2019 Wrap up

2019 was another great vintage with a lot less drama than 2018 less hail and more typical weather in fact a few producers were harvesting till the end of October.
We spent even more time in the mountains this year because customers have asked to join us. They are always suprised how many options their are from 90 minutes to 4hours in almost any direction. After all Piemonte Means “foot of the mountains” They are even more surprised about the vines growing at high elevation. As we write this (Feb 1st) 2020 is of to a good start lets hope it continues.

River PO head waters

Winter in the Po valley

Ballooning over Barolo

Paragliding in Chamonix

Hiking in the alps

Hiking in the clouds

Getting the shot

Starderi Party time

2018 Wrap up

2018 seemed to zip by even faster than 2017. 2018 was off to a rough start with a lot of hail in the spring but the weather turned around so the 2018 vintage not only ended up being very good in quality but in a rare instance quantity is also up. Some producers were saying last fall that their tanks were bursting with wine 🍷. We started 2019 with our first tour on Jan 4, thankfully they were from Kiev so the chilly 🥶 weather was no problem for them. We are currently knee deep with the flood of emails we receive every year for the new season. Below are a few photos of our travels this past year as you can see we spent a lot of time in the mountains to cool off in July and August and do some hiking and photography.

Aperitivo in the Stura valley

We finally got to sleep in a Botte (cask)

Hiking near Pontechianale

Hiking and aperitivo in the Dolomiti Alps in August

Cooling down our Bubbles (Billecart-Salmon) in a glacier stream

2017 wrap up

2017 was a very busy year (in fact we missed our 10 year anniversary of living in Italy) filled with lots of traveling. We had some repeat customers who requested to see and learn about other wine regions in Italy some well know others not as much so here are a few photos of our wine travels this past year
Verona home of Amarone, Valpolicella Ripasso, Soave, Bardolino and ……..Starting in the late 90's we travelled to Verona every year to attend VinItaly.

Aosta home of Petit Rouge, Prié Blanc and one of the highest vineyards in the world making sparkling wine at 1187m (3,895ft).

Riding up the mountain to our favorite place in the Dolomiti (Dolomites) Collalbo.

Dolomites, Home of Kerner, one of our favorite white varietials in Alto Adige.

Venice, almost home to Prosecco, a very wine friendly city.

Cinque Terre Home to the DOC wine called "Cinque Terre DOP" a white wine made from a blend of Uva Bosco, Albarola and Vermentino.

After 10 years as a one car family we now have a car for photography tours that can get Robert and his customers into the vineyards year round.

Spent three lovely nights in Bergamo, the concert Messa di Requiem at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

Front row seats thanks to our friends who know the conductor Corrado Rovaris, a very nice surprise after waiting outside for good seats.

We took the long way home from Bergamo by passing through Torino just in time for the first snow of the season.

After Torino we came home to vineyards covered in snow. Very good for the vines.


A few months back we were contacted by USA TODAY about a possible story on wine tourism in Piedmont ,we were very excited to say the least.

After photos and info was sent off we were waiting to see if something would come of it.

After a month or so we hadn't seen anything so we thought better luck next time until a couple of weeks ago while chatting with some folks on a tour when they mentioned they had heard of us in USA TODAY! And gave us a link to the article.


No Time...

September and harvest is upon us. Everyone is really busy and excited for an exceptional harvest if the weather cooperates!

This is a blog written by one of our recents customers that we would like to share.

