21-27 may 2023
wine tour
dolce far piemonte

One day you find yourself in the valley of truffles, Valle Genza, famous throughout Italy; the other day you get to the winery where they revive the grape Baratuciat and make an amazing Cortese
By some quirk of fate I now live in a land full of wonders, in a Piedmont wilderness where discoveries lie in wait for me at every step: a Renaissance fresco in a rural church, a landscape of gently sloping hills that suddenly opens up to the white horizon of the Alps. It took me a while to find out that I live in a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I should have guessed, though.

Here you either suddenly discover a whole underground city of infernots, wine cellars carved in limestone rock, or stumble upon a vineyard of a world-famous Grignolino producer. One day you find yourself in the valley of truffles, Valle Genza, famous throughout Italy; the other day you get to the winery where they revive the Baratuciat variety and make an amazing Cortese.

I gradually expanded my routes, climbed the Alps, reached the sea, fell in love with Turin, succumbed to the paradoxical charm of Genoa. And so in my mind I have drawn an outline of a week-long wine retreat in the lost corners of Piedmont with a short trip to Liguria, from Saint Michael's Abbey to the postcard Portofino. On the way we are going to meet 12 of the best winemakers who "read" the terroirs of Monferrato and Tortona with the help of Grignolino, Barbera, Freisa, Ruché, Timorasso & Cortese. Let's leave Barolo and Barbaresco for the next retreats. This time only the hidden gems of Piedmont.
7 days
6 nights

A deep immersion in the winemaking of Monferrato and Tortona, Piedmontese gastronomy and lifestyle
12 best

The masters of Timorasso, Barbera, Freisa, Cortese, Grignolino, Ruché
€ 2 700
€ 2 350
early birds before 31.03.23
All the transfers in Italy, visits to the wineries, wine tastings and most lunches and dinners are included
21-27 May 2023
Our first point of interest lost in the middle of Monferrato degli Infernot zone is equidistant from Turin airport and Milan Malpensa, but the latter daily welcomes flights from all over the world, and I suggest meeting there. So, at 11:00 we start from Milano Malpensa and immediately plunge in Dolce far Piemonte with its walks through picturesque villages, visits to the best winemakers, Piedmontese cuisine, Piedmontese lifestyle, spa treatments at will. After a trip to Saint Michael's Abbey and Turin with its finest museums we go to Nizza Monferrato, the country of Barbera, Tortona, the country of Timorasso and Gavi, the country of Cortese. The culmination of our retreat is a boat trip along one of the most picturesque coasts in the world and lunch with frutti di mare on the Ligurian Riviera with a peaceful view over Portofino Bay.
8 reasons to go
  • 1
    twelve best wineries in Alto and Basso Monferrato, Tortona, Nizza, Gavi
  • 2
    a walk down into the infernots, the unique wine cellars of Basso Monferrato, scooped out of the limestone rock
  • 3
    climbing up to the Saint Michael's Abbey with its breathtaking views of the Alps and the Po Valle, and for some it promises to be a spiritual experience
  • 4
    tasting the best manifestations of Piedmontese varieties: Grignolino, Barbera, Ruche, Fraises, Timorasso, Cortese
  • 5
    the best of Piedmontese cuisine in a traditional and author's form, in indigenous trattorias and Michelin-starred restaurants
  • 6
    walking through the "villages", the true embodiment of an Italian myth as we see it in our northern dreams
  • 7
    giving in to the charms of Turin: the Egyptian Museum and the Accorsi - Ometto Museum of Applied Arts
  • 8
    a boat trip along one of the most picturesque coasts in the world and a lunch on the Ligurian Riviera with a peaceful view of Portofino Bay
the program
7 dolce piemonte days
Day 1
Beato Monferrato
Ozzano, Rosignano, Olivola, Ottiglio, Vignale, Camagna — these are the names of towns scattered around the ridges and peaks of the most picturesque soft hills, the source of inspiration for the Renaissance artists. A day of relaxed contemplation and walks through the UNESCO-listed wine landscape. Check-in at the spa hotel, Castello di Uviglie, quarries that go half a kilometer down the hill, Bonzano and Gaudio wineries. Dinner at the legendary restaurant I Due Buoi located in the 16th century palazzo in Olivola.
Day 2
Infernots & Michelin
Cella Monte is one of the towns underlying the myth of Italy that we cherish: a tiny place of white stone quarried right here under the hill, a town of idle talking on the trattorias' terraces, a town where each street opens to breathtaking landscapes. There we are going to see the Museum of Pietra da Cantone, stone that the sea left here 14-20 million years ago; infernots; Enoteca degli Infernot wine bar. After — kings of Grignolino and Cortese Hic et Nunc and Accornero. Dinner in Relais Sant' Uffizi, two stars Michelin.
Day 3
Turin & Sacra
All of Europe is streaked with pilgrimages. One of them is the path of the Archangel Michael, which starts from the Skellig Michael in Ireland, passes through Mont Saint Michel in France, Saint Michael's Abbey in Italy and the Symi Monastery in Greece and goes to Mount Carmel near Haifa. Let's burn all the «Michelin calories» on the stairs leading up to the Abbey. The views will be amazing. Inside is the library described in Eco's novel «The Name of the Rose». We’ll have lunch in Turin in the soulful «Monferrato» restaurant and visit museums, they are fantastic here: Museo Egizio, Museo Accorsi, Museo Civico, Museo Mauto, Museo Nazionale del Cinema.
Day 4
Ruché & Nizza
Castagnole is another beautiful town and the center of a nice tiny Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato DOCG appellation dedicated to a very unusual red variety. Ruché is aromatic! It smells like you are in a greenhouse of blooming roses, peonies and irises. Ferraris and Crivelli are the best winemakers in the area, and we are going to visit one of them. The second adventure of the day is Nizza Monferrato, a very special Barbera terroir. Olim Bauda is the best winery in the region.
Day 5
Tortona & Gavi
The second meeting with Eco, now with his novel "Baudolino". Once the wine industry of the Tortona Hills trudged along and the Timorasso variety practically disappeared. It was not even listed in the register of Italian varieties when the young eccentric Walter Massa believed in it with all his heart. Thirty years later Dertona is a booming wine region, Timorasso is one of Italy's great white varieties. The winemakers of Barolo and Barbaresco seek to snatch a vineyard in this area. We are going to visit Wigneti Massa and La Colombera by Elisa Semino. After lunch we are driving to Gavi, another white pearl of Piedmont. The program includes the legendary winery La Scolca and dinner at Cantine del Gavi.
Day 6
Genoa & Portofino
I am very fond of the sea. This is the only thing that is absent in Piedmont surrounded by the Alps and the Apennines. But actually the sea is within easy reach and nothing keeps us from going out to Liguria. After a short tour of Genoa we are going to sit in a boat and sail along one of the most picturesque coasts of Italy, we will reach Portofino and meditate overlooking the Ligurian Riviera.
Day 7
Morning in Gavi
You are going to be grateful to yourself to no end if your flight is not too early. Our hotel is less than two hours from Malpensa Airport, we are sure to reach it in the twinkling of an eye, but think about how great it will be to sleep in and have a quiet breakfast. Find a flight with a departure after 14:00 and preferably after 15:00.
2 700* у.е.
2 350* у.е.
early birds before 31.03.23

2 700* у.е.
after 31.03.23
* All the transfers in Italy, visits to the wineries, wine tastings and most lunches and dinners are included. Visa and flights are not included.
Supplement of 350 euros will be added for single accommodation
you may need pocket money of 200 euros or more depending on your appetites
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