October 2: The Renaissance Estate of Dante
Afternoon: The trip begins in Venice, however, we’ll leave the city immediately and head west towards Verona. Our first stop will be in the Soave wine district, home to some killer whites, as well as complex Amarones. We’ll the check into our lodging for the next two nights located in the wine-draped hills above Verona. This remarkable 14th century property belongs to the descendants of Dante Aligheri, one of Italy’s most famous literary talents.
Evening: The estate on which we’re staying offers an enticing array of culinary items including olive oil, a variety of jams, and honey. All will be available for tasting before dinner. Tonight we’ll dine in the formal dining room of the property on a menu featuring the region’s culinary specialties.
October 3: Stunning Lake Garda
Late Morning: Today we’ll pay a visit to “Mecca” for the serious oenophile. This wine producer has won serious accolades from the international wine press for his outstanding Amarone.
Afternoon: Lunch and free time at Lake Garda. Next, a tasting at another benchmark producer of Amarone.
Evening: We’ll dine tonight at a local restaurant off-the-beaten-track spot, but frequented by winemakers.
October 4: Outdoor Market in the Town of Romeo & Juliet
Morning: Today we head to a terrific outdoor market in the magical town of Verona. Autumn produce will be at its prime, including wild porcini mushrooms, fennel, chestnuts and broccoli rabe. This gem of a city also boasts a stupendous Roman Colosseum that was built in the first century, as well as an array of attractive boutiques. The morning will be free for exploring and lunch.
Afternoon: The next winery (on the wine list at many of Italy’s Michelin star restaurants), makes some of the most exquisite sparkling wine outside of the Champagne region of France. Then, we’ll settle into our hotel which offers panoramic views of Lake Iseo and the distant Alps.
Evening: Dinner tonight will be at a lakeside restaurant. If the weather cooperates, we’ll dine on the outdoor terrace.
October 5: Sensational Sparkling Wines
Morning: Free. Relax at the hotel, soaking up its jaw-dropping lake views, or walk to the nearby lakeside town.
Afternoon: Our next two wineries are among Italy’s most revered. Made in the exact same fastidious way as French Champagne, these wines are among the best bubbles produced on the planet.
October 6: The Land of Barolo & Barbaresco
Morning: It will be difficult to tear yourself away from the beauty of Lake Iseo but today we head to further west to Piedmont, home of Italy’s earth-shaking Barolo & Barbaresco. In route we’ll stop at one of the most well-known areas for rice used to make risotto. Carnaroli rice is preferred by most chefs due to its ability to keep a firmer texture over the long cooking process. Today, we’ll learn about the fascinating cultivation of rice.
Afternoon: Check into our hotel with time to unpack and soak up la dolce vita of our special villa.
Evening: Not only is the villa a magnificent countryside hotel, but it just so happens to produce great wine. We’ll begin tonight with a tasting and tour of the historic cellars, then culminate with dinner in its well-regarded restaurant. Risotto will be on the menu, most likely prepared with truffles and/or wild porcini.
October 7: Magnifico Piedmont
Morning: Wasting no time in partaking of the splendors of this region, our first stop will be a truffle factory where we’ll observe the process of turning this gastronomic jewel into truffle-infused oil, truffle paste, truffle butter, and truffle pasta sauce.
Afternoon: Next on our star-studded lineup will be two extraordinary wine producers. Prepare yourself for the earth to move on these tastings as both of their wines are over-the-top.
Evening: Tonight we’ll dine at the area’s best pizzeria. If you don’t like pizza there’s also some scrumptious pastas and salads. All, of course, with some rock-star wines.
October 8: Truffle-Mania
Morning/Afternoon: Today is the Truffle Festival where the entire town of Alba is turned into a love-fest with the magnifico tartufo. This gala receives visitors from all parts of the country, from Milan to Sicily, in addition to devoted foodies and journalists from all corners of the globe. It’s a lively celebration but it’s also a serious affair: as truffles are the world’s most expensive food item, vendors selling them just may be surrounded by security.
Evening: To finish this truffle-centered day, we’ll celebrate with a cooking class using truffles.
October 9: Designer Chocolates & Eataly
Morning: Today we’re off to Turin, site of the 2006 Winter Olympics. We’ll begin with a Gold Medal quality chocolate company. Here we’ll observe the entire process from the roasting of the cacao beans to the packaging of these high-end morsels. Finally, a tasting.
Afternoon: Another 0lympian on the culinary scene in Turin is Eataly, Italy’s numero uno foodie emporium. Think Whole Foods meets William-Sonoma, with the addition of delicious eateries sprinkled throughout—from a pizzeria, to a mozarella bar, to a pasta-centric café. There’s something for any serious wine and food lover in this Gold Medal haven. Then back in the wine countryside, we’ll visit a superb producer of Barbaresco.
Evening: Tonight will be a private dinner gala at one of Piedmont’s most illustrious wineries.
October 10: Cheese & Wine
Morning: Today we have a very special outing to an extraordinary cheesemaker. We’ll view the entire process of turning milk into something incredible. And, these fabulous cheeses are imported to the US!
Afternoon: Our last wine-tasting of the trip is at a family owned winery that produces some exceptionally high quality/price wines.
