Piemonte

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Kenneth Brown
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Piemonte

#1 Post by Kenneth Brown » January 29th, 2019, 12:18 pm

Looking for some help picking a village/town to stay in during our upcoming trip at the end of March. We want to stay in wine country somewhere near Barolo, loosely defined as within a few miles, and defintely not in Turin. We will be renting a house or apartment, so looking for a place where there are some walkable options for the morning and evening. Bakery, handful of restaurants with hopefully at least one nice option, and market are places we wish to be able to walk to in the morning or post wine tasting when the car will be put away. Would love any recs on actual places to stay if someone has been recently and rented a place that fits that bill. Just my wife and I, so we don't need a huge place, but would like something with at least a small outdoor terrace or patio should the weather favor us. Also all ears if anyone has any recommended wineries that shouldn't be missed. I need to get on the ball and make some appointments soon. TIA.

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Re: Piemonte

#2 Post by Scott Tallman » January 29th, 2019, 12:48 pm

Top of La Morra or Barolo are probably your best bets. We stayed at the top of Castiglione Falletto and really enjoyed it, but definitely more quiet with fewer options that you are seeking. But does have Le Torre restaurant, which is nice. We stayed in the apartment above the restaurant (found on AirBnB - apt owned by the major hotel in CF whose name escapes me), which had a huge terrace but not much of a view as facing inwards.

Definitely places I wish we’d visited but did not make for one reason or another (e.g., Burlotto, Accomasso, Castello di Nieve, F. Rinaldi, Elvis Cogno, etc), but really enjoyed our visits to Cascina delle Rose, Rizzi, Schiavenza, Aurelio Settimo, Oddero & Fratelli Allesandria. Also visited Vajra, Ettore Germano, and Cavallotto, which while nice, were more structured tours with winery employees as opposed to tasting with winemakers.

One regret I have is not visiting the enotecas in each commune.

Have fun. A gorgeous and amazing place.
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Re: Piemonte

#3 Post by Kenneth Brown » January 29th, 2019, 12:54 pm

Thanks for the response. Barolo and La Morra are both places I am considering, just wanted some feedback from those that have been. You also bring up a good point, we aren't really interested in structured tours, would much rather visit places where we taste with the winemakers like in Burgundy or the Loire.

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Re: Piemonte

#4 Post by Jim Friedman » January 29th, 2019, 2:25 pm

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Revie ... dmont.html

We stayed here and enjoyed it very much. It's not exactly what you asked for but is a charming place.

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Re: Piemonte

#5 Post by Alan Rath » January 29th, 2019, 3:21 pm

We stayed here a little over a year ago. All the rooms have outdoor patios, the closer you get to the end, the better the views. Simple but comfortable, plenty of space. This is not a hotel, just some rooms above the winery tasting room. But good location in La Morra, nice breakfast provided in a lovely sun room. Downsides are no on site parking (you park along the street if you can find it, or in one of the central town lots), and no facilities other than your room. Easy walk to the center of town (literally 50 yards), a few restaurants, bakery, etc.

http://www.rocchecostamagna.it/RoccheCo ... suites.asp
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Re: Piemonte

#6 Post by R M Kriete » January 30th, 2019, 7:28 am

Had a great stay at Uve Rooms and Wine Bar. Great hotel in La Morra

www.uvelanghe.it/it/

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Re: Piemonte

#7 Post by Jim Stewart » January 30th, 2019, 9:10 am

Nice! How long will you be staying? What kind of activities interest you besides wine? Food? Walking/hiking? Culture? Keep in mind the weather in late March. We've always found that weather that is less than optimal can be enjoyed (or at least tolerated) better in larger towns versus villages. Have a look at Alba which is a decent size town giving you ready access to both the Barolo and Barbaresco areas. Enjoy!

