hands-on cooking lesson which is all on the process of local pasta making. Enjoy your efforts for dinner with more wine.
In the morning, we depart our home base and head for Piazza Campo del Palio. You will be at the largest of Piemonte’s open market, which features many food specialties and seasonal products. Next to the open market, Asti has a large covered market with a wide variety of meat products. Walk around the market and around the center of this medieval/renaissance city, characterized by many towers, fortresses, churches and squares. Enjoy a light lunch on your own in Asti.
After lunch, we visit the Scagliola Winery in Calosso. Moscato grapes at this time are fermenting in this family-run winery. Sample their Volo di Farfalle and their Barbera Riservas.
After our visit, we return to Cà Rapulin for a cooking lesson all on the use of wine in cooking. Enjoy dinner after class, with, you guessed it, more local wine!
Today, we leave Ca’ Rapulin and make our way towards La Morra. On our way, we will stop at the panoramic Belvedere and Baroque Cathedral. La Morra is a small medieval town, known as the pinnacle of Langhe. Enjoy the breathtaking view of Nebbiolo vineyards and stop at the multicolor chapel and “giant red chair,” which have become symbols of La Morra.
Afterwards, we visit Cascina Piccaluga in Barbaresco and sample their great wines. After our visit, we will sit down for lunch at our preferred local trattoria, an ideal spot for wine enthusiasts. After some fuel with local dishes, we head to the picturesque town of Barolo. We will stop and visit the wine Museum and walk the narrow streets of Barolo. Dinner tonight will be at a fun trattoria in Castellinando. We’ll return home just in time for bed!
Today wear comfortable walking shoes for a truly unique experience. Enjoy hunting for truffles with our guide and his beloved dog. This is a truly unique experience that will allow you to uncover some of Langhe’s hidden secrets. We will meet the “trifolau,” Giorgio, and his dog. We will walk through the woods for about an hour, and then will sample the white truffles right in Giorgio’s house! Afterwards, we will also visit a hazelnut paste facility in Costigliole. Here, you’ll learn the importance of the hazelnuts in the Langhe region, and sample some delicious in house hazelnut spreads that are not mass produced.
After our outings, we return to our home for a class demonstration of Pasta and Plin ravioli, a specialty of this region, with preparation with chef Andrea. Lunch will surely follow.
After some time for relax, we visit the Boeri Winery near Cà Rapulin, and sample their exceptional Barbera and Moscato wines. Dinner will be prepared by chef Andrea tonight and enjoyed back at home.
Today we head out and visit the city of Alba, the cultural capital of the Langhe. Alba is known for its hazelnut chocolates (Ferrero headquarter is located here), white truffles and great food. Alba is a very elegant city, with many civic buildings dating back to Roman, Medieval and Renaissance periods. Enjoy the gourmet food stores, souvenir shops and colorful square and piazza. Scheduling permitting by the local archeologist, we will take part in an underground tour of the city. After a guided tour from the former mayor of the town himself, you’ll have some time to walk on Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and City Hall Square on your own and visit the truffle stands, where you can purchase some truffle themed products to take back home. Enjoy lunch before returning to Cà Rapulin for relaxation and for dinner.
Venaria is a stunning architectural marvel (a UNESCO treasure). Originally built in 1658, it was a royal hunting castle for the Savoy family. Later it became the royal family summer home, an armory, a military headquarter for Napoleon and a war hospital. Recently restored to its original beauty, it houses art and fashion exhibits and holds large conventions and fairs. It has well-manicured gardens and parks, working horse stables and barns. Spend some time visiting the inside and outside of this magnificent place with a guided tour. We will enjoy lunch in Venaria afterwards.
After lunch we head towards Pollenzo and Bra, two towns with well preserved baroque civic and religious buildings. In 1986, the Slow Movement Center was established in Pollenzo, a “presidium” to protect and defend local cuisine. It has become the destination of millions of gastronomical pilgrimages. Visit the University of Gastronomic Sciences and Taste and the Wine Bank. Stop at the Giolito Cheese Shop in Bra, showcasing the largest cheese selection in the world!
Afterwards, we return to Cà Rapulin to pack and prepare for our departure. Chef Andrea has prepared a delicious farewell dinner for us to enjoy.
Today, we bid goodbye to Piedmont and transfer to Malpensa Airport.
8 Days / 7 Nights
$4,800 USD Per Person for Double Occupancy
$1,800 USD Deposit is required to secure your spot. Deposit will be applied towards overall cost of tour.
Francesca Montillo, Native Italian, Owner and Tour Leader Accompanies all Activities. Contact Francesca at email@example.com for booking/reservation and further details.
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