Gourmet tour to the Piedmont with Barolo, Barbaresco, and other exclusive wines, and the rare white truffle
— Welcome to a wine tour to one of Italy’s most famous wine regions, the Piedmont, “at the foot of the mountain”. It is a region that is world famous not only for its great wines – headed by Barolo and Barbaresco – but also for its gastronomy. This is where the Slow Food movement started and it is the source for the fabled white truffle. Half a day is dedicated to the truffle, with the truffles market, a truffle hunt, and a truffles lunch. Prepare for a few days filled with delicious experiences!
The Piedmont, or Piemonte as the Italians say, is famous for its full-bodied red wines made from the nebbiolo grape. The reputation of wines like Barolo and Barbaresco reach all over the world. But Piedmont is also the source of many other wines. For example the light and sweet sparkling wines made from muscat grapes in Asti. A delicious aperitif.
Barolo and Barbaresco are among Italy’s most famous wines. These exclusive wines are elegant often with a hint of truffles on the nose. Perhaps that is because of the white truffles that can be found underground here.
There are also many other delicious things here, like wines from the barbera grape, dolcetto, grignolino and many other varieties. In Italy each region is proud of its unique local grape varieties, often not so well-known but always interesting and exciting.
Barolo and Barbaresco are now also on the very prestigious list of UNESCO’s World Heritage that includes some of the world’s most unique and culturally important sites.
On this tour you will have the opportunity to taste a wide range of the wines from Piemonte, from the easy-drinking Moscato d’Asti to the complex wines of Barolo and Barbaresco and the oak aged barberas.
The Piedmont gastronomy is world famous. For a reason! We hardly need to give any detailed introduction to the fabled white truffle but there are many other things. Hazel nuts are a regional speciality, of exceptional quality and especially rich in oil. Or the delicious incredibly tender beef from the Piemonte cattle, a special race that produces meat that is very low in fat.
The best way to taste the meat is as a tartare, raw, only finely chopped with a knife and served with olive oil and some sea salt, the classic carne cruda.
The regional cuisine also has many other things to offer. This is where the Slow Food movement started that has since spread all over the world.
To really get to know the Piedmont’s cuisine we will have an exclusive private half day hands-on cooking class at a cooking school specialised in, among other things, delicious dishes prepared with truffle.
We will stay in the charming town of Asti. You fly in to Milan and we pick you up with our bus at the central station in Milan late Wednesday. On the Sunday morning we drop you off in the same place by noon. It is easy to reach Milan through its three different airports: Linate, Malpensa and Bergamo.
The tour is led by one of BKWine’s wine and travel expert guides.
We have written a lot about Piedmont and about wine touring in the region, what to do and what to expect.
Here you can find more about travelling in Piedmont.
You can also find more information on the Piedmont wines on BKWine Magazine.
Program — wine tour to Piedmont
For more details, contact BKWine.
- Day 1 — Arrival in Milan and then Asti
- Day 2 — The world famous wines of Barolo
- Day 3 — Discover Monferrato
- Day 4 — Truffle market, hunt, and truffle lunch, and Barbaresco
- Day 5 — Heading back home
Wednesday, October 18 — Arrival in Milan and then Asti
We meet in Milan, Stazione Centrale, perhaps the most impressive train station in the world and have a comfortable drive through the north Italian landscape.
We pick you up at 5 PM with our comfortable bus at the central station in Milan, Stazione Centrale. We have a two hour drive before we arrive in Asti where we check in to our hotel in the old city centre.
The evening is free for you to discover Asti.
Asti is a small city with an old city centre with narrow, winding streets. There are many exciting restaurants, from down-to-earth pizzerias (we can give you the address to the best pizza in town!) to gourmet restaurants.
Perhaps you will start with an aperitivo at one of the many cafés. And then stroll along the narrow alleys to this trips first Italian meal? Why not finish the evening with a grappa? Certainly a good idea if you have been overwhelmed by the unending sequence of delicious dishes at dinner.
Thursday, October 19 — The world famous wines of Barolo
Today we head for the small village that carries the weight of the name Barolo. We’re moving into the hilly landscape of nebbiolo.
The nebbiolo grapes grow on impressively steep slopes. There are not many machines in the vineyards; most of the work is done by hand. Many if the vineyards are small in size. The wines are delicately hand-crafted and the harvest that usually happens in mid-October is done by hand. Nebbiolo ripens late.
