Piedmont trip: which estates should I visit? Update: Trip report.

I’ll be spending 3 full days in late May staying in between Barbaresco and Treiso and looking to schedule some estate visits. I was thinking of 2 maybe 3 estates/day as we don’t want to be rushed. We are really mainly there to eat well and relish the region. I was thinking one day in the Barbaresco area and 2 days in the Barolo area.

I would love some recs on which estates would be a good visit. I guess I could just email the estates of the wines I have in my cellar but I’d like to branch out some. My local retailer mentioned Vietti and Marchesi di Grésy. I was thinking Sandrone and E Altare or even Produttori.

Bonus points if you have some profound amazing restaurants to recommend.

Thanks in advance.


Lots of threads on this topic…here is one with some restaurants in the area

Hi Tom
Restaurants are easy… Stay in Treiso, as all 4 places are good (without even hunting down any agriturismo meals). Indeed only the fanciest place in Treiso has mixed reviews (from brilliant to disappointing). 3 stelle should also be very convenient and has a good rep.

Indeed with just 3 days, I’d definitely recommend just staying around Treiso, Neive and Barbaresco. No need to drive to Barolo when there are plenty of good Barbaresco estates, plus some fine walking (and the option of spending a little time in nearby Alba).

If you absolutely feel you must visit the Barolo villages, then I’d strongly suggest reversing your 2+1, otherwise why are you staying in Barbaresco when you want to see more of Barolo!

One day around Treiso and one around Barbaresco could both feasibly be done on foot, or at least with careful planning, to be on foot for lunch / post lunch, so you don’t need to watch the units when driving.

In terms of Treiso producers to visit? Nada, Nada and Nada! (it’s a popular family name in the village and at least two of them are good)

In Barbaresco, I don’t know where your preferences lie, but Albino Rocca impressed us greatly and La Ca Nova worthy of consideration if you would like something at the cheaper end of the scale that is still good.


Hi Tom,
Just got back from my own three-day trip in which I did the 1+2 (Barbaresco / Barolo) itinerary you describe. This was my first visit, so I learned a lot. Some thoughts in no particular order:

  1. Arrange your own appointments. Almost everyone I emailed got back to me, so it was fairly easy to meet with the wineries I wanted to. Produttori might require an introduction from the distributor you buy from.
  2. In Barbaresco I visited Produttori, La Ca Nova, and Ca del Baio. All were great. I stayed in Barbaresco and walked for the day. I ate at Campamac (VERY highly recommended!). Other restaurants on the trip were very good as well (see my comment about the restaurant list below). But Campamac really stood out.
  3. I stayed in Barbaresco, and later in Barolo. Not sure I’d do that again because both villages are very small. Indeed, Barbaresco is just two blocks long. It’s tiny. Just wineries, wine shops, and a few restaurants. No bars, coffee shops, or other attractions to pass the time after your palate gets saturated with young nebbiolo, Barbera, etc. Alba is a bit larger, and is close enough that the 10-15 minute drive to taste would be worth it. I’ll stay there next time.
  4. In Barolo, I visited Vajra, Vietti, Cavallotto, and G. Rinaldi (2 per day). You could fit one more in each day if you pay attention to geography. But, you may want to make time for a long lunch at one of the headline restaurants in the area (Bovio, etc).
  5. Vajra and Vietti had broader tastings that took longer because they make many more wines (whites, Barbera, Dolcetto, etc). Vajra was my favorite tasting, but that just reflects the style of Barolo I prefer.
  6. The most helpful lists I found when during research were from Hotel Castello di Sinio, which publishes contact information and hints for wineries and restaurants. The restaurant one was particularly helpful because it provides each restaurant’s closure dates, which are often random, and in the middle of the week. (Equisite Experience The Best of Barolo & Barbaresco RESTAURANTS || Hotel Castello di Sinio). The winery list was good, but also check each winery’s website, which sometimes provides a more current contact address or form. Nonetheless, the list was nice and comprehensive (Equisite Experience Barolo & Barbaresco WINERIES || Hotel Castello di Sinio).