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Re: Piemonte

#8 Post by Todd Tucker » January 30th, 2019, 10:11 am

I think that La Morra is a good choice. Barolo I feel is a little slow and touristy. I would consider Monforte. Cool upper part of town is mostly walking zone (a steep hill so if you have cardiac or joint issues might be a problem). La Saracca is a great place: best wine bar in the Langhe for me (I would not fault anyone for naming Centro Storico in Serralunga). La Saracca is a great place to wind down. Terrific architectural mix of old and new. Great bubbles selection. You will crave bubbles after tasting all day. Giulio the owner is a gem of a person and puts out a great spread of apps during happy hour. It is worth eating there as well for dinner. I Stay at La Saracca when I go by myself. If you are renting a house plenty of options in Monforte. Some newer some old. Up the hill are generally older. In town, there is a good coffee shop or two. A few wine bars. A bakery/ bread place, a small hardware store for the simple stuff. Laundry if you need it. Decent gelato. A handful of restaurants worth eating at. Stunning views from up top the town, and a walk east to Ginestra from the top of town while a good walk (or you can drive) is one of the prettiest vistas in the Langhe IMHO. Hope that helps

I have no affiliation with la Saracca aside from considering Giulio a friend and thinking the place is terrific.

www.saracca.com

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Re: Piemonte

#9 Post by Ian Sutton » January 31st, 2019, 12:34 pm

I like that you're considering a house or apartment, and although it's not the highest concentration of food shops, there is enough good stuff to see you right.

Monforte is certainly a good option, and the small central supermarket was decent last time we were there - it was basic, but all the better for not (IIRC) being a chain supermarket. A smattering of decent food shops, and aperitivo in Le case della Saracca a very fine example of early evening grazing with good wine. A number of other good restaurants. La Casa Gialla worth a look for apartments and they run a range of sizes from cozy to spacious. Their wine should also be fully on-stream now (they are a branch of the seemingly widespread Vaira family).

Another to recommend, is the apartments (i grappoli) run by the family who own & run Boasso / Gabutti (Boasso is the family name, Gabutti the vineyard area they are based in). The wines are pleasingly old school, but very rarely mentioned. There is a decent restaurant within a minute's walk, but I'd recommend the very good / fairly priced restaurant run by Schiavenza in Serralunga itself.

Plenty of other good places, and worth a check on the langheroero.it tourism site; agriturismo.it and also a simple google maps search.

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Re: Piemonte

#10 Post by wbeshears » February 2nd, 2019, 9:15 am

Happy to have stumbled across this topic, as I am also thinking of a Piedmont trip later this summer...has anyone stayed at Relais San Maurizio just southeast of Barbaresco? Came recommended by a friend, but he wasn't there for wine so not sure if the location is inconvenient. I'd like to have a guide take me around to various villages so I can learn more about the wine region.
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Re: Piemonte

#11 Post by Riccardo Campinoti » February 3rd, 2019, 1:16 am

I usually stay in Alba , centrally located, close to everything and has more choice of restaurants without having to drive at night. Just spent three nights at this place , recently opened , great location
http://rivettosuites.it/it/
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Re: Piemonte

#12 Post by Ian Sutton » February 3rd, 2019, 11:48 am

Hi Will
If staying in reasonably easy driving distance of the wine regions appeals, whilst in good countryside, then it would be good.

Personally if wine is to be the focus, I'd absolutely want to be based in one of the villages, such that on at least one day the car could be left parked up giving the designated driver a well-earned break, and everyone a lovely walk through the vineyards.

You certainly don't need a guide, but there are local drivers who can do this (I'm sure I've read of them on these pages). The winemakers / owners / family (and occasionally staff) can do a more than decent job of explaining about the geography, history, weather, etc.). I mentioned walking and I very strongly recommend this. The walking is good, occasionally steep, but that's usually brief and never to the point of scrambling. More interestingly it takes you literally through the vineyards (yay! for shared ownership and hence open access) giving you a great feel for the place. Take a picnic or arrange it so the walk builds an appetite, or walks off a substantial lunch. For us it's a highlight of the region and so easy to walk from village to village that I'm surprised so few do it.

langheroero.it can make appointments for you (last time I checked, there was no charge - except for no shows), but it's easy to book direct via email for the vast majority of wineries. Piemontese hospitality is very good indeed (but I'd say that is true of all of Italy outside the over-touristed areas)

Riccardo's suggestion is also worth considering, as it gives you the functionality of a very charming town, but the Barbaresco villages are so close you could feasibly walk there (but sense says book a taxi in Alab to take you there and pick you up later).

