My F&W
quick save (...)

The Ultimate Wine Geek Road Trip: Italy

Wine Road Trip Mile 676: Italy

Heading north out of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, I skipped the rest of the Rhône—St-Joseph! Hermitage! Côte Rôtie! Oh well!—then stopped for croissants and coffee at a bar overlooking the Isère River in Grenoble. From there, the road curved up into the Alps, then down into Italy and to Piedmont.

I’ve always harbored a fantasy of moving to Piedmont, so it was extremely convenient to find that the 17th-century castle at the top of the hill in Castiglione Falletto, next door to the Vietti winery, was currently for sale, according to Vietti’s Luca Currado. And only $2,500,000 for an entire castle! “But you have to maintain it,” Currado added. This was a good point; for instance, one might have to repair scratches to the exterior walls caused by people (like me) who drive by without paying attention to how far their side mirrors stick out.

Currado’s family has grown Nebbiolo grapes in Piedmont since the 1600s; today, they own vineyards in all nine villages of the Barolo region. They also produce some of the region’s most acclaimed wines, like the 2007 Vietti Barolo Rocche that I tasted with Currado over dinner in Alba that night, a polished, luscious red with tea leaf and dark cherry notes. Currado mentioned that when Alba was a Roman town, the emperor talked about “the fog grape” (nebbia is Italian for fog; hence, Nebbiolo). “In Tuscany, they have ‘under the Tuscan sun,’” he said with a shrug. “In Piedmont, we have ‘under Piedmontese fog.’”

“I’m still blown away by that castle being for sale,” I said.

“You know, in old times, the owner of a castle had the right to spend the first night with the bride of anyone who got married in the village,” Currado said thoughtfully. “I don’t think that’s the case anymore, though.”

Next Stop: Germany»

« Previous Stop: France

video Video: Italian Wines

Published January 2012
You Might Also Like


Add A Comment

    Add a Comment

    See our terms
    You must be logged in to comment. or
    The Dish
    Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
    The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
    F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.
    American Express Publishing ("AEP") may use your email address to send you account updates and offers that may interest you. To learn more about the ways we may use your email address and about your privacy choices, read the AEP Privacy Statement.
    How we use your email address
    Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

    Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.