Please have fun and report back on for everyone’s benefit!


Went last May and stayed in Castiglione Falletto in an apartment above Le Torri restaurant, which was very good with great views of the area. La Ciau del Tornavento was really nice, but pricey. The wine cellar is amazing and definitely take the tour if you go. Piazza Duomo was not really my thing, but my wife (an avid foodie) loved it. I really liked Osteria Veglio and Ristorante Bovio, both in La Morra.

As for wineries, I’d recommend in Barbaresco, Cascina delle Rose and Rizzi. If you can’t obtain a formal appt at Produttori, you can taste the current release Langhe Nebbiolo and Barbaresco, plus various Grappas they make, for free in the modern tasting room.

In Barolo, I really enjoyed Cavallotto and Vajra even though they were fairly standard visits and tastings. Also Aurelio Settimo (tasted current and older vintages), Germano Ettore (try their sparkling Nebbiolo), Schiavenza, and Oddero.

Agree completely with others to limit yourself to 2-3 tastings per day. Especially when drinking mostly younger Nebbiolo. Try to group your appts by village if possible to avoid rushing across the valley to appts. We would typically do 2 appts in the morning, enjoy a 2 hour lunch, and then do 1 final appt in the afternoon.

Have fun! It is a gorgeous place.

p.s. just coming back to add Rizzi for Treiso, but Scott beat me to it![

Hi Tom,

Ryan’s initial comment

Almost everyone I emailed got back to me

is a pertinent one as it echoes my experience. The first time I visited in 2014, I sent off a slew of emails expecting that only some would respond, but all but one said yes! I was travelling with my wife and young daughter, and it meant that I ended up spending rather a lot more winery time (over family time) than was judicious, though my wife was understanding of the far greater than expected positive response rate. When we returned in 2017, I staggered my emails to avoid the same thing happening; once again, all but one responded in the affirmative, with the last apologising for me catching them at a busy time and hoping that I would come next time I visited.

As for who to visit, my first instinct would be to target producers that you already buy, so that you can enjoy the wines with even greater understanding of where they come from and the people behind them. The pairing of Cascina delle Rose and Marchesi de Gresy in Barbaresco would be easy to achieve in one morning as the latter is just a couple of minutes drive down the hill from the former. Fellow Kiwi Jeff Chilcott hosts the visits at Marchesi di Gresy and he is a charming and welcoming man with a great love for the area. Just above the town of Barbaresco I had a lovely visit with Renato Vacca at Cantina del Pino who was a very genuine fellow, while an acquaintance of mine speaks highly of the family at Ca del Baio.

Another pairing that are similarly close would be Cavallotto in Castiglione Falletto and Brovia or Brezza in Barolo. If you take the little country laneway (just along the road from the Cavallotto entrance) steeply down the hill towards Barolo past the Vignolo & Monprivato vineyards and with a lovely view back up the hill to Cavallotto’s Bricco Boschis vineyard, a couple of minutes drive will see you end up beside Brezza and Brovia. Too many choices frankly but you will have a great time.