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Re: Piemonte

#13 Post by Jeff Vaughan » February 3rd, 2019, 4:51 pm

Monforte is a cool town, but I would recommend La Morra or Alba as they are more centrally located.
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Re: Piemonte

#14 Post by Kenneth Brown » February 6th, 2019, 11:20 am

Thanks to all for the recommendations. We ended up booking an apartment in Alba which should be a perfect base for a few days of eating, drinking, and relaxing. Now we are looking for more winery and restaurant recommendations if anyone has them. We will certainly be visiting La Morra, Barolo, Monforte and probably a few other villages that our travels take us through. Defintely looking for at least one Michelin Star type place as well as some lower key but good restaurants. For that matter, we will also be staying in Rome a couple blocks from the Spanish Steps, so looking for recs there as well for good eats. Once more, TIA.

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Re: Piemonte

#15 Post by Jim Friedman » February 6th, 2019, 11:25 am

Sandrone was a very nice visit but it was several years ago.

This restaurant was very good/excellent. Don't miss the tajarin.
https://caffeumberto.it/en/enoclub/

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Re: Piemonte

#16 Post by Jeff Vaughan » February 6th, 2019, 12:29 pm

Not Michelin Star, but Bovio is excellent in La Morra. More e Macine, also in La Morra, is a nice little lunch spot. Campamac in Barbaresco was very good. We also had a nice lunch at L'Aromatario in Neive. There are many great restaurants. Attached is a list that may be helpful.
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Re: Piemonte

#17 Post by Kenneth Brown » February 6th, 2019, 1:46 pm

Jim- Thank you, Enoclub looks to be right up our alley. I like and own some of Sandrone's wines, so we will probably visit there if they will have us.

Jeff- That list is a tremendous help, I imagine we will try a few. Ciau del Tornavento certainly appears that it will make the cut. Many Thanks.

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Re: Piemonte

#18 Post by Jim Friedman » February 6th, 2019, 2:07 pm


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Re: Piemonte

#19 Post by T. Melloni » February 6th, 2019, 2:12 pm

In Alba, I recommend Osteria Lalibera.
http://lalibera.com/
I was there a few months ago and enjoyed a wonderful meal; service was good and the wine list extensive with most selections reasonably priced.
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Re: Piemonte

#20 Post by Julius L » February 10th, 2019, 1:01 pm

For two of three of our visits to the region over the past ten years, we stayed at the Hotel Calissano in Alba. Convenient to wineries in both Barolo and Barbaresco DOCG'S and within walking distance to several fine restaurants in town. It also offers free parking in its underground garage. We would stay there again.

https://www.hotelcalissano.com/en/

A few restaurants in Alba I would recommend are: Osteria dell'Arco, Ristorante Osteria Lalibera and La Piola. And if money is no issue, there's the 3 Michelin star Ristorante Piazza Duomo. (Both La Piola and Piazza Duomo are owned by the Ceretto family.)

http://www.osteriadellarco.it/
http://lalibera.com/
https://www.lapiola-alba.it/en/
https://www.piazzaduomoalba.it/en/

In addition to the in town restaurants, one restaurant worth driving to is Vinoteca Centro Storico in Serralunga d'Alba.

https://www.vinotecacentrostorico.it
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Re: Piemonte

#21 Post by Joe W i n o g r a d » February 10th, 2019, 4:56 pm


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Re: Piemonte

#22 Post by Kenneth Brown » February 15th, 2019, 5:45 pm

Thanks everyone for the very helpful responses. I think I have now sorted out the restaurants we would like to visit.

Last request: Good producers to visit. Here we are looking for friendly and hospitable visits with good wine. I know all(err, most depending on who you ask) the big names and if any fall on this list and are accessible that is great as well, but wasn't planning on more than maybe one. And by big names I mean the top houses like Conterno, Giacosa etc.

Also, Sandrone as an example is probably about as modern in style as I want to go. Prefererences lean to the traditional side. Thanks once more. This board is an incredibly valuable resource for traveling.

