Small group tour Wine tour of Piemonte Italy

4 nights/5 days

Barolo • Alba • Cherasco • Barbaresco • Bra

This is a 4-night wine tour of Piemonte for up to 14 people accompanied by an experienced wine and food expert, discovering the land and the variety of the wines of Piemonte, including the renowned Barolo and Barbaresco.
Holiday price guide

Available on selected dates, as specified below, from £2,960 per person.

Luxury wine tour of Piemonte for small groups of up to 14 people

A tour of the Piemonte (Piedmont) region of north-west Italy, once part of the kingdom of Savoy and at the forefront of Italian unification in the mid 19th Century, is a fascinating and amazing journey into an attractive landscape that bursts with distinctive flavours of its produce, from wine to hazelnuts, from chestnuts to truffles, from cheese to breadsticks. Whilst the food products merit a visit in their own right, it is the allure of the great wines of the region that attracts many and it is this that is the focus of our 4 night wine appreciation tour. Barolo and Barbaresco, two of the most revered red wines in the world, hail from the heartland of this region, both produced from the ‘Holy Grail’ variety of Nebbiolo grape (named after the morning mists that hover atmospherically over the vines here during harvest time). In addition to these, there are other high quality wines to tempt your palate including Barbera, Dolcetto and Moscato. One of the most appealing and fascinating aspects of the wines of Piemonte is their variety and how this exists within a very small geographic area, with small, individual differences from how the producer decides to vinify, whether more traditional or modernist, the influence of the climate and soil when the vineyards are at slightly different altitudes and facing different directions. The estates we visit in this tour will demonstrate how many factors contribute to the subtle difference in the wines, from multiple award winning, small boutique family-run wineries, through to one of Italy’s leading wine co-operatives. The tastings we include will show you a range of wines including some of the Reserve and Cru wines as well as the intriguing Barbera, the early ripening Dolcetto, considered less complex and easy drinking and Freisa and Grignolino. It is not only these classic red wines that are produced in Piemonte but Arneis is a herby white with notes of almonds, the classic Gavi di Gavi, Timorasso with its peach and apricot notes and of course the frothy Moscato d’Asti, a wine that actually smells of grapes but also elderflower and with its fizz and naturally low alcohol is the ideal wine to liven your palate at the end of a meal. Quite rightly as befits any exploration of Piemonte, home to the Slow Food movement, we will also be introducing you to local produce with a chocolate tasting and a visit to a local cheese producer as well as providing you with Piemontese specialities at included lunches and dinners.

Highlights

Barolo • Visit G D Vajara • Alba • Cherasco • Barbaresco • Visit Sottimano • Visit Giolito cheese producer • Bra • Visit Castle of Grinzane Cavour • Visit Marchesi d’Alfieri estate

Day by day

You depart from London Heathrow at 11.45 hrs on the BA562 arriving in Milan Linate at 14.45 hrs. There you will meet Cindy-Marie Harvey, your tour guide, for your onward coach transfer (journey time is about 2 hrs and 40 minutes) to your hotel in Piemonte. This evening you will dine together at the hotel in their Michelin-starred gourmet restaurant, enjoying a 4-course menu. Cindy-Marie will pair the menu with a selection of wine as an introduction to the principal wines of the region, chosen from the hotel’s cellar, housed in a deconsecrated chapel in the courtyard.

After breakfast, you travel through the rolling hills of the Langhe, covered with their famous vines, towards the vineyards of the Barolo classification. Known as the ‘King of wines’, Barolo has a world-wide reputation for having great depth and complexity, with aromas of roses and tar. Our first stop is at the family-run, multiple award-winning wine estate of G D Vajra where you discover what makes these wines so different in style according to where their vineyards are situated. The Nebbiolo grape that produces Barolo can be compared to the Pinot Noir of Burgundy in its combination of fickleness and divine qualities. Barolo is produced only from a handful of villages and you continue through the Barolo heartland to your next visit at Cordero di Montezemolo. The estate is easily recognisable by the ancient Lebanese cedar tree that overlooks their vineyard. We then continue to lunch at a local Osteria with views over the vineyards for relaxed lunch paired with wine. After lunch you drive to the small hilltop town of Cherasco, famous for two things – snails and chocolates. There will be time for a stroll before a chocolate tasting at one of the most traditional producers, which will include some inventive flavours as well as the famous Baci di Cherasco, or ‘Cherasco kisses’ made from chocolate with local hazelnuts. Back at the hotel in the evening there is a light supper of local salami and cheeses, bread and grissini and local hazelnuts accompanied by a selection of three local wines, perhaps a Roero Arneis, a Barbera d’Alba and a Langhe Nebbiolo.

