Saturday, 13 September 2014

Visiting the King of Wine

After a rather short journey of around 3 hours from Bardi, we arrived in the vineyard of Rizieri, set in a beautiful area of Piedmonte.
Rizieri is a relatively new vineyard, developed and owned by Barbara and Arturo. The couple decided they wanted to change their career path and develop a project for life and what an amazing job they have done so far.
There are 4 rooms in the barn of the vineyard which allow guests to soak up the surroundings of thie beautiful vineyards and oak trees.

Barbera is always so bubbly and happy. She is a perfectionist and it shows with the gorgeous furnishing of her house. Nothing is too much trouble for her.
Both Barbera and Arturo are wonderful hosts and have a delightful family. 

Barbera and Arturo were ever so helpful with everything, providing a 5 page list of their favourite restaurants from Michellin star to Trattorias to Osterias.

After discussing the food that we love in Italy, their first choice was a restaurant about 5 minutes away from the vineyard in the very small village of Montelupo Albese called Trattoria "In Piazza".

The owner, Manuela, welcomed us in to her restaurant speaking excellent English. 
She thoroughly explained every item on the menu with so much passion we wanted them all.
For the antipasti we choose a trio of the starter choices, which allowed us to sample a selection of the starters.
The first was thinly slices of veal accompanied by a famous piedmonte tuna, mayernase and caper sauce.
This sauce is incerdiable with the tender veal!

The second starter was chicken pieces marinated in a rabbit sauce served with fennel and a salad.

The third starter was caramelised onions and a sweet roasted tomato served with a sweet raspberry sauce.

For the primi course we both choose Tajarin with ragu. Tajarin pasta is typical of the Piedmonte area. It's like tagliatelle pasta but very much thinner.

For the secondi, dad choose braised veal in Barolo wine and I choose a rabbit dish called Congilio "dus e brusc" typical of Piedmonte. I think it has to be the best rabbit I've tasted. It was so tender and the sauce - A-mazing!

At this point dad was very full and so was I. But I couldn't resist the homemade dessert. I choose "the glass" which has a base of a strawberry compote topped with pana cotta cream and fresh fruit of the forest.

The following morning we woke up to Barbera's wonderful breakfast! 

Barbera gave us lots of advise on places that might be of interest for us to visit. First we visited Barolo - home to the king of wine. In the castle of Barolo there is the Barolo Wine Museum. 

Each floor told you the history and development from the grape seed to the manufacturing of wine.

In the late afternoon, we had a wine tasting at Rizieri. We sampled different maturities of their wines; 
Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba,
Barbera D'Alba,
Nebbiolo D'Alba,

Our favourites were the Dolcetto and Barolo.
The Dolcetto was lovely, summery and bursting with blackberry jam flavours. 
The Barolo was full bodied with soft tannis and on the nose with hints of spice and rich cherries.

After our wine tasting, Arturo kindly gave us a tour of their vineyards and answered many questions which we had developed over the years.

One of my favourite photographs from the holiday! 

In the evening we were recommended by Barbera and Arturo a little restaurant 15 mins away from the vineyard called La Coccinella - which means Ladybird.

We were lucky to dine at this restaurant on a Wednesday, as the owners had freshly picked up fish from Scilly, only hours before we arrived.

For primi course we choose tagliatelle with beans, zucchini and a mix of fresh fish including monkfish, prawns and baby squid. It was gorgeously fresh and full of flavour!

To accompany the fish dishes tonight we were told by Arturo that he likes to pair the Nebbiolo D'Alba grape with fish. We were fascinated by this red wine pairing with fish so we had to try it. 
One of the two brothers that own the restaurant recommended a very good light Nebbiolo D'Alba wine that would be pair perfectly with our dinner choices.

For the secondi course we both choose a cod fillet with an olive sauce served with zucchinis. The cod was cooked perfectly! It melted in your mouth!

For dessert we both choose fresh blueberries with goats milk ice cream.

We were kindly given a little plate of sweets to try!

The following day was our last day in Italy so we tried to make the most of it.
We travelled south of Alba to Dogliani to an old vineyard to sample their Barbera D'Alba, which we had drank with our food in Trattoria "In Piazza".

We then travelled North to Barberesco, Barolos younger daughter.

We stopped at a little town called La Morra, North of Barolo.

For dinner we returned to Trattoria "In Piazza".

As we visited Barberesco today we thought that it would be nice to sample the wine of the town. We picked a local Barberesco of Alba. It was structured but without the strong tannis of Barolo.

For the starter we choose our favourite from the first night, slices of veal with the typical piedmonte tuna sauce.

For the primi we choose our favourite, Tajarin with ragu.

For the secondi we both choose the rabbit dish with the amazing sauce! 

For dessert, dad had the pana cotta in the glass, which I had the first night. Tonight I choose an amaretti
T biscuit base topped with white chocolate caramelised served with peaches.

A lovely meal to end our last night in Italy!
Thank you to all our lovely Italian friends we've meet along the way. It has been a real pleasure visiting your county, and we hope to return again next year.

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