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Re: Piemonte

#23 Post by Patrick T » February 15th, 2019, 9:26 pm

To add one more resto to the mix, I truly loved our 3 hour lunch at Il Centro, located in Priocca. And wherever you end up, try the tajarin. There's also a traditional beef/veal tartare dish.

To get you started on producers, Pat Burton created an encyclopedic thread:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=106291
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Re: Piemonte

#24 Post by Ian Sutton » February 17th, 2019, 2:52 pm

Kenneth Brown wrote:
February 15th, 2019, 5:45 pm

Last request: Good producers to visit. Here we are looking for friendly and hospitable visits with good wine. I know all(err, most depending on who you ask) the big names and if any fall on this list and are accessible that is great as well, but wasn't planning on more than maybe one. And by big names I mean the top houses like Conterno, Giacosa etc.

Also, Sandrone as an example is probably about as modern in style as I want to go. Prefererences lean to the traditional side. Thanks once more. This board is an incredibly valuable resource for traveling.
Hi Kenneth
On the whole, I'd say that's a given considering how hospitable Piemontese producers are. I can only think is one that was blandly commercial, a very historic producer trading on their name from decades before.

So my advice is to look on a map and try and make it so you can fit a short walk in e.g. plan to park up in the morning at the restaurant you have a lunch booking for. Then plan 2-3 wineries in walking distance of that restaurant. Your designated driver can then taste the wines that morning, knowing they'll have a substantial lunch to ensure they are well within the safe/legal limit. Maybe even factor in a walk after lunch through the vines, before wither heading back, or to a final 1-2 appointments. The scenery is lovely, but I do prefer it on foot in the fresh air, to seeing it from behind the window of a car.

Even without the walking, it's not difficult to organise visits in close proximity, which can help give insight into the variations e.g. Verduno one day, La Morra the next, Serralunga for following day.

Regards
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Re: Piemonte

#25 Post by Kenneth Brown » February 17th, 2019, 5:48 pm

Ian Sutton wrote:
February 17th, 2019, 2:52 pm
Kenneth Brown wrote:
February 15th, 2019, 5:45 pm

Last request: Good producers to visit. Here we are looking for friendly and hospitable visits with good wine. I know all(err, most depending on who you ask) the big names and if any fall on this list and are accessible that is great as well, but wasn't planning on more than maybe one. And by big names I mean the top houses like Conterno, Giacosa etc.

Also, Sandrone as an example is probably about as modern in style as I want to go. Prefererences lean to the traditional side. Thanks once more. This board is an incredibly valuable resource for traveling.
Hi Kenneth
On the whole, I'd say that's a given considering how hospitable Piemontese producers are. I can only think is one that was blandly commercial, a very historic producer trading on their name from decades before.

So my advice is to look on a map and try and make it so you can fit a short walk in e.g. plan to park up in the morning at the restaurant you have a lunch booking for. Then plan 2-3 wineries in walking distance of that restaurant. Your designated driver can then taste the wines that morning, knowing they'll have a substantial lunch to ensure they are well within the safe/legal limit. Maybe even factor in a walk after lunch through the vines, before wither heading back, or to a final 1-2 appointments. The scenery is lovely, but I do prefer it on foot in the fresh air, to seeing it from behind the window of a car.

Even without the walking, it's not difficult to organise visits in close proximity, which can help give insight into the variations e.g. Verduno one day, La Morra the next, Serralunga for following day.

Regards
Ian
Thanks, Ian. I have been to France a few times tasting and have been very well received, but of course some places better than others. Just wasn't sure how similar it is, but sounds very similar to Burgundy. Was really just looking for friendly hospitable folks more for my wife than anything. I am happy with a glass of wine to taste from damn near anyone if the wine is good, but being entertained really helps when I drag her along. Also, we collectively speak about a dozen words of Italian, so there is that to consider.

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Re: Piemonte

#26 Post by R M Kriete » February 18th, 2019, 7:53 am

If going to Barbaresco, make a quick visit to
Castello di Neive
www.castellodineive.it/en/vini

Had a wonderful visit there

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