Today after breakfast, it is just a short drive to our first visit of the Barbaresco day. The vineyards of Barbaresco are less than 25 kms from those of Barolo, they take up about a third of the land of Barolo vineyards and are very different in style. Barbaresco is often seen as the more feminine side of Nebbiolo, with a seductive aroma of violets, roses and cherries. Your first visit is to the Produttori di Barbaresco, a leading example of how to be a co-operative producing quality rather than quantity. Their wines have won numerous awards and show the attention to detail in the vineyards owned by their 50 plus members in some of the best Barbaresco Crus including Ovello, Montestefano and Pajé. You will taste some of their wines at their cellars in the heart of the village of Barbaresco. Then you continue to another of the three villages that come under Barbaresco classification, Neive, for our next tasting at leading Barbaresco producer, Sottimano. Their wines display the classic notes of cedar, tar, roses and a hint of chocolate as you discover during our tasting, before we continue for lunch at a local Osteria that features typical Piemontese specialities. After lunch you return to the hotel for some free time before venturing out late afternoon for Alba, the main town of the Langhe, whose narrow streets are lined with a cornucopia of shops, selling of course wine but also many gastronomic delights to take home such as salami made with Barolo or tuma cheese marinated in truffles and olive oil. There is time to explore for a while before meeting again for dinner at one of the Slow Food’s restaurants, where you will enjoy a selection of wines to go with dinner, possibly starting with the local Agnolotti del Plin, silky parcels of stuffed pasta served with butter and sage. You return to the hotel after dinner.

This morning after breakfast, you head towards the town of Bra, where the admirable Slow Food Association was started and where its headquarters remain. Here we visit a renowned name in the world of Piemontese cheese – Giolito. Started at the beginning of the 20th century, the company is still family-run. From their premises in Bra, they source some of the most fascinating cheeses from the region, and are specialists in ageing cheese to prime eating time. This morning, we enjoy a tasting of a range of wonderful regional cheeses at their premises. Lunch is not included today, but there is a choice of cafes and restaurants in the historical centre of Bra. You then return to the hotel for a rest and time to freshen up before you depart in the evening for a visit to one of the most imposing castles of the region at Grinzane Cavour. This castle was home to the Count of Cavour, a prime minister of Piedmont who was instrumental in the process of the unification of Italy, becoming Prime Minister of Italy for a very brief period. You visit the castle with its displays relating to the history of food and wine in the region and then enjoy an aperitif in the cellars of the castle, now the regional Enoteca before dining at the restaurant inside the castle. You return to the hotel after dinner.

Check-out of the hotel after breakfast, and head to your final wine tasting at the estate of Marchesi d’Alfieri, who have been making wine since 1696. This is an estate immersed in the history of the region and its wine-making, situated in the hills between Alba and Asti. They are respected for their wide range of Barbera but they also make Grignolino, another indigenous variety, a lighter red, often drunk young with tones of cherry. You discover the appeal of their wines over lunch before your onward journey to Milan Linate for the BA569 departing at 18.45 hrs and arriving at 19.50 hrs.

Superb holiday. Our guide was excellent. Hotel was superb.
Mr L, May 2018

From about 25 October 2020 £2,960 per person

Holiday Code SGWT02

Luxury wine tour of Piemonte for small groups of up to 14 people

You depart from London Heathrow at 11.45 hrs on the BA562 arriving in Milan Linate at 14.45 hrs. There you will meet Cindy-Marie Harvey, your tour guide, for your onward coach transfer (journey time is about 2 hrs and 40 minutes) to your hotel in Piemonte. This evening you will dine together at the hotel in their Michelin-starred gourmet restaurant, enjoying a 4-course menu. Cindy-Marie will pair the menu with a selection of wine as an introduction to the principal wines of the region, chosen from the hotel’s cellar, housed in a deconsecrated chapel in the courtyard.

