Join Canadian sommelier T.J. Harstine and food tour host Lori Chisholm on this exclusive tour of the Piedmont and Veneto regions of Northern Italy. Naturally, the focus will be on the fabulous wine with visits to a minimum of 8 wineries on this 10-day tour. Space is limited to 12 participants maximum.
Participants will meet at our 4 star hotel (http://www.hotelcalissano.com/en/ ) in Alba where we’ll gather together for the first time as a group to enjoy an aperitivo and welcome dinner. (Overnight Alba)
We’ve come for the wine. Let’s get to it! Barolo is considered by many to be the king of wines and this will be our first opportunity to taste for ourselves. After breakfast this morning, we’ll be off to a unique winery - at the highest altitude in the Barolo region – to visit the cellars and taste the wines of the Vajra family. From here, we’ll visit the town of Barolo itself for lunch together in a typical osteria. After lunch, we’ll regroup for a VIP visit to the Lirano hills, 400 meters above sea level, to discover four more wines of the Barolo region, these ones organic. Dinner on your own. (Overnight Alba)
Often called the younger brother of Barolo, Barbaresco will be our focus today. We’ll visit a family-run winery in the highest township of the region with stunning views of the Langa hills. We’ll enjoy a vineyard walk, cellar tour and wine tasting here, then make our way to the main piazza of Barbaresco for a visit to the Enoteca Regionale del Barbaresco – in a 19th century church. After lunch on our own, we’ll make one final stop at a four-generation Green Experience vintner to learn about their production methods to preserve the biodiversity of the region. And of course, there will be tastings. Dinner on your own. (Overnight Alba)
After breakfast this morning, we’ll check out of our hotel and finish our Piemonte tour with a stop in Canelli to visit a winery with a UNESCO World Heritage designation. 150 years old, the cellars here are spectacular - as are the sparkling wines and artisanal vermouths. We’ll have lunch at the lovely wine bar associated with the winery, visit their sister property for yet more tastings, and then make our way to the province of Veneto where Verona will be our home for the next six nights. (www.anticaportaleona.com)
Today after breakfast, we will meet our local guide for an orientation walking tour of Verona. Perhaps most renowned for its connection to Romeo and Juliet, this city has much more to offer from its colosseum to its castle, its ancient gates to its lovely piazzas. Take the whole rest of the day to explore on your own. (Overnight Verona)
After breakfast this morning, we depart for the land of Amarone. We will start with an exclusive visit to one of the most stunning and renowned estates of the Italian wine world. The gardens, park, villa and cellars will all be part of our tour and we’ll finish with tastings accompanied by cheeses and charcuterie produced exclusively for this estate.
After lunch, we have a private visit to a winery with an interesting twist. At the top of TJ’s list of vineyards to visit, this winery is “proud to present the Olfactory Gallery, a new eno-sensory tasting, which is the first of its kind in Italy. In this tour you can put your olfactory memory to the test, an all-embracing experience, where this neglected sense becomes leading character again.” We are going to add additional tastings with finger food to enhance this whole wine adventure. (Overnight Verona)
We’ll have a leisurely morning in Verona, and then take our coach for a short trip to Sirmione on Lake Garda. Sirmione is a delightful town on a peninsula extending up into the lake. At noon, we’ll board our own private boat for a lake tour featuring Isola del Garda with aperitivo and buffet. Take some time after the boat tour to visit the town. Upon return to Verona, you’ll be on your own for dinner. (Overnight Verona).
You are free for the whole day. It’s an easy and inexpensive train ride to Venice or Bologna, even Florence! You could hire a car and driver for another day in Amarone-land. Or just do a little shopping, wandering, relaxing and dining in Verona itself. (Overnight Verona)
Today TJ will offer some options for further wine-tasting. Lori has a list of day tours available from Verona. You’ll otherwise have the day free but we will meet later in the evening for an aperitivo followed by a short walk to our farewell dinner at a beautiful restaurant built in a former church. This will be our chance to retell the week’s best stories, drink our last Northern Italian wine and indulge in some of the best food Verona has to offer. (Overnight Verona)
The tour ends after breakfast and check-out. Enjoy an extension or return to Canada.
~ 9 nights’ accommodation in 4 star hotels ~ breakfast daily (9) ~ 3 lunches ~ welcome dinner with wine, farewell dinner with wine ~ welcome aperitivo, farewell aperitivo ~ comfortable private transfers from tour starting point to end point ~ two hosts: an experienced tour director and a certified sommelier, at your side for the entire tour ~ private tours and tastings at 8 exceptional wineries ~ olfactory experience with wine and food ~ private walking tour in Verona ~ all entrance fees as per itinerary ~ private boat excursion on Lake Garda with wine and food ~ all city taxes, guide gratuities, driver gratuities ~ porterage upon arrival in Verona ~ a surprise or two!
~ airfare, transfers and accommodations pre- and post-tour ~ beverages with meals unless mentioned in the itinerary ~ items of a personal nature ~ any optional activities on day 9 ~ travel insurance, medical and cancellation insurance (Please contact Pauwels Travel)