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Famed for its truffles, and with towns like Barolo and Barbaresco, it’s easy to understand why Piedmont is a gourmand’s paradise.

Many argue that Piedmont produces the best food in all of Italy. The Langa and Roero regions of Piedmont are in one of the most important wine production areas in Italy, and received UNESCO World Heritage status in 2014. The Chef Bike Tour of Piedmont will take us to the heart of these regions, over rolling hills covered with endless vineyards and past ancient castles and hidden hilltop hamlets. You’ll see how connected the local people are to the land, and how they take pride in everything they produce.

Our guest chefs will play an important role in understanding the local productions and the preparations that better tell the story of the territory.

Vineyards cover most of the hills here and wines such as Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera and Nebbiolo are perfectly paired with dishes that will make each meal a gastronomic event. Towns like Pollenzo, Monforte, and Alba are perfect stops for a taste of what the region has to offer, where strolling through the cobbled streets and sitting in geranium-decked piazzas is a great way to end a day on the bike.

On this special edition Chef Bike Tour you will stay in Pollenzo where the Slow Food University of Gastronomic Science is based. You will learn about the Slow Food movement right at its birthplace and with the students and chefs of the University. Accommodations during your journey include a UNESCO site, a wine estate, and a boutique hotel in the countryside. In early October, it might still be harvest time for the nebbiolo grapes and the colors make the hills and vineyards look like they are painted!

Highlights

  •  Two important wine regions, Langa and Roero

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site (vineyards landscape)

  • Villages of Barolo and Barbaresco, the namesakes of two world-famous red wines

  • Lecture at Slow Food University

  • Stunning cycling along rolling hills covered with vineyards and quaint medieval villages

  • Views that stretch as far as the Alps

  • Castle-topped villages, which lend a historic and romantic feel to the area

  • Some of the best regional food in Italy, including truffles, cheese, and hazelnut Gianduja chocolates

  • Dinner at 3 Michelin-starred restaurants

Dates:

Sept 30 - Oct 6, 2019

Prices:

USD 5,995

Private room (single supplement) USD 495

Duration:

7 days (6 nights)

Level:

Active

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Piedmont had the most scenic riding of my life. 

Chef Marc Meyer Chef Bike Tour Piedmont

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Day by Day

[fa icon="plus"] Day 1

Pollenzo - Bike fitting

One of your guides will meet you at Milan Airport for a late morning shuttle to Corte Albertina in Pollenzo. You’ll have time to visit this interesting village, which is steeped in history. This site received the official recognition of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001 as part of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy. It now houses the University of Gastronomical Sciences, founded by the internationally recognized Slow Food Association. Slow Food began as a sophisticated parody of McDonalds’ arrival in Italy (Slow Food vs. Fast Food) and has grown into an international crusade for the preservation of culinary traditions, biodiversity and “the right to good taste.” We will stay at Albergo dell’Agenzia, which is in the main building of Corte Albertina, and which includes an immense park that was a hunting reserve of King Carlo Alberto. We will gather for a late lunch and for introductions over a glass of wine. In the afternoon we'll check the bikes and adjust them to your liking. Our first dinner is at the hotel and it will showcase some elegant preparation of Slow Food Presidia.

 

[fa icon="plus"] Day 2

Roero - 30 miles - Hilly

We’ll start the day climbing a ridge overlooking the Tanaro river valley. We’ll pass through San Martino Alfieri, Castello di Govone, Priocca and Castellinaldo, all on the high plateau of the Roero region. Here you are in true wine country where grape varieties include Nebbiolo, Barbera, and Arneis, no doubt a part of your evening celebrations! Each village you pass through today is topped with a castle. Most are now privately owned and very seldom open for visits, but they add to the uniqueness of the landscape as you enjoy exploring this region. Back in Pollenzo, we’ll meet a local Slow Food representative to learn a bit more about the movement, then we will visit the Banca del vino (Wine bank), a unique wine cellar housed in the Corte Albertina. Dinner is at an agriturismo where most products served are locally sourced.

[fa icon="plus"] Day 3

La Morra and Benevello - 25 miles - Hilly

Today we’ll say farewell to the Roero and ride from Pollenzo to the Langa wine area past more vineyards, where no doubt you will see local workers in the fields. Tractors and trucks laden with grapes might hoot as you cycle along wine must scented villages. Our first stop is in La Morra. La Morra is considered the balcony of the Langhe because of its wonderful views of the entire area. Take your time here and have your cameras ready! Today we have our cooking class and lunch at the Marrone Family Winery. Time to enjoy life and to taste some Barolo on the terrace! Our chef and the Marrone family ladies will engage everyone during this fun, yet professional cooking workshop. We then ride to the 13th century Grinzane Cavour castle, once home to the famous strategist Cavour. We then pedal on a ridge, which is part of the Alta Langa, the highest and wildest portion of this territory. The vegetation changes as hazelnut-topped woodland covers the northern side of the round and gentle hills. These hazelnuts are harvested by the ton and transported to the Ferrero factory in Alba to make the famous Nutella spread, as well as Italian Gianduja chocolates, which you should of course try! Our hotel affords a great view of the Alps.

Dinner is at the Michelin starred hotel restaurant.