After breakfast, you travel through the rolling hills of the Langhe, covered with their famous vines, towards the vineyards of the Barolo classification. Known as the ‘King of wines’, Barolo has a world-wide reputation for having great depth and complexity, with aromas of roses and tar. Our first stop is at the family-run, multiple award-winning wine estate of G D Vajra where you discover what makes these wines so different in style according to where their vineyards are situated. The Nebbiolo grape that produces Barolo can be compared to the Pinot Noir of Burgundy in its combination of fickleness and divine qualities. Barolo is produced only from a handful of villages and you continue through the Barolo heartland to your next visit at Cordero di Montezemolo. The estate is easily recognisable by the ancient Lebanese cedar tree that overlooks their vineyard. We then continue to lunch at a local Osteria with views over the vineyards for relaxed lunch paired with wine. After lunch you drive to the small hilltop town of Cherasco, famous for two things – snails and chocolates. There will be time for a stroll before a chocolate tasting at one of the most traditional producers, which will include some inventive flavours as well as the famous Baci di Cherasco, or ‘Cherasco kisses’ made from chocolate with local hazelnuts. Back at the hotel in the evening there is a light supper of local salami and cheeses, bread and grissini and local hazelnuts accompanied by a selection of three local wines, perhaps a Roero Arneis, a Barbera d’Alba and a Langhe Nebbiolo.

Today after breakfast, it is just a short drive to our first visit of the Barbaresco day. The vineyards of Barbaresco are less than 25 kms from those of Barolo, they take up about a third of the land of Barolo vineyards and are very different in style. Barbaresco is often seen as the more feminine side of Nebbiolo, with a seductive aroma of violets, roses and cherries. Your first visit is to the Produttori di Barbaresco, a leading example of how to be a co-operative producing quality rather than quantity. Their wines have won numerous awards and show the attention to detail in the vineyards owned by their 50 plus members in some of the best Barbaresco Crus including Ovello, Montestefano and Pajé. You will taste some of their wines at their cellars in the heart of the village of Barbaresco. Then you continue to another of the three villages that come under Barbaresco classification, Neive, for our next tasting at leading Barbaresco producer, Sottimano. Their wines display the classic notes of cedar, tar, roses and a hint of chocolate as you discover during our tasting, before we continue for lunch at a local Osteria that features typical Piemontese specialities. After lunch you return to the hotel for some free time before venturing out late afternoon for Alba, the main town of the Langhe, whose narrow streets are lined with a cornucopia of shops, selling of course wine but also many gastronomic delights to take home such as salami made with Barolo or tuma cheese marinated in truffles and olive oil. There is time to explore for a while before meeting again for dinner at one of the Slow Food’s restaurants, where you will enjoy a selection of wines to go with dinner, possibly starting with the local Agnolotti del Plin, silky parcels of stuffed pasta served with butter and sage. You return to the hotel after dinner.

This morning after breakfast, you head towards the town of Bra, where the admirable Slow Food Association was started and where its headquarters remain. Here we visit a renowned name in the world of Piemontese cheese – Giolito. Started at the beginning of the 20th century, the company is still family-run. From their premises in Bra, they source some of the most fascinating cheeses from the region, and are specialists in ageing cheese to prime eating time. This morning, we enjoy a tasting of a range of wonderful regional cheeses at their premises. Lunch is not included today, but there is a choice of cafes and restaurants in the historical centre of Bra. You then return to the hotel for a rest and time to freshen up before you depart in the evening for a visit to one of the most imposing castles of the region at Grinzane Cavour. This castle was home to the Count of Cavour, a prime minister of Piedmont who was instrumental in the process of the unification of Italy, becoming Prime Minister of Italy for a very brief period. You visit the castle with its displays relating to the history of food and wine in the region and then enjoy an aperitif in the cellars of the castle, now the regional Enoteca before dining at the restaurant inside the castle. You return to the hotel after dinner.

Check-out of the hotel after breakfast, and head to your final wine tasting at the estate of Marchesi d’Alfieri, who have been making wine since 1696. This is an estate immersed in the history of the region and its wine-making, situated in the hills between Alba and Asti. They are respected for their wide range of Barbera but they also make Grignolino, another indigenous variety, a lighter red, often drunk young with tones of cherry. You discover the appeal of their wines over lunch before your onward journey to Milan Linate for the BA569 departing at 18.45 hrs and arriving at 19.50 hrs.

