Saturday, March 15, 2014

Piedmonte, Italy - wine and truffle country

After a wonderful 4 days in Cannes, France, we headed out again in our Quashquai rental car and started the 5 hour drive to Piedmonte Italy. The drive was beautiful! We stopped at on of the Auto Grilles and tried an Italian flavor of Pringles - Rosemary and Olive Oil. 

Welcome to Piedmonte! 
When we arrived, I fell in love with this region. Each big wine type we have learned about and really enjoyed is a town on top of a hill in this region. As you look out at the view you see the town and grapes of Borolo, Barbaresco, Diano d'Alba, and many more!
We stayed in the town of Alba at a hotel called I Castelli. The rooms were huge in this hotel and it was a decent price with good access to the main city and also good access to drive to the hilltop towns nearby.
The homes in this area were much nicer and larger than the rest of the areas we visited in Italy. 
But there were still gorgeous historic castles and history in this region as well. 
Our favorite thing that we learned about this region is that it is truffle country!! We went out to dinner on our first night and got tajarin egg pasta with black truffles. One bite and we felt like we died and went to heaven, this stuff is THAT good!! And if they offer you truffles, go for it!! It was 12 additional euros to get our pasta topped with them, but they are delicious! They aren't like the typical truffle oil that most american restaurants offer. It is a totally different experience! It unfortunately wasn't truffle season so all they had were black truffles. My dream is to come back to Italy in September during the grape harvest season, and to try fresh white truffles!!

The next day we headed out to go wine tasting at some of the enoteca's at the top of each hill town. Each town has a special Enoteca Regionali or regional wine store that features all of the different wines produced in that town and also some information about the terroir and various facts about what makes their grapes different from other towns. You can do a tasting at each one and try anywhere from 2-5 wines. 
Our first town we stopped in was Barbaresco.

The wines here are meant to be aged for 10-20 years or more for optimal taste! 

After Barbaresco we traveled to a few other towns.. Mango, and Barolo, but their Enoteca's were closed so we stopped at a little restaurant/osteria and took in the views with a snack and a glass of their white wine.

I love this shot I got of a woodpile outside of someone's home. So perfectly stacked. 

Check out this old wine press!

This is archway is outside of the Enoteca in Borolo. 

Spring and sunsets!

One of the highest elevation towns we went to was Diano d' Alba. They had a beautiful church at the very top and gorgeous views of the other hilltop towns. 

The manager at this Enoteca was awesome! He spoke English really well so we were able to communicate with him more than any of the other shops. They had a really wide selection of wines to try here and we found some great varietals that were delicious from this region. Their whites were really good too.

On our way down the hill, I asked Garrett to stop at this motel/restaurant that I had been eyeing on all of the brochures throughout town. It has an outdoor swimming pool and 5 star restaurant and views of Borolo in the distance. I fell in love and when we come back, this is where I want to stay!

The weather in Piedmont was perfect! The warmest weather we experienced on our whole trip. 
Through the circle in the fence in the photo below you can see the castle of Borolo. 
Garrett was relaxed! I think this is what happens when you are on your third week of vacation, sitting poolside!

Oh Piedmonte! Someday we will meet again!
Next stop on our trip... Venice! 

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