I’m not sure what you’re looking for as far as buying. You can mail back wine through Mailboxes Etc. in Alba if you want, it was about $125/case and worked well for me. If you want to buy wines after your tour I’d strongly suggest that you visit some places that are “less famous”. We went to Monchiero in Castiglione Falletto and loved their 3 different single vineyards. Each SVD was about €36/bottle. Which for Barolo felt like a steal even with the shipping back home adding about $10/bottle. I would also suggest that you check out Le Torri in Castiglione Falletto. We had a great white truffle dish there I still dream about. If you can still get it…they had a poached egg lightly breaded and flash-fried on a potato-creme…it was better than any other white truffle dish we had while we were in Italy.
If you want the “polished” tour with a beautiful estate I’d suggest Elio Grasso. They were easy to contact, gave a tour in American (the man was an Aussie) and we really enjoyed our time on the property…it was the “fanciest” place we went. Vietti was fun and informative and they had the largest array of wines to taste when we went there. In Barbaresco we went to Giuseppe Cortese and they had some fun wines, a cool 6 bottle vertical from the great years (96, 99, 01, 04, 06, 08) which works out to about $85/bottle which is about $15/bottle less than current release for their Riserva here in the US. We loved their Chinato that was made from another distillery…and at €13/bottle it was one of the best “values” we found. A wine of similar quality here in the US is about $55/bottle. All in all, there are a TON of places you can chose from. I would search out the values in the region because some of the well know “american staples” like Vietti, G. Mascarello, and a few others are the same or more there. Where I did see value potential was in the smaller unknown…and a few producers that have gotten so over priced in the US that if you can find them there you should buy them. Particularly G. Rinaldi & B. Mascarello if you like traditional Barolo that’s going to take a minimum of 25 years to come around. You can find these wines for as little as €85/bottle in Italy. I hope this is helpful…have a great trip.


I thought Brocua was my best visit this year outside Giacosa and G Conterno.

I also enjoyed F Rinaldi as much or more than G Rinaldi as a visit.

Ian, Ryan, Scott, Mark and Kirk. Your suggestions are more valuable to me than you know. Thank you.

Elio Grasso is a particularly beautiful place, a bit out of the way, and they had great hospitality and wines.

We visited Cavalotto and Paolo Scavino with lunch in between at Ristorante Le Torri. If it were flat (it’s not), you could walk between them. I set everything up with emails in advance and they were very accommodating. The food at Le Torri was very nice and both visits were excellent.

We also had a great meal at Restaurant San Marco in Canelli. Just tell the chef - a woman whose name I do not remember - that the New York lawyers told you to go there and she will understand, and treat you right. There are a few of us who go there.

We really liked ristorante il centro. A drive but worth it.

Walked around the town in barbaresco. Visited produttori and ate at the restaurant next door: antica torre?

Also visited vajra and vietti. Vajra was awesome. Vietti’s tour was informative and they poured quite a few wines but it was the only piedmont estate that we were charged for a tasting. I think it was 75 euros.

We also did a lunch at centro storico and loved it.

Wus! It’s a great experience walking up that hill! :stuck_out_tongue:

If in Barbaresco I do strongly suggest to visit Serafino Rivella. Just one ha in Montefico, but amazing wines. They just make two, the barbaresco (who is sold one year later, so now it should be 14) and a dolcetto (coming from vines at the top of Montefico). Teobaldo, the owner, says that he keeps the best parcel for dolcetto because it is the wine he and his wife drink everyday

Montestefano, actually.

I totally agree with those that previously recommended Paolo Scavino. I visited them on two trips to Piedmont. Other Barolo wineries I would recommend are Massolino (Serralunga d’Alba) and Voerzio (La Morra). For Barbaresco wineries, I would recommend Sottimano, Cigiuti and Gaja.

As for restaurants, I would recommend Vinoteca Centro Storico (Serralunga d’Alba), which I also ate at on two occasions.

I was with five other people and, at 66 years old, I was the youngest. I drove a full size van with three rows of seats, an on the column gear shift (bet you never used one of those) and a large luggage compartment behind the three rows of seats, up the narrows streets on that winding hill. If you can do that, and then park next to Le Torri, then we can talk.

We had great visits at Cavalotto, G Rinaldi, G Conterno, and Altare. Cogno was very good.

Where to start!!! If you are staying in the Barbaresco zone, its totally fine to spend the day in Barolo, just be smart geographically about your appointments. My favorite restaurants within driving distance of Barbaresco were Il Centro and Guido in the Relais San Maurizio. We spent most of our time in the Barolo zone and I’ll second many of the comments about Centro Storico. A classic spot.

I wrote up my last two trips to the area here, so I’ll paste it here, and hopefully it provides you with some good information.