Barolo has been called The King of the Wines of Italy. It was one of the first to achieve the highest quality level, called DOCG for Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita.
We will visit three Barolo wineries. They will explain the secrets behind these great wines. We will visits producer like Azienda Vitivinicola Sobrero that was founded in 1940 by the father of the current owners and winemakers, Settimo and Pierfranco Sobrero. They have 16 hectares of vineyards in Castiglione Falletto, in the heart of the Barolo district. We will taste all their range of wines, which means a very interesting tasting, plus their grappa.
After the morning visit it is time for lunch so we continue to the winery of Enrico Rivetto and his family, Azienda Agricola Rivetto. Perhaps we will sit down for lunch in the garden, with a stunning view over the landscape, or in the winery next to the oak fermentation vats. The Rivetto family has prepared a sequence of delicious dishes showcasing the Piedmontese specialities, all very difficult to resist!
We will round off today’s program with a visit to Aldo Vajra, one of the most famous Barolo producers. Milena and Aldo Vajra, the owners who will greet us, have 40 hectares of vineyards, 10 of which are in Barolo.
The Vajras also make excellent dolcetto and barbera wines. They have many different varieties in their vineyard. They make elegant wines expressing a lot of terroir character. Take a deep breath; we will have a series of wines to go through after having visited the winery.
Late afternoon we return to Asti. The evening is free to explore another Italian restaurant. Perhaps you will start with a glass of vermouth (Martini, Cinzano etc), first made in Piedmont? The very first vermouth was made in Turin in 1786.
Friday, October 20 — Cooking class and Barolo
Today we will have a closer look at the local gastronomy thanks to a very instructive cooking class, followed by an immersion in Barolo.
We will go to beautiful Castello di Roddi. Inside the castle the Terra Cooking School has an ultra-modern kitchen. Here we will learn how to cook local specialities. For some of the dishes we will use the exclusive white truffle of Alba. One dish could be, for example, truffle on top of a poached egg in a creamy cheese sauce. A pasta dish will surely be on the program also.
The cooking session is totally hands-on and your teacher is a professional chef. We will of course finish by eating what we have prepared, together with some delicious wines.
In the afternoon we will visit La Spinetta, a well-known estate owned by the family Rivetti. Azienda Agricola La Spinetta made their first wine in 1981 and has reached international fame in a very short time. They have many times been awarded by the Italian wine guide “Gambero Rosso” for their wines. Their first wine was actually a Moscato and their first red a Barbera. They still make these wines but also high quality Barolo and Barbaresco. Their labels with the rhino are easy recognizable!
After this exciting day we will return to our hotel in Asti late afternoon. The evening is free. Perhaps you will try a creamy risotto for dinner? In Piedmont they eat more rice than pasta! When we drove from Milan to Asti we passed some of the rice farms.
Saturday, October 21 — Truffle market, hunt, and truffle lunch, and Barbaresco
If Asti is the bigger, and maybe more charming town, Alba is the capital of the truffle. This is where we are heading today
We start the day in Alba, the centre for the truffles business. “The wine truffle from Alba” is the name one often gives to the rare tuber magnatum pico.
First we will visit the famous truffles market in Alba, Mercato del Tartufo, where you can also find other things than the expensive truffle: cheese, charcuterie, oil, mushrooms, hazelnut etc. Much of it actually prepared with truffles.
The focal point of the market is all the “hunters” who are selling their truffles. The scent almost stuns you when you enter the market. The sellers stand shoulder to shoulder presenting their gems. They will offer you a close-up look and a sniff if you are interested and want to check the quality. If you want you can of course buy some truffles to bring home. Count on between one and tree euros. Per gram. A normal size tuber magnatum weighs in at around 60 grams but there are both bigger and smaller.
You can settle for just some olive oil flavoured with truffles, or truffles pâté or another local speciality, the hazelnuts. Delicious! Or just a glass of wine. The wine bar covers the full length of one side of the market. Just watching the bustle is an experience worth coming for! (Entry to the market is a few euros. You but the ticket yourself at the market.)
After having looked at (and smelled) this rarity all morning it is time for our lunch when we will have the opportunity to taste this unique ingredient. For lunch we will hop in the bus that takes us to a winery close to Alba. Awaiting us is a good measure of Piemonte food with plenty of truffles on top. Does it go with the wines? You will see!