From about 25 October 2020 £2,960 per person

Holiday Code SGWT02

Our prices include ● Scheduled flights with British Airways London Heathrow return, Euro traveller. Club upgrade available on request at a supplement.
● Transport from Turin airport in a small luxury coach for a maximum of 14 people, with one piece of luggage per person.
● English-speaking tour guide with knowledge of the wine and food of Piemonte.
● Four nights’ bed and buffet breakfast in superior double or twin rooms at the Relais Villa d’Amelia.
● One 4-course dinner at the Villa d’Amelia on day 1 in the gourmet restaurant with wine
● One simple supper at the Villa d’Amelia on day 2 in the gourmet restaurant with wine
● Other meals included as follows: Lunch with wine on day 2, lunch with wine on day 3, dinner with wine in Alba on day 3, dinner with wine on day 4, lunch with wine on day 5.
● Entrances and wine tastings as mentioned in the itinerary
● Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints

Our prices do not include ● Early check-in or late check-out at any hotels (although we can arrange this on request at additional cost)
● Any other services not mentioned above, such as transfers and meals not mentioned
● Personal holiday insurance. This is essential and cover should be in place from when you book the holiday.
● Local tourist tax, usually between Euros 1 and 3 per person per night, and payable locally to the hotel

Luxury wine tour of Piemonte for small groups of up to 14 people

Expressions Holidays includes these hotels in this small group touring holiday.
Hotels included in this tour
Relais Villa d'Amelia

Relais Villa d'Amelia is a 4-star property in a beautiful countryside location. Michelin-starred cuisine, excellent spa and wellness facilities and immaculate gardens afford guests a truly relaxing and restorative retreat.

Superior double room

From about 25 October 2020 £2,960 per person

Holiday Code SGWT02

Luxury wine tour of Piemonte for small groups of up to 14 people

About Piemonte

An Expressions tailor-made holiday to Piemonte beckons lovers of wine and food, art and architecture and dramatic, natural but also gloriously cultivated landscapes. Piemonte is essentially a country region of alpine peaks in the north, flat rice-producing river valleys further south, rolling vineyards with attractive villages, forested hills dotted with mediaeval castles and almost at its centre the city of Turin, known throughout the world as a great industrial centre but in fact, outstandingly rich in architectural gems, both modern and in particular Baroque. North of Turin is the Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso, with miles of unspoiled natural scenery of mountain peaks and meadows, of rare wildlife and flowers. The splendid palaces, parks and hunting lodges of the Princes of Savoy can be visited in the countryside near Turin on your holiday. Our Piemonte hotels are situated in the remarkable wine-producing regions of the Langhe and Asti, renowned for their beautiful scenery, magnificent wines and fine gastronomy.

Highlights of Piemonte

Turin, the regional capital, is a fascinating city of Baroque architecture and famous for its association with Fiat cars. Visit the car museum, the Mole Antonelli for a panoramic view. Visit some of the beautiful 18th Century House of Savoy palaces, many built by Filippo Juvarra, including Rivoli, Venaria Reale and Mandria. North of Turin is the subalpine region of Canavese with numerous castles many of which have been opened to the public very recently such as the Castello di Masino, now carefully restored. Lace is produced in the Valsesia. Alba is the centre of the white truffle and of course the local wines (Barolo, Barbera etc) should be tasted and purchased. Cuneo holds a market in the Piazza Galimberti every Tuesday.

Cultural highlights of Piemonte

Turin is laden with architectural treasures including the Palazzo Madama by Filippo Juvarra (now home to the Museo Civico d`Arte Antica which contains the 15th Century Portrait of an Unknown Man by Antonello da Messina), Guarini`s Palazzo Carignano, the Baroque buildings of the Piazza San Carlo.In Cuneo is the 18th Century Church of Santa Croce with a concave facade by Francesco Gallo. Vercelli had a school of art and its masterpieces can be seen in the Museo Civico Borgogna and in the Chuch of San Cristoforo are to be found frescoes and a 16th Century Madonna painted by Gaudenzio Ferrari. In the Palazzo Comunale of Alba is a painting of the Madonna and Child by the 16th Century artist Macrino d`Alba.The finest Romanesque buildings in Piemonte are to be found at the Abbey of Vezzolano at Albugnano.

Festivals in Piemonte

Many are linked to food and wine in this region. Asti holds an annual horse race in the Piazza del Campo del Palio, accompanied by mediaeval pageantry and coinciding with a local wine fair in September.

Gastronomy in Piemonte

Cuneo holds a cheese fair in November. Ivrea is famous for its Carnival celebrations including a Battle of Oranges. The region is renowed for its gastronomy and wine. Beef, cheese, butter, red wine, rice and truffles (particularly the white truffes of Alba) are all basic ingredients. Specialities include Manzo al Barolo (beef in red wine and garlic), Fonduta (hot dip of fontina cheese, milk, eggs, truffles and pepper), Bagna cauda (hot spicy sauce with garlic and anchovies), The wines of the region include Barolo, Barbaresco, Dolcetto.

Other holidays you might be interested in...