An Italian Affair

A Fine Wine Tour from Alba to Barolo

Classically harvested from the Nebbiolo grape, Barolo is produced from eleven hill-side communities in the greater Langhe region of North-West Italy famed for producing notable wines with robust concentration. While travellers could happily get lost among the hundreds of crus - clusters of vineyards, we’ve mapped out a tour from Alba to Barolo that is sure to be memorable.

The highly-sought after Nebbiolo grape

Milan Departure Point For convenience, request that the Ferrari 458 Speciale be delivered to your Milan hotel. It is approximately 2 hours to our first stop, the cheerful city of Alba, which gives you time to enjoy the performance and effortless driving of the Ferrari 458.

A drive to Alba in the Ferrari 458 Speciale

Leave at 10am, take the A7 Autostrade and follow the directions to Alba, where travellers and gastronomes alike come from all over the world to appreciate this food haven. Arriving at 12 noon, you’ll find the main streets lined with cafes, boutiques, and bustling wine bars. The fertile soils of its surrounding terroir provide Alba with the prized white truffle, hazelnuts, apples, and game it is renowned for. Caffe Umberto Piedmontese meats and cheeses

Enjoy premium Piedmontese Head for the Caffe Umberto under the Piazza Michele Ferrero to enjoy premium cuts of meats and cheeses selected from Piedmont’s local farms, accompanied by seasonal delicacies. Wines are available in broad selection, ranging from famed Barolos to those from highly regarded local crus, or simply enjoy the selection of the day, available by the glass. All local ingredients used in cooking are on display and may be purchased. Bookings are essential, as this well admired spot becomes a mecca for tourists in the summer. Book on line Castello di GrinzaneBreathtaking view

At 1:30pm, head to our next stop Castello di Grinzane Cavour, just 9.5 kms down the winding road. Now a base for the Langhe’s most informative visitor centre, the castle was once home to the 19th Century Count of Cavour, a leading figure in Italy’s unification. You’ll find ample parking available and although the short walk to the main entrance is steep, with its daunting height and dark brick façade the Castello di Grinzane is a wonderful place to stop for photos. Climb to the top for a breathtaking view of the surrounding hillside and valleys below, take in all the regional history museum has on offer, or enjoy a sample of local wines in the enoteca. The Castello di Grinzane is closed on Tuesdays, but open from 9:30am – 6pm every other day.

The stunning surrounds of Castello di Grinzane

The Crus of Gigi RossoSample award winning winesAt 2pm, after about 30 minutes  - or whenever you’re ready, an outstanding local terroir is located just before the entrance to Barolo town.The crus of Gigi Rosso, who runs his family vineyard alongside sons Claudio and Maurizio, is located on the Alba-Barolo road in the municipality of Castiglione Falletto. Known for his traditional methods of producing Piedmontese wines, six out Gigi Rosso’s eight wines were recently awarded with the highest accolades, achieving the symbolic four grapes from the sommelier guidebook Bibenda 2017. The Barolo Arione 2012 was given an outstanding 95-point score by James Suckling, an accolade that will surely entice wine lovers visiting the region.

Tours and tastings are welcome, at a cost of 10 euro per person, including tasting of up to five wines. The cantina is open Monday – Friday from 8:30-12:30 and 2pm – 6pm, and Saturday mornings. Appointments are essential for Saturday afternoons. Book online

At 3:30pm, continue to the town centre. As you enter Barolo, there is a complimentary car park to the left. From here, all sights can be accessed easily on foot – and given the narrow streets, it is recommended. The remains of Castello Falletti, a 10th Century fortress built to protect the town against invasion, can still be seen. This area houses a museum and an enoteca. Many of the surrounding centuries-old farmhouses remain untouched. Do take plenty of photos and drink in the views.

The Marchesi di Barolo’s cellar | By Patrycja Zardo/

Marchesi di BaroloWine TourFollowing a half hour spent wandering the museum, visit the 200-year-old vineyards of Marchesi di Barolo. Set on 120 hectares, the crus have an impressive cellar holding a reserve of over 40,000 bottles of Barolo - including some dating as far back as 1859. Barolo is hailed as ‘the King of wines and the wine of Kings’ and given the numerous awards and accolades achieved, this is one of the region’s most prestigious wine producing families. Try the Gavi DOCG, given four grapes by Bibenda 2015, or the Gold Medal winning Barolo DOCG Cannubi. Guided tours, tastings, and a restaurant are all available and can be booked by emailing Locanda del PiloneMichelin star restaurant

At 5:30pm, set off to the centuries-old Locanda del Pilone farmhouse, in Madonna di Como. Savour seasonal dishes at this Michelin-starred restaurant, such as the Guinea fowl with chestnuts, porcini mushrooms and white chocolate. Request matching wines and the optional Alba white truffle, as the sun sets over the vineyards and encompassing Alps. Guest lodgings are available should MilanReturning pointyou wish to stay. Otherwise return to Milan fully content following a glorious day tasting the fine fare of this prestigious region. Book dinner online or phone ahead to reserve your table +39 0173 366 616.