Aldo Vacca and Ben near the Tower of Barbaresco in Piedmont

Aldo Vacca and Ben near the Tower of Barbaresco in Piedmont

While I’ve already reported extensively on last fall’s Piedmont Unfiltered consumer trip (go to www.wineontheroad.com for details on all of my upcoming wine country tours), the videos I took during our visit with Aldo Vacca, legendary winemaker at Produttori del Barbaresco (to my mind the best wine cooperative in the world), including his musings on the history of Barbaresco in general and Produttori in particular, make for compelling viewing by anyone with a deep interest in the vine.

Two of Wine On The Road's satisfied clients in the tasting room at Produttori del Barbaresco

Two of Wine On The Road’s satisfied clients in the tasting room at Produttori del Barbaresco

I’ve embedded a compilation of these videos, Part I of II, titled “History and Terroir,” in a viewer (see below) and invite you to share Aldo’s intimate knowledge of this fascinating part of the wine world.  In addition, WOTR is offering a tour of Piemontese wine country that runs from April 26 – May 3, 2015, and I encourage you to check it out at www.wineontheroad.com/winebeesandcheeseinpiedmont.php.  I have also included recommendations for a few of the Produttori bottlings I’ve tasted over the past year at the end of this column.


 

UPCOMING WINE DINNER AT IL POSTO RESTAURANT: EXPLORE CAMPANIA

Il Posto

Il Posto

Il Posto’s Owner/Chef Andrea Frizzi and Wine On The Road’s Chief Wine Sherpa Ben Weinberg will be hosting a special Campania dinner on Tuesday, May 6, 2014, starting at 6:30 P.M. at Il Posto, 2011 East 17th Avenue, Denver, CO 80206. $65 per person (including wine) plus tax and tip. To make your reservation for this special dining opportunity, please call the restaurant at 303-394-0100 or go to www.ilpostodenver.com.

 

CAMPANIA UNFILTERED WITH ANDREA FRIZZI AND IL POSTO RESTAURANT: SEPTEMBER 14-21, 2014

Il Posto's Chef/Owner Andrea Frizzi

Il Posto’s Chef/Owner Andrea Frizzi

Il Posto’s chef/owner Andrea Frizzi and WOTR’s Chief Wine Sherpa Ben Weinberg have created the ultimate in wine-focused, behind-the-scenes wine country experiences, combining award-winning wines and exquisite dining and lodging with uniquely local flair and flavor.  Check it out at www.wineontheroad.com/campaniaunfiltered.php.

Highlights of the Campania Unfiltered tour include:

• Seven days in Campania during the heart of harvest focused on acclaimed wine estates, wineries selected by Andrea and Ben for their distinctive expressions of local terroir and culture

• Up-close-and-personal time with well-known winemakers, as well as one-of-a-kind, winery-focused tours, tastings, meals and lodgings

• Superior accommodations at the Radici Resort in the heart of wine country

• A cooking class with Andrea focused on regional specialties and techniques

• Privately guided tours of bustling Naples (the “Great Pizzas” excursion) and hallowed Pompeii

• Unique non-wine experiences such as helping to make world-renowned Mozzarella di Bufala in its hometown of Caserta, attending cultural events, and joining up with locals for evening activities

• Optional activities such as visiting local markets, personal appointments with select artisans who handcraft unique local products, golf, and spa treatments

Price is $5,995 per person, paid in U.S. funds ($), based on double occupancy for between eight-and-twelve paid attendees, land only, excluding airfare, gratuities and other optional activities.  For additional information on this extraordinary touring opportunity, or to download the Preliminary Itinerary and Booking Form, go to www.wineontheroad.com/campaniaunfiltered.php.

 

BEN WILL BE IN PIEDMONT, ITALY, THIS SPRING!

The beauty of Piedmont is hard to describe

The beauty of Piedmont is hard to describe

Ben will be attending the BITEG 2014 International Wine and Food Tourism Exchange conference in Piedmont, Italy, from May 15 – 19, sponsored by the regional government and tourism boards.  Connect with him and Wine On The Road on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to follow his journey through this hallowed wine area, most famous for kingly nebbiolo.

 

WINE, BEES, AND CHEESE IN PIEDMONT, ITALY, WITH FARM-TO-TABLE EXPERT JILL PARADIS AND WINE EXPERT BEN WEINBERG

WOTR's 2013 Piedmont Unfiltered tour group at Ceretto's "La Cubo" in Castiglione, Falletto

WOTR’s 2013 Piedmont Unfiltered tour group at Ceretto’s “La Cubo” in Castiglione, Falletto

This seven-day “Wine, Bees, and Cheese” tour of Piedmont, Italy, is an intensive travel experience punctuated by frequent tastes of the region’s best food, wine, and culture. Traveling with farm-to-table expert Jill Paradis and wine writer Ben Weinberg, you’ll receive warm welcomes from each iconic producer and enough face-to-face time to discuss the history of each product as well as plans for the future. All represent generations of commitment to quality and respect for their lands and communities.