[fa icon="plus"] Day 4

Barbaresco Loop - 24 miles - Rolling

The area southwest of Alba is part of the Barbaresco wine production zone. The three villages where Nebbiolo grapes for Barbaresco wine can be grown are Neive, Treiso, and Barbaresco. The original, small, and elegant villages of Barbaresco and Neive will be part of our ride today. As you approach Barbaresco, its imposing 12th century tower stands out in the landscape. Almost square shaped, its height originally reached 36 meters, making it a strategic position overlooking the Tanaro Valley below. The tower is what is left of an imposing fortification once crowning the hilltop where Barbaresco rises. Riding on a panoramic ridge, we’ll head towards Treiso and Orlando Abrigo winery. It’s the perfect opportunity to understand the wine production of this part of Italy. Our chefs will help understand wine pairing based on the characteristics of each wine. After lunch and wine tasting, we head back to the hotel where you can enjoy some free time before heading to dinner prepared by our chefs (feel free to help). Buon Appetito!

[fa icon="plus"] Day 5

Serralunga d'Alba and Alba - 18 or 28 miles - Rolling

This morning we’ll have a short ride so that you can enjoy the stunning Fontanafredda Estate. We will visit the on-site "royal" cellars of the estate. The Savoy royal family, in fact, owned the place. It could very well be the birthplace of Barolo itself. Our loop ride will lead to a secondary valley where we will go truffle hunting with a real trifulau and his trusted dog. This is an experience you won’t forget! The white truffle is a delicacy that has made these hills famous among chefs worldwide. For dinner, we will land in Alba, the capital of the white truffle area, Of Celtic and Ligurian origin, called Alba Pompeia by the Romans, the town has kept a spiral-shaped medieval plan. You will have time to explore the elegant town center before gathering for dinner. There are only 8 three Michelin star restaurants in Italy.

Piazza Duomo in Alba is at the pinnacle of regional cuisine. They are currently the 16th Best Restaurant in the World (50 Best Restaurants in the World.) The kitchen is headed by Chef Enrico Crippa (7th Best Chef) who procures the freshest regional ingredients (everything comes from a radius of 50 kilometers), some of which comes from the restaurant’s vegetable garden. An impressive wine selection will afford a memorable wine pairing.  White truffles, of course, will be on the menu.

[fa icon="plus"] Day 6

Barolo Loop - 17 or 21 miles - Hilly

Today is Barolo day! We ride to the unpretentious village named after the King of Wines. We’ll visit the Enoteca Regionale di Barolo (regional cellar of Barolo), where you will have an instructive explanation of the Barolo wine production area. Between La Morra and Barolo, you’ll ride past rows of nebbiolo vines cultivated by such legendary producers as Renato Ratti, Bartolo Mascarello and Roberto Voerzio.

The final highlight of this epic culinary journey is dinner with Chef Ugo Alciati. You will learn how "Da Guido" restaurant - started by his father - completely changed fine dining in Piedmont.

[fa icon="plus"] Day 7
Bologna
After breakfast, unless you are extending your stay, a transfer will be arranged to the Milan Malpensa airport.

 

What's Included

Bianchi Intenso Ultegra-105 Bianchi Via Nirone S
  • Bikes equipped with Garmin GPS (choice road carbon or hybrid; pedal assisted at additional cost)
  • Two or more professional tour guides throughout the program 
  • All accommodations in 4 star hotels
  • All breakfasts, all lunches and all dinners
  • Wine with meals, coffee, cappuccino, and gelato stops
  • Two wine tastings
  • Hands-on cooking class 
  • Support vehicle during the tour and luggage transfer 
  • Shuttle at the beginning and at the end of the tour 
  • All activities mentioned in the day-by-day description

We also include the finest Piedmontese Barolo and Barbaresco wines of the best vintages, as well as white truffles included with a minimum of two dinners

  • Airfare
  • Pre-tour hotel stays and post-tour hotel stays
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and cell phone
  • Guide gratuity
  • Optional tour extension

Hotels

corte_albertina_pollenzo_tourissimo_web

ALBERGO DELL'AGENZIA

Villa_amelia_Tourissimo_web

VILLA D'AMELIA

Fontanafredda_Tourissimo-web

VIGNA MAGICA

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Food and Wine

The Langa region is a true paradise for gourmands. In Angelo Gaja’s words, (Gaja is a central figure in Piedmont’s wine identity) “People truly come here to explore their passion for food and wine.” The territory offers first class ingredients, that together with traditions handed down from generation to generation, allow you to enjoy the authentic Langa dishes. The egg pasta used to prepare the tajarin, or plin, ravioli is homemade and the precious veal meat from the Province of Granda (name of the province of Cuneo in local dialect) is the basis for the preparation of ancient recipes like hand chopped raw meat, cold veal with tuna sauce and red wine braised meat. The simplest dishes are usually the most delicious and they look like they have been specially created to espouse the most precious autumnal ingredient, the Alba White Truffle, which will enhance their perfumes and tastes. In fact, the Slow Food movement was born in Bra (near Alba). The regional wine production boasts the most DOCG appellations of any other region in Italy, and during the week we will learn about Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Arneis and many other indigenous grapes. Most family-run wineries in Barolo are small and don’t do winery tours, as you would expect if you were in France or Napa. Luckily, Tourissimo will get the doors open for you.

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