Piedmont and Franciacorta, Italy, with Chad Melville and Heathen Wine Tours
May 8-14, 2022
Sunday, May 8th. Pick up and drop off will be from the Milan-Malpensa airport. Our private bus driver will pick us up Sunday, May 8th at 1:30PM to head to Franciacorta. After check-in at our home for the next 3 days, the fantastic 4 star resort Le Quattro Terre, we will have a private tour of the property and wine cellar, followed by dinner at their award winning restaurant. Chad will host a reception of Melville sparkling wine, before dinner at the farmhouse.
Monday, May 9th Morning starts with a delicious, traditional European breakfast featuring local breads, eggs, cheese, charcuterie, fruits, juices, coffee and yogurt all served in the 18th century farmhouse. Our first stop this morning will be to Lake Iseo for a boat ride to visit the scenic mountains and shores of this historic place. After our boat ride we’ll head to shore for a light lunch, and a bit of shopping before heading to the world renown Ca del Bosco winery. Here we will tour the cellar, taste their amazing sparkling and still wines and meet with the winemaking team. The winery is also known for their world class art collection, so art enthusiasts get ready. That evening we’ll head to a local village for free time and dinner on your own before returning to Le Quattro Terre.
Tuesday, May 10th starts with another great breakfast at the farmhouse. But don’t get too full, as we are heading to meet our favorite local Chef. We’ll participate in a cooking class where we’ll to learn to make local specialties and prepare our own lunch paired with Melville Wines. Chad will walk us through pairing his wines with great northern Italian cuisine. That afternoon, we are in for a huge treat as we will head to Arcani & Danesi to taste with the owners in their vineyards overlooking the valley. We’ll also be greeted with a very special surprise (another Lombardy wine legend) who will share their red wines. After an afternoon of laughs, great wine and world class scenery, we will head to a favorite local restaurant to enjoy Arcani & Danesi wines with our local fare. Of course, we end the evening with a return to Le Quattro Terre for our last evening before departing to Piedmont.
Wednesday, May 11th after another fantastic breakfast we check out and head South to Piedmont. No one likes a bus ride without something to break up the drive. So what better way to break up the trip than the best Pinot Noir in the region? A cellar tour and lunch in the vineyards with Ms. Valeria Radicici, owner of Frecciarossa Winery. After a short ride we’ll arrive in the scenic vineyards of Barolo to our home for the next 3 days. The most storied winery in the region, Fontanafredda. Founded by the first King of Italy in 1858 and the property houses guest rooms, restaurants, wineries all in its own village. After a tour of the historic property, we’ll head to the cellar for a tasting, followed by a traditional dinner in their signature restaurant.
Thursday, May 12th starts the morning with local Piedmont breakfast in the Fontanafredda village. After, we head to our friends Vietti Winery in Castiglione Falleto for a tasting and tour of some of the most revered wine caves in the world. We’ll meet with winemaker Mr. Luca Vietti to learn about his families story, the grape Nebbiolo and the importance of vineyard and region to his wines. Following a short walk in the village we’ll lunch overlooking the vineyards at one of the best osteria’s in the region, with their fresh take on local cuisine. That afternoon we head to Borgogno, the oldest winery in the region to taste current and older releases with their cellar team. These underground cellars date back to 1761 and will give you a true meaning of the grandeur of aged Barolo. That evening we head to the village of Alba where you’ll have time to see the local sites, shop and grab dinner and drinks on your own.
Friday, May 13th begins with our favorite local breakfast in the resort village. Our first outing is off to hunt truffles with a local guide and his fungi loving dogs. Through the forest we will hunt for some of the most rare, prestigious mushroom glory in all the land, truffles. We will enjoy the truffles with our lunch at Familia Marrone in Barolo. Our friend, and all around awesome lady Ms. Denise Marrone is 4th generation proprietor, and one of 4 sisters who run the winery, restaurant and cooking school. After enjoying a 4 course lunch with Marrone, we’ll head to Barbaresco and meet with the Gresy family at Marchesi di Gresy. Here we’ll tour the vineyards and cellars to get a different look of Nebbiolo grown in a completely different climate than Barolo. Following our afternoon we’ll head to our final dinner in Piedmont, all paired with wines from our host, Chad Melville and Melville Vineyards.
Saturday, May 14th doesn’t have to be a sad day. We’ll finish with one more great breakfast in the village. The group will depart for a 2 hour voyage to the Milan-Malpensa airport. Here we’ll say our goodbyes to our new best friends by noon.
Click to book this tour at Heathen Wine Tours.