Highlights include:

• Seven days in Piedmont focused on acclaimed artisanal food producers and wineries chosen by Jill and Ben, based on distinctive expressions of local terroir and culture

• Luxurious accommodations in five-star hotels located on or near wine and other agricultural estates

• A cooking class focused on local ingredients and recipes

• Up-close-and-personal time with well-known artisans and one-of-a-kind, tours and tastings

• One-of-a-kind meals with acclaimed winemakers, whether at their favorite osterias, in their homes with mama and her exquisite pappardelle, or while picnicking on their gorgeous terraces

• Special access to the top regional specialties such as tajarin (tagliarini pasta) with the best of the season’s truffles, nocciole (hazelnut) and chocolate desserts (this is the land of gianduja and Nutella), risotto al Barolo, cave-aged Castelmagno cheese, and Barolo Chinato, a post-prandial digestivo

• Observation of and participation in the production of local foodstuffs including honey, cheese, and truffles

• Special access to cultural events, including joining up with locals for evening activities

• Free time in the picturesque towns of Alba, Barolo, Barbaresco, and Torino

• Optional activities such as visiting local markets, personal appointments with select artisans who handcraft unique local products, and spa treatments

Price is $6,995 per person, paid in U.S. funds ($), based on double occupancy for between eight-and-twelve paid attendees, land only, excluding airfare, gratuities and other optional activities. Maximum group size is twelve adults of legal drinking age.  For additional information on this extraordinary touring opportunity, or to download the Preliminary Itinerary and Booking Form, go to www.wineontheroad.com/winebeesandcheeseinpiedmont.php.

 

OREGON WINE TASTING IN THE DAVIDSONS LIQUORS CELLAR ROOM: FRIDAY, MAY 30, 3:00 – 6:00 P.M.

Davidsons Liquors

Davidsons Liquors

Don’t miss this extraordinary Oregon wine tasting opportunity being presented at no charge in the Cellar Room at Davidsons Liquors, 5555 Boatworks Dr. Highlands Ranch, CO 80126, with Davidsons’ Fine Wine Specialist Aaron Mayher and Wine On The Road’s Chief Wine Sherpa Ben Weinberg.  For more information please go to www.davidsonsliquors.com, or call the store at 303-224-0444.

 

OREGON WINE COUNTRY WITH DAVIDSONS LIQUORS: MAY 15-19, 2015

Among the vines

Among the vines

Davidson’s Fine Wine Specialist Aaron Maher, who leads this tour with his special knowledge of Oregon wines, and Davidsons Liquors have partnered with international wine writer Ben Weinberg and Wine on the Road to offer this extraordinary opportunity. This is the ultimate in wine-focused, behind-the-scenes wine country experiences, combining award-winning wines and exquisite dining and lodging with uniquely local flair and flavor.

Highlights of the Portland and Willamette Valley tour with Davidsons Liquors include:

• Five days and four nights in Portland and the Willamette Valley focused on acclaimed artisanal food producers and wineries selected by Aaron and Ben, based on distinctive expressions of local terroir and culture

• Up-close-and-personal time with well-known artisans and one-of-a-kind, tours, tastings, and meals

• Accommodations in upscale hotels

• Special access to cultural events, including joining up with locals for evening activities

• Free time in the picturesque towns of Newberg, Dundee, and McMinnville

• Optional activities such as visiting local markets, personal appointments with select artisans who handcraft unique local products, spa treatments, golf, and other cultural events

Price is $2,995 per person, paid in U.S. funds ($), based on double occupancy for between 16-and-24 paid attendees, land only, excluding airfare, gratuities and other optional activities.  For additional information on this extraordinary touring opportunity, or to download the Preliminary Itinerary and Booking Form, go to www.wineontheroad.com/oregonwithdavidsons.php.

 

UPCOMING COVERAGE: CELEBRATE WALLA WALLA WINE

The view from Col Solare (Red Mountain, WA)

The view from Col Solare (Red Mountain, WA)

Ben will be covering the upcoming Celebrate Walla Walla Wine Festival from June 17-21, 2014, in beautiful eastern Washington.  Follow along live with Ben on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Foursquare, and be sure to check out his Wine On The Road column after the event.

