The name Piemonte comes from the Latin “ad pedem montium,” which means at the foot of the mountains. Located in the heart of Italy’s northern wine country, this noble family of wine makers have been scaling the heights of vinicultural excellence for more than a century and a half. Reach new heights of learning and enjoyment, with a leading wine expert and our Chefs in one of Italy’s most important vinicultures.
Food & Wine Of Piemonte
Your host is one of the oldest wine makers in Piemonte, a family that combined techniques learned in the French winemaking regions of Burgundy and Alsace and with a respect for the traditional grapes, including Barbera and Nebbiolo and terroir of Monferrato, the surrounding region. The combination put this vineyard in the vanguard of the Italian wine renaissance of the 1970s that championed quality over quantity.
Today they produce several styles of Barbera d’Asti that range from refreshing with notes of cherry, raspberry and blueberry to more intense flavors of blackberry and black cherry. They also use the Barbera grape for a Monferrato Rosso, which renowned for its smooth earthiness and versatility in pairing with food. They also works wonders with Nebbiolo, sometimes referred to as the king of Italian red grapes, in a Nebbiolo d’Alba, with strong tannins, an elegant, fragrant Barolo and a traditional and well-balanced.
To help bring out the best in their wines and create an unforgettable Piemontese experience, the winery has partnered with Chef Nino, the owner and third-generation culinary master behind one of the oldest family restaurants in Acqui Terme, and Chef Carla, the Aunt of the winery owners.
In Nino and Carla’s kitchen, you’ll learn the secrets of regional dishes like Agnolotti Monferrato, a round ravioli stuffed with a filling made from cabbage, fresh vegetables, herbs, and variety of meats such as veal, rabbit, sausage paste and pork capocollo. You’ll also learn to prepare a special cannelloni from Chef Nino’s decades-old family recipe or Tajarin al ragù, traditional Piemontese egg noodles with a sauce made from minced beef, sausage, pan juices and herbs. For dessert, a variety of soft custards come together in “pipi,” a regional favorite.
A flower-ringed fountain greets you as you pull approach your classic countryside villa, which is lovely both inside and out. Spacious rooms with modern furnishings and luxurious white linens complement the timeless style of the inn and manicured gardens graced by fragrant flowers and fruit trees. Amenities including free wifi, flat screen televisions, exercise equipment and a magnificent pool.
Take a refreshing dip in the pool or travel a short distance to the famous natural spa in nearby Acqua Termi. Housed is a historic building that once belonged to the Savoy family are two natural pools of water imbued with the curative powers of sulphur, bromine and iodine. The thermal springs and mud baths will transport you to times of the ancient Romans who founded the city. The villa is also located an easy travelling distance from other sights, experiences and historic villages including the wine-producing meccas of Asti, Alba, Barbaresco and Barolo.
Exploring Piemonte, Montferrat and Italy’s Northern Wine Country
Monteferrat is not only one of the most important winicultural districts of Italy, it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to a fabulous literary tradition, which includes poet Vittoria Alfieri and best-selling historical novelist Umberto Eco.
But let’s face it, wine and food are why you’re here. Arrive at the Villa on Day One and take a refreshing dip in the pool, or head to nearby Acqui Terme to take in the healing waters of the natural hot springs that have attracted visitors since the days of the Roman Empire. Refreshed and rejuvenated, the evening features a welcome dinner in a traditional local restaurant, with regional favorite dishes paired with specially-selected vintages from the winery.
Day Two begins with an early wake up call and a satisfying Italian breakfast, then it’s off to one of several regional open air markets, where you’ll shop for the produce for your late morning cooking lesson. In the kitchen with Chefs Nino and Carla you’ll learn explore Piemontese cooking and culture and then enjoy the bounty of your labors over lunch and more hand-selected wine. In the afternoon there are a number of exploration options, including truffle hunting with local truffle tracker and his dog, a visit to a traditional dairy farm and cheese producer, or a guided walking tour of the local forests and vineyards. (**Activities available depend on the season.) In the evening, enjoy a farmhouse dinner, wine included.
Wine, wine, wine is the theme of Day Three. After breakfast, it’s off to the winery for a tour, a light lunch, and an unforgettable tasting session in the old cellar. In the afternoon, it’s back into the kitchen for cooking class number two, unlocking even more secrets of Piemonte’s signature cuisine. Dinner on your own. Suggestions available on request. On Day Four, spend the morning sightseeing and shopping in Acqui Terme, Nizza Monferrato, Asti and the surrounding area before heading home with a heart full of wonderful experiences and a head full of newfound wine and food expertise.
Itinerary ~ 4 Days, 3 Nights
Check in and start your program on any day of the week
Day One: Wine Tasting Dinner
- Arrival and check in. Have a swim in the outdoor pool (during summer) or the fabulous natural geothermal spa at nearby Lago delle Sorgenti.
- In the evening, enjoy a fabulous pairings dinner with a special selection of vintages and traditional Piemontese dishes.
Day Two: Cooking Class 1
- Traditional Italian breakfast.
- Head out early for market day, shopping for fresh local ingredients in one of several regional open air markets.
- At midmorning, it’s into the kitchen to learn to prepare traditional Piemontese dishes, then relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor for a bountiful lunch.
- In the afternoon, taken a guided walking tour in the local forests and vineyards, go truffle hunting (in season) with expert hunter and his dog, or tour a local farm that produces artisan cheeses.
- Farmhouse dinner, wine included.
Day Three: Winery Tour
- Wake up, breakfast is served.
- Visit the winery for a tour and then a light lunch and an unforgettable wine tasting in the Old Cellar.
- You are free in the afternoon to laze by the pool or do more exploring.
- Free for dinner. Suggestions available on request.
Day Four: Breakfast and farewell
- Wake up, breakfast is served.
- Spend the morning relaxing or do some last minute shopping in AcquiTerme, Nizza Moferrato or the surrounding area.
- Check out & arrivederci!
- 4 days, 3 nights accommodations, based on double occupancy. Alternate accommodations available for larger families and groups in apartment-style villa also in the area.
- Daily breakfast.
- 2 dinners with inspired wine pairings.
- 1 hands-on cooking lesson with Chefs Nino & Carla with lunch following.
- Local market tour.
- 1 admission to the Lago delle Sorgenti spa, (sauna, steam bath, natural thermal pools, slippers and bathrobe included).
- 1 afternoon guided walking adventure (truffle hunting, cheese farm tour**activity varies depending on season).
- Complimentary parking.
- Use of the villa swimming pool, fitness equipment center and Wi-Fi Internet.
- All transfers for all activities.
$2,395 per person, based on double occupancy in historic country inn.
Single Supplement: please call us for single pricing and we will do our best to fit you in with a group to ensure you receive the best possible single rate.
Add On: Extra Cooking Class
If you are keen to spend extra time in the kitchen, you can add on an additional Cooking Class with Chefs Nino & Carla. Along with your Chefs, create a full local menu. Perfect the art of fresh pasta making and make accompanying seasonal sauces; turn you hand to another delicious, hearty main dish; and be sure to save space for a final sweet bite. Toast of local wine included.
$150 per person, based two people cooking. **This is a special price available only for those following the above program.