Today I decided to focus on wine and I hit the road early in the morning reaching my first wine cellar by 10 am. It was not ” a” wine cellar it was “the” princess of Langa : Fontanafredda, gift of the first King of Italy Vittorio Emanuele II to his beloved Rosa Vercellana [lover and later morganatic wife].
Set in a unique location just outiside Alba, Fontanafredda is a world on its own. A community so wellcoming that you feel at ease from the start. There I took a wine cellar guided tour, strolled in the wine shop and studied the delightful menu of both its restaurants. Then I walked up and down wineyards and chestnut groves taking pictures of the rolling surrounding hills from the unique perspective of the Wood fo Thoughts.
I definetly want to come back when these grapes are ripen.
I was allowd to take a pick at the refurbishing in sleek contemporary style of the Michelin starred Restaurant Villa Contessa Rosa where among the many options one can litterally dine in the chef’s kitchen watching him fix your meal based on his mother’s recipes. Cool!
Then I moved on to Montelugo Albese to pay a visit to a new acquaintance, wine maker Marco Destefanis whose wine I had tasted at a Slowfood evening . It is a small family run operation, simple and genuine where along with tasting ALL the wines they produce ( almost a dozen!) one can also buy their roasted chestnuts. Here too, the host allows his guests to walk among the wineyards . I bought a couple of bottles, just in case I should run out of wine at home and I also bought roasted chestnuts because I wanted to try a new recipe: pesto with chestnuts instead of pine nuts. Delicious, provided that you increase the amount of basil to counterbalance the “personnality” of the nut.
I drove further east almost to the boundary between Langa and Monferrato, where the wine turns white and sweet. Yes, I am talking about Moscato. I stopped at the Enoteca Regionale del Moscato, in Mango. Driving smoothly on winding roads I realized that the scenary was changing. As I was told shortly after at the Enoteca, the region is slightly higher that the rest of Bassa Langa and the land is tended the old fashioned way: partly wine, partly chestnut groves and partly grass prairies.
The Enoteca is located in the center of Mango inside the XVII castle of Mango and features the wines of 52 moscato producers from the area. I got myself one bottle of Moscato awarded in 2013 by US magazine Decanter and a Moscato Passito, slighly more expensive but a treat that I thought I diserved after driving so far all in one day.
Hope you got inspired and want to reach me on my next trip to the area.