But before we settle for lunch we will get some practical experience. A local “truffle hunter” will explain to you how he trains his truffles do and how he finds the rare mushrooms. He will then take us to the forest with his dog. You will experiences yourself in real life a truffles hunt!
This will be a mini-truffles safari, walking through the forest with the dog and the truffles man. If we are lucky we will find some tuber magnatum pico, but he will hardly tell us all of his secrets (they never do). It is a really unique experience! (We can already tell you one insider’s secret: It is not true that a truffle hunting dog has to be of a special race. Any clever and curious dog can do it. The secret is in the training, starting when it is a pup.)
In the afternoon we will visit Barbaresco and Cascina Luisin, a small wine estate of only 7 hectares that make powerful and very impressive wines. Traditional Barbaresco from some of the best locations in the appellation and some delicious barberas.
Late afternoon we return to the hotel in Asti. The evening is free. Perhaps a last dinner at Ristorante Aldo di Castiglione, one of the most original restaurants we have been to.
Sunday / Day 5 — Heading back home
After breakfast we check out from our hotel and depart for Milan in our bus. We will arrive at Milan Central Station at 12 noon at the latest. From here you continue your trip back home.
Program may be subject to minor modifications.
Tour Details — Wine tour to the Piedmont
Dates: October 18-22, 2017
Price per person: 1780 euro
Single room supplement: 160 euro
Included in the price:
- 4 hotel nights, double occupancy, including breakfast
- 4 nights in Asti, in a centrally located four star hotel
- Meals as described in the program (*):
- 1 gastronomic multi-course lunches with local specialities at a winery, including wines
- 1 gastronomic multi-course lunches at wineries, featuring truffles, including wines
- 1 cooking class, including preparation of dishes with white truffle, followed by lunch, including wine
- Start and end point: Milan
- Bus transport during the whole trip
- All vineyard and winery visits
- Private, high quality tastings at wineries, 2-3 per day
- Translation as needed, some visits may be in English, others in Italian
- Wine guiding and wine tutoring by an expert BKWine guide during the whole trip
(*) See below for more important information on our meals.
- Travel (flights) to the destination and back from your home location.
You organise your travel to Milan yourself. If you want assistance with organising your flight tickets etc, please contact us.
We warmly recommend that you plan a few extra days here if you have the time! It is a very interesting place and well worth some “non-wine” tourism too! We can assist you with booking additional hotel nights if you want.
For this trip to take place we must have a minimum of 6 participants registered at the “book before” date. Maximum number of travel guests is 12.
Book This Tour
Book before: July 1, 2017
Booking is confirmed by paying the booking fee of 300 EUR. Full payment should be received at the latest one month before the departure date (see our terms and conditions). Details on how to pay will be sent to you when you register.
You book by contacting Britt Karlsson, BKWine:
- phone: +33 1 58 88 04 66 or +33 6 80 45 35 70 (+33 is the country code for France)
- Skype: “bkwine”. Call us on skype.
- email: email@example.com
More on our wine tours
About the wine producers and wineries we visit
Our aim is that you shall experience some of the best and most interesting that the wine region has to offer, both of wine and food.
We put a big effort into finding and creating outstanding winery visits. Often it will not be the most “famous” and internationally well-known wineries that will give you the best and most unique experiences…
It is usually when you get to meet the winemaker or winery owner himself (or often herself) that the visits become really exciting. And perhaps we even meet the whole family at the estate.
You start discussing and start to understand what it is they do and why in the winery and in the vineyard. Maybe we will also have lunch in the winery or at their home. Need we say we invariably have private wine tastings at the wineries?
That is why our trips are not “jam packed” with visits at wineries. Nevertheless we often run short of time since the discussions – and the wine tastings – can easily become very engaging…
Our wine country tours typically include a mix of small family producers, exclusive boutique wineries and larger internationally well-known wine estates, all selected with great care so that it will give you a unique experience of the people and of the behind-the-scenes in the winery and a good understanding of the wine district’s characteristics, tradition and culture.
At the time of publishing a travel program not all visits have been finalised. We are continuously working on improving the program. The domaines / wineries / châteaux that we visit on a tour may therefore sometimes differ from what was written in the original program. Contact us if you want more details, or if you have any special requests.
On meals: food and gastronomy
Wine and food are intimately linked. That is part of our wine travel philosophy; wine is an integral part of the gastronomy.
A wine tour with BKWine will therefore also be a gastronomic experience.
