After Monday’s day of touring, we were looking forward to today. We once again had a morning and afternoon wine tasting plus a stop for lunch in the town of La Morra.
We would be joined today by two couples hailing from Michigan – Julie and Paul and Cheri and Shane. Very nice people – wine lovers and travelers, so the conversations all throughout the day were fun and interesting.
We were picked up first in Alba and Luca did indeed bring my beloved camera. Our driver Paolo was set to deliver us to the various destinations allowing Luca to not only chat with us, but also to enjoy the wines during the day. Since there were six of us, we traveled in a van.
The other couples were staying in La Morra, so we headed in that direction from Alba. After brief introductions, we were on our way to our first tasting.
Just to set the day, we had beautiful clear, blue skies and the temperature was in the mid 70’s. It was an absolutely beautiful day to be out tasting wines.
Our breakfast tasting was at the winery of Franco Conterno. The ride over was incredible. We passed through vineyards as we traversed the valley and hills of Barolo. Vines with purple clusters of grapes could be seen in every direction. The pictures do not begin to show the beautiful landscape of the area.
When we arrived at the winery, we were greeted by Sylvia, who would lead us through our tasting and talk. The winery had some incredible views of the surrounding vineyards and hills. You could just sit there and absorb the natural beauty.
But you could also sit there and enjoy the stunning views with a glass of their wonderful wines – and we did!
We started the tasting with two of their white wines. The first is a light, refreshing, drink-any-time Nascetta. The second was their equally delicious Arneis. Both wines were enjoyed by all of us tasters.
Sylvia then brought out a meat platter before the second set of wines. A wonderful house-made sausage, thinly sliced porchetta, another pork based sausage and prosciutto. The meats were served with their Barbera D’Alba 2020 and 2017 Langhe Nebbiolo. Both wines were delicious. The fruit forward wines also paired incredibly well with the charcuterie.
Next, Sylvia brought out a cheese platter that paired up with the Barolo wines. We first tasted their 2017 Barolo Panerolo, a single vineyard offering that was young and tannic, but very nice. To finish, we had a taste of their 2015 Barolo Reserva Bussia. A little more age, softer tannins and a beautiful wine.
This was another wonderful tasting and the result is that there will be two cases of wine greeting us when we return home.
After the delicious meats and cheeses provided during the tasting, our next stop would be back in La Morra – for lunch. We had lunch at the Osteria More e Macine.
We sat on their terrace and had a very relaxing and delicious lunch. Sue had the guinea fowl and I had the tajarin. We both were cognizant of not over-eating, since you never know what the tasting locations will provide in the afternoon.
After lunch, we all took a walk up the lookout to enjoy the views over the valley. Sue and I had been here before, but that didn’t take away from the beautiful view of the surrounding vineyards. There was a group of school children playing a game – we think it was a dodgeball/volleyball combo – and having fun out in the sunshine.
After taking some pictures, we headed back to the vehicle to drive to our afternoon tasting. We were visiting the winery of Virna Borgono and looking very forward to it.
Virna was Italy’s first female oneologist, and makes some “kick ass” wines. On this day, despite the fact that they were picking grapes, we had a chance to meet and talk with her. Given her accomplishments, she is very humble and just has a pure love for wine. The winery is run by her and her sister Ivana. If you have a chance to try their wines – DO !!
Our tasting started with their Barbera D’Alba, then moved on to their Nebbiolo and Barolos. Each wine we tasted was equal to or better than the previous one. We additionally were able to taste two of their library wines: a 2012 Barolo Cannubi and a 2013 Barolo di Barolo. It was love at first taste!
So yes, there are more wines that will be arriving when we get home.
After the tastings and paperwork, we were able to walk across the street to watch as they were beginning the crushing process on some newly picked grapes. The grapes are all handpicked, then fed into a de-stemmer that shakes the berries off of the vines. The stems go to the compost pile, while the grapes head to the crusher to start the process. Fun to watch.
Our tasting day was over after Virna, so we headed back home. We really enjoyed our day and meeting new wine friends. Bidding them all goodbye, we headed back to the apartment, while they headed back to their hotel in La Morra.
Luca, Julie, Cheri, Shane and Paul – thanks for a fun day!
It felt good to get back to the apartment and put our feet up for a while. We had dinner reservations at 7:30 at Voglia di Vino Locanda, so we had some time to rest up.
For dinner, we went with the Chef’s Truffle tasting menu paired with a bottle of Virna Barbera D’Alba. The menu was five reasonably sized courses, each with tartufo nero (black truffles) except for dessert.
We started with an amuse bouche of puréed squash, with a touch of spice to get thing rolling. Our first course was a Beef carpaccio with shaved truffles. The next course was a poached egg with crema and truffles. That was followed by a portion of tajarin in a butter sauce with truffles. Next came a portion of veal cheeks with truffles. To complete the meal, dessert was a Bunet with a hazelnut puree.
It was an unexpected, but delightful meal. We really did think that we would have a light meal this evening. Alba has some really good restaurants and the prices are surprisingly reasonable.
It was a very pleasant evening and the walk back to the apartment was a delight. The streets were very quiet, with only the occasional group sitting outside at some of the restaurants.
whew! Wine, wine, wine….quite the fun day of tastings….and gorgeous scenery!
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There have definitely been lots of wine. We’ll dry out when we move on.
Two glorious days of wine and food! We will be going to Sicily again next September for a wedding and since we already toured the majority of Sicily in 2019 we want to extend our trip at another destination. Piedmont may be that destination!
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I would highly recommend Piedmont and Alba is a wonderful town to base yourselves.