Evening: Our farewell dinner will be at at a Michelin star restaurant where we will dine on locally sourced ingredients, prepared by a young mover-and-shaker chef.
October 11: Ciao !
Morning: The trip ends officially after breakfast. The town in which we we’ll be based is located 50 miles from the Turin airport and 100 miles from Milan’s Malpensa airport. Transfers to either airport can be arranged.
The tour begins in Venice at Piazza Roma (near the train station) at approximately 2pm on October 2, 2018. It is strongly advised that all participants arrive in Venice at least the day before to avoid any missed connections with the group. Wine-Knows will be happy to arrange early arrival accommodations.
Group airfare has purposefully not been included to allow maximum flexibility in arrival & departure options. You may go early & stay over after the trip concludes. Wine-Knows Travel, Inc. provides land only arrangements and does not provide airfare.
One of the hallmarks of Wine-Knows’ brand is seeking out those oh-so-special places to stay. We look for historical properties that not only offer Old World charm but the latest in 21st century creature comforts and excellent service. Lodging on this trip includes the following 3 unique stops:
- Renaissance estate of Italy’s literary giant, Dante Alighieri.This historical property offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stay on the property that still belongs to Dante’s direct descendants…21 generations later. Surrounded by Valpolicella vineyards, this working estate produces not only award-winning wines, but olive oil, honey, jam, and chestnut spread.
- Panoramic lakeview 4-star gem located on a hilltop.Bordered by a nearly 200 acre parkland and gardens, this 29 room haven is family-owned. Its comfortable bedrooms, furnished in traditional style, offer captivating views of the lake and distant Alps. A very romantic place, it’s no wonder why the hotel is such a popular venue for weddings.
- 19th century villa surrounded by a sea of vineyards. Offering breathtaking 360 degree views, this 10 room property has it all: bedrooms with frescoed ceilings—each one individually decorated with antiques and luxurious fabrics; a glorious swimming pool with jaw-dropping vistas, a well-regarded gourmet restaurant, and even its own winery.
Dining experiences have been mindfully selected. Meals will be special culinary events, ranging from sophisticated Michelin-star restaurants to pizzeria and trattorias. Foods will offer a depth and breadth of Northern Italy’s gastronomic offerings ranging from haute cuisine to home-style cooking, and incorporate 3 distinct regions (the Veneto, Lombardy and Piedmont).
The Slow Food movement was born in Piedmont and the majority of the trip will be spent in this region. Home of truffles, the world’s most expensive gastronomic item, Piedmont is also the area of Italy’s finest chocolate and hazelnuts (Nutella was invented here). Lombardy, on the other hand, is recognized for its rice production (the special variety used in risotto). The Veneto, birthplace of radicchio and tiramisu, additionally offers a cornucopia of fish and seafoods for the group.
October is prime time for Italy’s most prized culinary ingredient, the white truffle. The magnificent truffle will be experienced in many different venues. First, our trip has been timed perfectly for Italy’s amazing Truffle Festival, a weekend where the entire town pays homage to the royal truffle. You’ll be able to meet and speak with truffle vendors, taste truffle oil, and sample truffle cheese, truffle sausages and a variety of condiments made with the kingly truffle. One of the highlights, however, will be an actual truffle hunt into the forest with a “trifalou” and his dog. Last, we’ll \visit a truffle factory to see them making a host of truffled culinary items (and you’ll be able to purchase them at prices that are a fraction of what they are back home).
There will many other gastronomic-centered outings, including a visit to an artisanal cheese maker, as well as a producer of the special type of rice used in risotto. In addition to visiting Verona’s illustrious outdoor food market, we’ll also visit Italy’s most famous food emporium-kitchen shop, Eataly. This gastronomic shrine offers a mind-boggling array of specialty epicurean items from every region in Italy. As we’ll be visiting at lunchtime, Eataly also offers numerous spots to dine such as a mozzarella-bar, wood-fired pizzeria, seafood eatery, and a pasta-centric restaurant.
The tour will be business casual. Men need to bring a sport coat (tie optional) for the more formal evenings, & women should plan a similar level of attire (cocktail dress or fancy pantsuit). Bring non-skid shoes for visits to wineries…floors may be wet & filled with a variety of equipment which can cause safety hazards. Pack a sweater or light jacket for cool days or evenings.
Early October averages in the mid 60’s during the day. Nights will be much cooler in Piedmont due to its location at the base of Alps. While rain is not usual at this time of year, it is always a good idea to pack an umbrella or rain jacket.
The price is based upon double occupancy. Should you wish a single room there will be a supplement of $1081 US.
We have provided free time as detailed in the itinerary. It is not mandatory that you attend all of the planned experiences, although most of our clients do. This is your trip—if you would rather sleep in, shop, or simply chill out, then do so.
Yes. We accept payment through PayPal (PayPal.com). Since PayPal charges us a fee, this fee must added to the cost of your trip.
- Double occupancy accommodations
- Transportation and entrance to all activities listed in the itinerary
- Professional level seminars prior to visiting each wine region
- Daily breakfast
- 9 dinners with wine (the trip has been priced based on 2 persons sharing a 750ml bottle of wine, or 2.5 glasses per person of 150ml each)
- All gratuities (e.g. restaurants, luggage porterage, driver, guides)