Covid-19 threw a spanner in the works and made life difficult for many. Working from home brings extra stress to many: in many cases, a husband (or wife) who also has to do the work from home, little social contact with the outside world, more cleaning work and other minor annoyances, and until recently, the children who had to follow their lessons at home.
An example: if you go to the office and the dishes from the previous evening have not been done, you just close the door and the dishes are gone from your mind. When you work at home, the dishes are smiling at you every time you walk by... These extra worries and the longing for spring challenge us to work out a programme in which you are away from Belgium for less than 48 hours. Clear: you still need the negative test for the outward journey, but you don't have to go through quarantine or the dreaded form. And above all: you travel Covid Safe!
Interested to know more?
Who is the ideal individual for this trip?
Our focus for this trip is on wine lovers who want to visit two wine domains a day in the Alto Piemonte region, which is located at a stone's throw from Milano Malpensa airport. A region that is still unknown to many and certainly deserves your attention.
More than ever, the participants of this trip also want to enjoy a delicious meal.
Let us be clear that in Italy too, the mouth mask is compulsory, but according to the same plan as we follow in Belgium.
What is our programme for your 48 hour escape from stress & enjoy the happy moments of life.
Example Programme for Friday 2 and Saturday 3 April 2021 (so you are still in Belgium in time for Easter).
You depart from Zaventem to Milano Malpensa and you are up early because your flight leaves at 6.55 a.m. to arrive at 8.30 a.m., pick up your rental car and you are on the road at 9.30 a.m. You do reserve the hire car yourself directly with the company of your choice, all the rest is up to us.
What is important to know? Alto Piemonte is growing fast and offers fewer young wines at a lower price tag compared to Langhe Roero
48 hours of intense Italian soil enjoyment, slow food, and overnight stay in top-rated B&B
Your first stop is at Enrico Crola's, a young wine talent, with a somewhat "unusual style winery". Working with natural materials is totally his thing and the winery and the surrounding nature need to be in harmony. So he opted for a wooden structure. The underground wine cellars are spacious, everything is fairly new and the tasting room offers a panoramic view. Here you can get to know, among others, Vespolina, Nebbiolo delle Colline Novarese and Spumante based on Nebbiolo.
The distance between the airport and Enrico Crola is 24 minutes, but assuming some traffic jams (Friday = weekday), possibly a breakfast, you should count on 60 minutes. So arrival around 10.30 am. Duration tour and tasting 1h30.
Lunch with Risotto & Co, typical for this region
After your visit to Enrico Crola, you can have lunch in a typical Risotto restaurant with a nice outdoor terrace. From the street side, this restaurant does not look like much, but inside, you will find that typical Piedmontese atmosphere and there is also a separate room for groups. The experience here is optimal, because Risotto is not served as it is in Belgium or the Netherlands. The fact that this restaurant almost exclusively serves its own people also makes it an authentic experience.
Francesco Brigatti: Oenologist with deep-rooted traditions
After lunch, Francesco Brigatti is on the programme. Definitely a wine domain that scores high in Italy but also in the United States. Very traditional, a real winery, a very talented oenologist with wines that score super in the international press. Take, for example, his Mötfrei, which received Cinque Grappoli in the Italian wine press. Visit vineyards, cantina and tasting. A wide range of wines from the stunner Erbaluce to the Ghemme Oltre Il Bosco and all the Nebbiolos.
Did you know that Francesco Brigatti achieves enormous scores at blind tastings of both Italian and non Italian wine with his fellow winemakers? He uses this knowledge, of course, to give his own wines those aromas and flavours that many are very excited about.
Novara: super cosy town with large park and shopping
Paying a visit to Novara, where it is lovely to linger with the terraces (catering establishments in Italy are open until 6 p.m. on 13 January 2021), the beautiful park and castle and, above all, the very attractive shopping streets. That too is possible!
Staying in an idyllic location, Castello Castellengo
Afterwards, you will check in to your accommodation, the B & B annex of the Castellengo Castle in Cossato. A beautiful site, especially in spring when everything is in bloom, with a panoramic view of the Monviso. There are only 4 rooms, so you won't find a lot of people here.
Here you will enjoy a slow food wine pairing dinner. From the rather simple Nebbiolo Rosso della Motta to the top wine Castellengo that can certainly compete with the top wines Barolo & Co from Langhe Roero. Also leather, tobacco, liquorice: the characteristics of an excellent Barolo you will find in this wine from Alto Piemonte.
Depending on what time you arrive at the location, the visit to the wine cellar will take place in the morning or in the evening before dinner.
Day 2: Podere ai Valloni and Cantina del Signore
After breakfast from 7.30am, we provide plenty of time to enjoy this ultra beautiful place for a while or you can also choose to make a walk in Riserva Naturale delle Baragge on the way before your next wine visit.
At 10.30 am you will have an appointment at Podere ai Valloni, a wine estate with a unique location in the middle of the nature reserve. A small wine house: of their top product Boca only 3,300 bottles are produced to supply the whole world with this wine, awarded with 94 points by Antonio Galloni. You will taste Boca of course, but also Gratus and Sass Russ (93 and 91 points respectively). Stroll among the vineyards, meet their ciabot at its most panoramic point and learn about the history of this terroir. Also visit the cellar and fully enjoy those unique points that distinguish Podere ai Valloni from other wine producers in the area.
Lunch will be provided in a gastronomic restaurant with 4 courses including wines.
After lunch - around 3.30pm - it is the turn of Gattinara, the DOCG region where you will visit Cantina del Signore and have a comparative tasting between several Gattinara's but also their other wines. This winery is very small but with top quality.
You will have some time left to enjoy the region before heading to the airport. Your return flight leaves at 20h40, which means that you need to be at the airport 18h40 with a 49 minutes journey between Gattinara and the airport. Indeed, two hours in advance because you also need to return the car.
This programme can be done at any time, also before the Easter period and also after the Easter period.
Your appointments with our wine growers are "one on one". You will not come into contact with other bubbles.
Because of this Covid period we have adapted our reservation and payment conditions. This means that you pay 20% in advance, 80% one week before travelling. If your trip cannot take place, you will be reimbursed 100%. That is our promise! Our customers from last year are willing to tell you about their positive experiences regarding the refund