And its neighboring wine regions Alto Piemonte, Canavese, Valle d’Aosta
8 -14 APRIL 2019
9–15 september 2019
MONDAY, 8 april or 9 september
The voyage begins at the Milan Malpensa airport in the morning. A private car awaits to make the short trip (45 minutes) to Lago Orta. There will be time to recover and refresh at the lakeside hotel and have a light lunch in town at La Motta overlooking the lake. The afternoon is dedicated to an initiation into the magic of the wines of Alto Piemonte with a tasting and vineyard visit with one of Neal's team of dynamic vignaioli, perhaps Massimo Clerico in Lessona or the Conti sisters in Maggiora who produce a fine Boca. Dinner will further immerse us in the traditions of the Alto Piemonte as Gianluca and Raffaella of the agriturismo, La Capuccina, will cook their farm-raised produce for us before we return to Villa Crespi to recharge for the coming days.
tuesday, 9 APRIL or 10 september
A morning private boat ride to enjoy the natural splendors of Lago Maggiore will include a visit to the renowned cheese affineur, Eros Buratti, with a lunch table set with the finest cheeses and other produce sourced from local farms. Then, Antonello Rovellotti and his family will open the doors to their cantina in the historic town of Ghemme at the center of which is the "ricetto", a walled compound that served as a refuge for people of the area during times of strife and war. This tenth century citadel of 12,000 square meters eventually evolved into a communal storehouse for the agricultural products native to the area — with most of the surface dedicated to wine. It is there that much of the work of producing the Rovellotti wines takes place, The evening will be dedicated to dinner at the hotel, Villa Crespi, recognized as the finest table in the region.
wednesdaY, 10 APRIL or 11 september
The day begins by traversing the border between the Alto Piemonte and the rarely visited but quietly beautiful Canavese district in northwestern Piedmont. There we will spend time with Andrea Bianco, beekeeper extraordinaire and Neal's long-time friend and supplier. We will taste a stunning variety of flower-specific, vintage-dated honeys and, if the weather and timing are right, we will be witness to the release of the bees to work the flowering trees and herbs in the Parco Nazionale di Gran Paradiso. To match the bees' hunger, lunch will follow at Ramo Verde, a rustic trattoria in Carema, home to the rare wine of the same name. Lunch-time companions will be Roberto and Andrea Ferrando, masters of Carema, the most noble version of Nebbiolo. A hike in Neal's steeply terraced vineyards in the shadow of Monte Bianco will end the day's activities and prepare us for settling into the lovely Auberge de la Maison in the village of Entreves, the final outpost in Italy immediately below the summit of Mont Blanc and at the edge of the frontier with France.
thursdaY, 11 APRIL or 12 september
We will begin the day on the funicular to the summit of Mont Blanc, providing us with spectacular views of this heavenly place. At 15,781 feet, it is the highest mountain in Europe and the roof of the old Continent. We will then descend for a tasting with an- other of Neal's growers, Ermes Pavese, with whom we will have a delightful lunch as we get to know his exceptional Blanc de Morgex, wine produced from some of the highest altitude vineyards in the world. The late afternoon will provide time to indulge at the spa at Auberge de la Maison or perhaps enjoy the thermal baths in the neighboring village of Pré St. Dider. Dinner at Dandelion, a local and delicious neighborhood trattoria will conclude this day.
Friday, 12 APRIL or 13 september
We leave the high mountains and on our descent to Torino, we will first stop in the village of Arvier to visit with Danilo Thomain, the producer of the sole estate-bottled "Enfer d'Arvier", a rustic red wine of mythic dimensions. A pass through the terraced vine- yards that sit exposed to the sun all year long will imprint this wine on your soul. The wine tour of the Valle d'Aosta will conclude with a stop in Ollignan, perched high above the town of Aosta, where the Grosjean family will receive us and then present the full range of their organically produced red and white wines that have made this family famous. A light lunch (is that possible here in the high mountain passes where the rough conditions foster hunger? We shall see...) will break up the trip to Torino. Once in that fabled city, one of Italy's best-kept secrets for history, architecture, great contemporary art and the capital of the increasingly influential Slow Food movement, we will spend an hour or so on an architectural walk in the company of a local historian. Dinner will be at Scannabué, located in the happening district of San Salvario, where it joins modish restaurants and bars that line the lively streets.
saturday, 13 APRIL or 14 september
The day begins with a visit to the world-renowned Egyptian Museum. Then, we will convene for lunch at Del Cambio, established in 1757 it is one of the oldest restaurants in the world. In 2014, it underwent a massive restoration by a team of 100 craftsmen and today features the dishes of chef Matteo Baronetto, who worked for nearly two decades under Milan-based chef Carlo Cracco.
The afternoon will provide free time to shop, relax or visit one of the city's stellar con- temporary art collections, including options such as:
The Castello di Rivoli, a cutting-edge contemporary art museum that also features great medieval, Old Master and modern paintings. The building is a former royal residence of The House of Savoy, built in 1718, but its foundations date back to 1159, which makes the museum a must-visit for art lovers and history buffs alike.
The Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, established in 1995 by major art patron Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo. The foundation supports young Italian and international artists with particular focus on commissions and the production of new work. The museum space is one of the premier destinations to view experimental con- temporary art in Torino.
And, if we cannot take it all in, let's plan for another visit to this magnificent gem of an urban landscape!
In the evening we will attend a performance at Teatro Regio, Teatro Carignano, or an- other cultural venue in this city of multiple temptations and perhaps have a late-night treat at Caffé Mulassano, an historic café in the heart of the city that will leave you with another unforgettable moment.
sunday, 14 APRIL or 15 september
After grabbing a morning pastry and a coffee at Al Bicerin, we will depart Torino by private car for Milan Malpensa and the journey home. This unique cafe, opened in 1763, is well known as a place where the most fashionable women of Torino enjoy a morning coffee after receiving communion at the Santuario della Consulata, the baroque church across the plaza.
€5720 per person based on double occupancy
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