Wine Tasting Out of Turin

This past weekend, Mr. Goat and I traveled to Turin, Italy, which is about a 5 1/2 hour train ride from Zürich — or, that is, should have been. So when we were booking the trip, I noticed there was a direct train to Milan and then a connection to Turin. Sounded like a good plan to me. Mr. Goat, however, decides that he wants to shave 25 minutes off the trip by adding in 2 more connections. Therefore, we ended up with the plan of Zurich –> Bern –> Brig –> Milan –> Turin.
Well, needless to say, we got as far as Bern before that whole plan went out the window. You will find this hard to believe, but we were actually on a Swiss train that was late. Yep, we got into Bern a grand total of seven minutes late. Which, apparently, was enough to make us miss our connection. Cue eye roll and “I told you so.”
Now what would have been arrival in Turin around 11pm Friday turned into arrival closer to 1:30am. Luckily, we made those later connections and sure enough arrived at our AirBnB apartment shortly after 1:30. Exhausted and hoping to get sleep before our next busy day, we went straight to bed.
Saturday, to our great relief, was just one of those idyllic days that you look back upon and long to recreate.
Let me begin by saying that this was a very last minute trip for us. As in, we just decided on Thursday that we were going away for the weekend. We chose Turin because it was close enough to Zurich to use the trains, which made it cheaper than most other destinations we were looking at. And because it was near a famous wine region in Italy:
Piedmont. Which meant we damn well better be able to make it out wine tasting if we went to Turin. Thus, on Thursday, I spent the morning searching for wine tours. I emailed about three tour guides and one of them not only had one of those speedy replies that makes you renew your faith in the ability of humankind to integrate with technology, but said they were available! I spent some time doing what I could to evaluate them — which was actually quite easy, seeing as they were the most visible and had the most reviews out of all our options. So I booked it!
And, as I alluded to earlier, they did not disappoint. We had one of those perfect days. Where you don’t have to worry about a thing and you can completely relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery and delicious food and wine. Which is exactly what you want when exploring wine country, right? If you are curious to hear more details about the tour, see my
Trip Advisor review.
But really, I cannot recommend
Travel Langhe enough. If you decide you need to explore a wine region in Italy, you would do well to pick them and the Piedmont region. In fact, we’re already talking about when we’ll be back! icon_smile One weekend and one day of that in wine country was not nearly enough time.
And now for the picture section of the post:


Romantic tasting in the middle of the Pasquale Pelissero vineyards in front of ciabot Bricco San Giuliano


Favorite photo of the trip


The BEST specialty store we have been in. Lots of samples to try (which meant we bought just about all the food they were sampling), and being surrounded by laughing, happy people. This Enoteca in Neive was like a dream.


Wine country view




View of Turin from the top of the Mole Antonelliana


Me walking the magnificent streets of Turin


My second favorite photo of the trip. Taken in Parco del Valentino

2011 Travel Season Begins

The 2011 travel season has begun, our first group arrived on the 11th of March and we were very worried.
Just a few days earlier it had snowed, but we lucked out as the weather cleared up just in time.
Leslie is explaining vineyard management to a few folks from the group.

After a few days in Barbaresco and Barolo we headed up to Lake Como and stayed in Bellagio, which was just
opening up for the season. Hard to believe these quiet streets will be jam-packed in a few weeks, by mid April
this photo will be impossible.

While Leslie and the group took the ferry to Varenna for lunch, I stayed back to gas up the van and check-
out a pizzeria we have yet to try, verdict: pizza was good, wine list not good, wine service cute/good, the
vino popolare (house wine) was served old-style in a Brocca.

I grabbed a cappuccino at the gas station and once again was reminded how serious Italy takes its coffee.

After dropping folks off at Malpensa airport, we stopped by the wine region Franciacorta to scope out some wineries
and restaurants for future trips when we stumbled on a cool wine shop specializing in bubbles! the sub zones
with-in the region were nicely displayed along with the producers. Sipping bubbles while shopping is mandatory,
wiener dog optional.

Cheese and Truffles

On a recent tour we took our quests to one of our favorite stops. " La Luna Buona"
a Robiola cheese producer. Olivia the owner (on left) is showing us her goats
they are free Range as is required by
D.O.P. laws

Learning about the production facility.

The wonderful cheeses they make shown here dusted with herbs and
spices including vegetable carbon.

A fall in Piemonte is not complete with out a truffle hunt Robert got to
follow our neighbor Lorenzo on a hunt with his truffle dog Diana

Maybe a hit ?

Yes, they score !!!

Pizza, Pasta and Pressing

Nothing beats the home made pasta at one of our favorite restaurants "Crota"

Harvest in done here in Barbaresco now the hard work in the cellar starts.
Pressing is a very messy job. Roberts hands remain Barbara red for two
weeks. But they are very soft.

The La Morra sherif detaining more tourists from the states Bob and Mila
were good sports and followed orders to email this photo to city hall.

Bob did a great job impressing the locals with his pizza making skills. They
think we Americans are strange for putting pears & Gorgonzola on a pizza
But putting french fry s on a pizza is normal ?

Fall tours/Harvest

Harvesting nebbiolo behind our home. Producers in both Barolo and Barbaresco
are VERY exited about nebbiolo this year, looks very promising !!!

This is why so many people travel to Alba in the fall.

The famous white truffle of the langhe

It's always nice to have an American visitor show Italian winemakers how to
properly sciabola a bottle of champagne.

Daniele Panino!!!

Trying salsiccia di bra (raw sausge) for the first time yum !!