Dan and my families’ Italian Thanksgiving trip last year started in Piedmont for the Alba International White Truffle Festival. The town of Alba also happens to be right in the middle of the world famous Barolo wine region. So, while in the area, we took a day to explore the Barolo countryside and try some of its well regarded and pricey wines.
STOP 1 – BAROLO TOWN.
We left our hotel in Alba at 9:00 AM to start our Barolo tour. It was unfortunately raining, but we made it to the, very, very hilly and twisty Barolo countryside pretty quick without any issues. People with carsickness beware. The first stop of the day was in the town of Barolo, which is an adorable little wine village that reminded me of a fairy tale city. The rain luckily stopped for a few minutes and we were able to walk around the town.
While we did not have time to go inside Barolo Castle or visit its wine museum, we did stop in a wine shop to try a taste of some of Barolo’s pricer wines. One was 40 euro a glass, and I paid 10 euro for a tasting!
STOP 2 – RIVETTO
Leaving Barolo, we set off for our first wine tasting at the modern and swanky Cantina Rivetto (who we later learned is friends with our friend Hugh!). Cantina Rivetto is located on a Hill overlooking a valley and the tasting room is quite impressive. We were welcomed to a tasting set up with wine crackers and water and lovely views are the surroundings. We tried about five wines at Rivetto – both red and white – and of course purchased some to bring home. For those in the US interested, Rivetto is available on the East Coast!
STOP 2 – LUNCH AT AGRITURISMO IRIDE
The third stop of the day was at the loveliest restaurant in Agriturismo Iride. Agriturismo Iride is an agriturismo near Alba, meaning it has rooms on site, with this wonderful restaurant attached. We began our meal with several complimentary appetizers from the chef, including a small bowl of delicious soup, a cheese bite, a quail egg, and a canolo. All were fantastic. For our meal, Dan ordered beef check and snail tacos, while I went with the pork belly dish. Like the starters, the main dishes were excellent. I would highly recommend Iride to anyone in the area.
SECOND STOP: AZIENDA AGRICOLA STRA
The third stop of the day was everyone’s favorite – Azienda Agricola Stra! Stra is a family owned operation that has been making wine for 200 years (under a various names). Azienda Agricola Stra’s tasting room is set in an old farmhouse turned tasting room and the sweetest Italian grandmother-esque figured greeted us and instructed us through the tasting. At Stra, we learned a bit about the Barolo wine region and tasted four wines. The reds were our favorites, and we all purchased some to bring home (or ship, we shipped a lot this trip!).
STOP 4 – CANTINA STROPPIANA.
The final stop on our tour was family owned Cantina Stroppiana. We pulled up to what seemed to be an old farm building next to a family home. Two adorable dogs immediately showed up to greet the group – Betty really enjoyed this. Despite the dogs, we were quickly invited inside to the very casual tasting room decorated with noted bottles from Stroppiana’s past. Wine glasses were set out, as were the most delicious cookies called Baca di Damas, aka tiny cookies filled with a hazelnut spread. Cantina Stroppiana grows four grapes, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, and Nascetta, and turns them into about 10 wines. We tasted around five of Stroppiana’s wines and shipped some back home. The wines were very good!
STEAL OUR TRIP
Alba Wine Tours: We did the Barolo tour with Alba Wine Tours.
Azienda Agricola Rivetto: Via Roddino, 17 – 12050 Serralunga d’Alba (CN).
Agriturismo Iride: Locality Chiabotto 1, RODDINO CN 12050, Italy. Reservations recommended. Closed during January and February.
Azienda Agricola Stra: Loc Ciocchini 5, 12060 Novello (CN) – Italy
Partita Iva: IT 03661020044.
Cantina Stroppiana: Fraz Rivalta, S.Giacomo 6, 12060 La Morra (CN).