Maude’s Journey through Piedmont
Arriving in Milan, the Maude team headed to the region’s capital of Turin - basecamp for exploring the food and wine of Piedmont.Francesco Rinaldi have been imported to the U.S. for years and the team spent their first morning tasting the vintages of the iconic house. By afternoon, the group found themselves at Vinetti, a more modern producer, where Alfredo Currado is known as the “father of Arneis.” The exploration into the wines of the region continued the following day with visits to the family-operated Cavallotto, where vines date back to the 18th century, and Marchese de Gresy, known for its Barbaresco, cloistered in the hills of Langhe and Monferrato just outside of Alba.
With alternating excursions between food and wine, day three began with a stop to Oddero, where the Barbera is aged in barriques followed by a longer period in large oak barrels. Executive Chef Justin Hilbert was eager to dive into the culinary richness of the region starting at Caseificio dell'alta Langa, where ancient local recipes are used to produce cow, sheep, and goat cheese. The journey continued with fourth generation winemakers at Paolo Scavino in the Barolo region. And finally, the team sought inspiration in Alba where they dined at Piazza Duomo, with Chef Enrico Crippa’s homage to local ingredients and his fifty-one-element salad.
At G.D. Vajra, where the first Riesling in Piedmont was planted, grapes receive continuous sun on this high-altitude vineyard but are tempered by the influence of the Alps and nearby Tanaro river, ripening the fruit slowly. Meanwhile, Justin continued his absorption into culinary culture with visits to the antique cheese aging cellars of Beppino Occelli, meat-curing aficionados Salumificio Cima, and what he describes as the “Italy meets South Philly” experience of Gelateria Canelin for their gelati and torroni. The wine team’s final sips of the day four were taken at the legendary Bruno Giacosa, one of the first single vineyard bottling sites in the region.
Saving the best for last, our traveling trinity spent the better part of their last day shaving truffles at Tartufi Morra and rolling pasta at the Terra Academy in Alba. This winter’s menu is a culmination of the traditions of the past and the innovations of the present. This winter, let Maude take you to Piedmont.