The meals that are included in a tour with BKWine are on a gourmet level and of very high standard.
Sometimes we will have a meal with a winemaker, perhaps in the wine cellar or at the winery, or even in their home. This is a unique experience that is generally not open to other visitors to wineries. It is an occasion to experience exciting combinations of food and wine while discussing with the people who made the wine.
Sometimes we will have a luxurious meal at a gourmet restaurant. At other times it may be not at a prestigious luxury address but at a local restaurant selected for its presentation of local gastronomic specialities, its atmosphere and its quality – a place where locals go. Or perhaps it will be a buffet lunch made at home by the winemaker and his wife. In all cases we want to show you local gastronomic specialities and the local food and wine pairings.
Do not expect a picnic with salad and sausage from the supermarket and wine in plastic mugs… Think instead of a wine-and-dine experience with specially composed menu with three or four courses and delicious wines.
A wine tour with BKWine is also a culinary experience both for the wine enthusiast and for the gourmet. A gourmet wine tour!
Why travel with BKWine?
We are experts and specialists in wine and food tours and wine tourism, but also in wine in a broader perspective.
No other tour operator has a comparable knowledge and experience of wine, wine regions, wine tours and gourmet travel as BKWine.
We have organised hundreds of wine and food tours. This is what we love to do, because it is fun and exciting. What we want more than anything is to share with you all these wonderful experiences.
It does not matter if you are “a total novice” on wine and food or if you have a life-long experience in the wine sector. We will give you a very special experience, in a way that no other tour operator can do.
We write in specialised wine magazines and one of our books has won the prize as best wine book in the world. We are regularly called on to be part of judging panels in wine competitions.
We personally visit some 300 vineyards every year. We have organised several hundreds of wine and food tours with an experience going back more than twenty years. We are invited as speakers at wine tourism and culinary touring conferences.
We choose our tour destinations and winery visits with great care. Not because a winery happens to be carrying a “famous name” but because they will give our guests — you! — a unique and special experience. You may be looking for a short wine week-end holiday or a longer wine vacation; in all cases you can be confident that you will get a top quality tour, an experience of a lifetime. Or at least one that will last you until the next time you come on a wine tour with BKWine. Many of our travellers are returning clients.
A wine and food tour with BKWine is always guided by a knowledgeable and experienced BKWine guide and tour manager, someone who knows the ins and outs of wine, of the local gastronomy, of the culture and who speaks the language.
Some accolades we at BKWine and our wine and food tours have received:
- “World’s Top Wine Tours” by Travel + Leisure Magazine, the world’s biggest travel magazine
- “Best wine tasting holidays”, AOL Travel’s list of top wine tours
- “Recommended Wine Tours” by Munskankarna, the world’s biggest wine tasting and wine appreciation association
- “World’s Best Wine Book for Professionals” as well as “Best Wine Book of the Year” in Sweden 2010 for the book The Creation of a Wine
- “Best wine book for Professionals” again in 2012 in Sweden, as well as silver, runner-up, as “World’s Best Educational Wine Book” for the book Wine and the Environment
- “Wine Personality of the Year” by Munskankarna, the world’s biggest wine tasting and wine appreciation association
- On the Wine Media Power List by Wine Business International Magazine (Britt, 2012)
Read more on why to choose BKWine for a wine and food tour.
Read more on what previous travellers have said about our tours.
Our groups are always small. The group size may vary, sometimes maximum 8, sometimes 20, but always of a modest size (we do not do “minimum 20, maximum 45”). Check the details in each program. This is important since it guarantees a quality experience and a personal welcome at the wineries we visit.
BKWine is a Swedish registered travel organiser. BKWine has a bonded travel guarantee deposit so that you can feel safe when booking with us. We fully comply with European and Swedish travel guarantee regulations. British travellers may be familiar with the ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) protection scheme which is a similar model. BKWine follows the code of conduct and financial safeguards defined by the Swedish Consumer Agency and The Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency (“Kammarkollegiet”, with a history dating back to 1539). Read more about this in our Booking Terms and Conditions.
Read the BKWine Booking Terms and Conditions here. They are important to you!
You organise your travel independently to the destination for most of our tours but on location we take care of everything.
For more inspiration
Read our wine travel blog. And also:
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We also do custom wine and food tours if you want to choose different dates or if you want something different than what we currently offer on our scheduled tours – for individuals, companies, professionals, wine tastings clubs etc.