 

SEATTLE AND EASTERN WASHINGTON WINE COUNTRY: MAY 22-26, 2015

Stacks of wine barrels

Stacks of wine barrels

International wine writer Ben Weinberg and Wine on the Road offer this extraordinary opportunity as the ultimate in wine-focused, behind-the-scenes wine country experiences, combining award-winning wines and exquisite dining and lodging with uniquely local flair and flavor.

Highlights include:

• Five days and four nights in Seattle and Eastern Washington focused on acclaimed artisanal food producers and wineries selected by Ben and based on distinctive expressions of local terroir and culture

• Up-close-and-personal time with well-known artisans and one-of-a-kind, tours, tastings, and meals

• Accommodations in upscale hotels

• Special access to cultural events, including joining up with locals for evening activities

• Free time in the picturesque towns of Walla Walla and Yakima

• Optional activities such as visiting local markets, personal appointments with select artisans who handcraft unique local products, and spa treatments

Price is $2,995 per person, paid in U.S. funds ($), based on double occupancy for between 16-and-24 paid attendees, land only, excluding airfare, gratuities and other optional activities.  For additional information on this extraordinary touring opportunity, or to download the Preliminary Itinerary and Booking Form, go to www.wineontheroad.com/washingtonunfiltered.php.

 

PORTLAND AND THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY WITH THE VINEYARD WINE SHOP

The Vineyard Wine Shop

The Vineyard Wine Shop

The Vineyard’s Wine Consultant Jordan Garcia, who leads the tour with his special knowledge of Oregon wines, and The Vineyard Wine Shop have partnered with international wine writer Ben Weinberg and Wine on the Road to offer this extraordinary opportunity. This is the ultimate in wine-focused, behind-the-scenes wine country experiences, combining award-winning wines and exquisite dining and lodging with uniquely local flair and flavor.

Highlights include:

• Five days and four nights in Portland and the Willamette Valley focused on acclaimed artisanal food producers and wineries selected by Jordan and Ben, based on distinctive expressions of local terroir and culture

• Up-close-and-personal time with well-known artisans and one-of-a-kind, tours, tastings, and meals

• Accommodations in upscale hotels

• Special access to cultural events, including joining up with locals for evening activities

• Free time in the picturesque towns of Newberg, Dundee, and McMinnville

• Optional activities such as visiting local markets, personal appointments with select artisans who handcraft unique local products, spa treatments, golf, and other cultural events

Price per person is $2,995, based on double occupancy for between 16-24 paid attendees, land only, excluding airfare, gratuities and other optional activities. Maximum group size is 24 adults of legal drinking age.  For additional information on this extraordinary touring opportunity, or to download the Preliminary Itinerary and Booking Form, go to www.wineontheroad.com/oregonwiththevineyard.php.

 

WINE ON THE ROAD’S LUXURIOUS, BEHIND-THE-SCENES WINE TOURS

Wine On The Road

Wine On The Road

With Wine On The Road (www.wineontheroad.com), my wine-focused touring company, you can enjoy the ultimate wine country excursion with special access to top winemakers and their incomparable wines.  Wine On The Road offers intimate wine country tours that combine award-winning wines and exquisite dining and lodging with uniquely local flair and flavor.  We lodge at excellent and luxurious wine country estates (in the past we’ve occupied ancient yet completely restored castles as well as five-star resorts, all with modern amenities).  We eat at amazing local restaurants and visit wineries that embody the best, most authentic expressions of local wine grapes.

Planned excursions in late 2014 include a combined visit to Champagne and Burgundy (www.wineontheroad.com/champ-burgunfiltered.php), and another to Italy’s Campania (www.wineontheroad.com/campaniaunfiltered.php).  Early 2015 tours include Piedmont, Italy (www.wineontheroad.com/winebeesandcheeseinpiedmont.php), Oregon’s wine country (in conjunction with Davidson’s Liquors, www.wineontheroad.com/oregonwithdavidsons.php), Seattle and Eastern Washington (www.wineontheroad.com/washingtonunfiltered.php), and then Oregon again (in conjunction with The Vineyard Wine Shop, www.wineontheroad.com/oregonwiththevineyard.php).  You can learn more about these trips, book private groups in wine country world-wide and request more information on any of these extraordinary travel experiences by visiting www.wineontheroad.com, emailing me at benweinberg@wineontheroad.com, or calling me at 303-522-6738.

 

Recommendations:

Red

2012 Produttori del Barbaresco Nebbiolo Langhe (Piedmont, Italy) $20

2009 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco $40

2009 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Rio Sordo Riserva (barrel sample) (Piedmont, Italy) $N/A

2008 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Rio Sordo Riserva (Piedmont, Italy) $55

1985 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Moccagatta Riserva (Piedmont, Italy) $N/A