Thursday, 1 August 2013

Our Second stop.. Asti

We had the most amazing two night stay at cinque camini which is just outside Alba by Asti (yes the champagne region). 
The view from the balcony:

As soon as we arrived from our six hour drive from Djon, we were greeted with open arms by Mirco in the galleria. Where we shown a selection of local produce, from wines to hazelnuts to his own production of honey and preservatives. We were given lots of helpful advice on the local produce and on places too visit in the area, such as wine vineyards, castles, the best picturesque places and little towns like Alba. All of which Mirco gave us maps for and even made a small itinerary of the places that we should visit around the area. Which was extremely invaluable as we wanted to experience the true culture of the region. 
The galleria:

We choose to dine in cinque camini on both nights of our stay, where we had the chance to sample traditional local cuisine of the Piedmont area, from appetisers of fresh meats and mini parchment parcels filled with local cheese wrapped in bacon and cooked in the fire, to the many delicious pasta dishes, to the mains of rabbit and beef cooked in the local Barba wine sauce (my personal favourite), to desserts of a homemade ice cream with hazelnuts and drizzled in Mirco's own hazelnut honey. All the food was divine and out of this world. The tagliatelle and ravioli pasta was so fresh and incredible, as Mirco himself had only prepared it earlier on that morning. Mirco is an incredible host, and treated us like royalty throughout our whole stay. 
The restaurant:

Our rooms were airy and fresh, with a lovely memory foam mattress, and spectacular views across the valley from the large balcony. We honesty couldn't have asked for a better host and accommodation. We were really sad to leave, but will in doubt be returning.

On our second day here we went on to visit Contratto, a vine cellar, which was recommended to us by Mirco.
We were shown around all of the spectacular wine cellars which are built deep into the rock, including the production line, where Peter our Australian tour guide told us about the interesting history of the place and how they specifically make each different type of wine and how they carefully mature the wine for around four years. The wine cellars hold a total of a million maturing bottles of wines stacked sky high, surrounded by beautiful architectural arches. It was incredible and breath taking. At the end of the tour we had the chance to sample a few of their wines :) Our favourites were the sparkling white wine 'Extra Brut Millesimato 2009 and their red wine 'Barbera D'asti 2009 ca' di pian. This tour is definitely a must do for people visiting the region who love wine!

We also drove around the area of Barba and the many villages surrounding it, to take some photographs (all of which are on the canon 1DX)

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