This is the sixth post in the Around the World Birthday Extravaganza Series. Because there will be many, many posts in this series, please scroll to the bottom of the post to see all the other posts in this series.
It was the second day of our two-day tour of the Piedmont region (and third day in Italy). After spending a half day exploring the International White Truffle Fair in Alba, we spent a foggy day exploring the Barbaresco region with our wine-expert tour guide, Robert Alexander from Langhe Travel.
Bright and early the next morning, Robert picked us up at our hotel and started driving towards Barolo.
The scenery was completely different from the day before.
All we could see was fog on our previous day in Barbaresco. Though we were able to take endless dreamy photos in diffuse light, we never really got to see anything more than a few feet away. Robert would tell us how great the view was from our restaurant, but we couldn't see anything beyond the fog.
We were so thankful when the sun came out the following day. Not a cloud in the sky! Finally! We could see for miles, and the views took our breath away. The Piedmont region is so beautiful.
Down below you can see the town of Barolo. It's not very big, and it's totally surrounded by vineyards.
Our first stop was a visit to G.D. Vajra Winery, a vineyard located at high elevation in an area between Barolo and La Morra. I asked Robert to add this winery to our tour because several of my wine-loving friends from the restaurant world in Boston highly recommended visiting.
Upon arrival at the winery, Francesca, one of the daughters of the family, greeted us.
Francesca's parents, Milena and Aldo Vaira (family name spelled slightly differently from the winery name), started the family-run winery in 1972 using grapes from vineyards that Aldo's father planted in 1947.
Her brother Giuseppe is now a second generation winemaker for the family's winery, and is gradually taking over. During our visit he happened to be in the U.S. (I think he was actually in Boston!) so he was unable to meet with us.
Francesca took us on a tour of the facilities. Pictured above, huge steel tanks for wine fermentation.
We visited the lower level, where boxes of wines were being labeled and prepared to be shipped all over the world.
In the middle of the massive wine cellar sits an inner garden, an oasis among barrels and barrels of aging wine.
It is a reminder of their surroundings, nature and the terroir it provides that's so fundamental to the flavor in the wines they make.
After walking through the various winemaking areas, we entered a beautiful tasting room with stunning views of the surrounding vineyards.
Just imagine what it would be like to live here with THIS view out your window everyday.
And then we began tasting wine.
This was a really fun and interesting tasting. Not only were we able to try some of their more well-known wines, we had a chance to try some unusual ones, like their Langhe Riesling (really good!), their Freisa, Moscato D'Asti (a sweet wine), and even their Barolo Chinato.
We liked so many of them, but we finally settled on buying some Bricco delle Viole (one of their flagships - it's fantastic), a couple bottles of the Riesling (it's so rare and very good!), and a couple bottles of the Moscato d'Asti for fun.
It was a wonderful visit. We were thrilled that we were able to get so much sunshine (finally!) and clear skies so we could really savor the vast views from all around the area.
The vistas were so stunning, sometimes we would just stop the car, get out, and take photos.
I wanted to stay here forever, but it was time for lunch, so we made our way back into the car and headed to the town of Montforte d'Alba for some more local Piemontese food and white truffles!
Up next: our lunch at Trattoria Della Posta . . .
All Posts In This Series
Around the World Birthday Extravaganza
Alba White Truffle Fair
Osteria Dei Sognatori - A Traditional Piedmontese Dinner
Italy Wine Tour - Barbaresco
Lunch at Donna Selvatica in Neive, Italy
Dinner at a Truffle Hunter's Inn - Tra Art e Querce