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Piemonte

a
Al Ehrhardt Jun 2, 2013 11:06 AM

Just returned from two weeks in Barcelona and Northern Italy, and spent three days in Piemonte. This is the wine region I have most wanted to visit.

Not sure how you could find a more enjoyable hotel for your base in the Langhe than Le Case Della Saracca, or a more accommodating host than Guilio Perin. Monforte d'Alba is convenient for Barolo winery visits and the Saracca’s location and the views are outstanding.

Giulio has created a fantastic hotel, restaurant, and wine bar by combing and renovating adjoining stone building, the oldest dating over 1,000 years old. No attention to detail has been missed and the architecture/design work is fabulous. Ancient and modern aesthetics combine to create a multileveled retreat that reveals fascinating details everywhere your eyes wander. As an architecture fan and having built and renovated several homes, I was awed by Guilio’s creation. Hard to imagine the time, effort, expense that went into this project.

We were fortunate to book the Ca ‘d Camiot suite and our friends had the Dormouse suite. Sarraca's website photos do not justice to these two story spaces.

No formal notes since I did not want to drive my wife and friends crazy.

We cancelled our dinner reservation for our last evening to dine in Saracca’s restaurant and could not have been happier. A fabulous meal, great cellar (both depth and design), and extremely friendly service. There are several private dining tables carved into stone nooks in the multileveled space. Our waitress had to climb stairs the equivalent of the Willis Tower over the course of the evening and could not have been nicer. Giulio joked that he can pay her less salary since she doesn’t need a gym membership. This was the best meal we enjoyed in Piemonte. Highlights included the rabbit salad (unbelievable dish), house-made tajarin with venison ragu, house-made gnocchi, spring risotto, the stinco di maiale, and a version of Tiramisu that uses butter (they also have a traditional version, but hard to imagine it could surpass this one and I am not a Tiramisu fan).

We also had very nice dinners at Osteria Veglio in La Morra and Le Torre in Cherasco. Veglio had a lot of vegetable options, not that easy to find in Piemonte.

Two of our lunch options were forced due to the need to find something convenient to where we were at the time. We were more successful at Antica Torre in Barbaresco. Nice salads, pasta's, and a great cheese plate. Vincafe in Alba was fine, but would not go out of my way for it and there were several service issues.

Centro Storico was a planned lunch option and I would return. While in Serralunga, don't miss a tour of the Castello di Serralunga d'Alba (much cooler than the Grinzane Cavour castle).

We were surprised by the horrible bread in the restaurants on this trip (Piemonte, Bellagio, Modena/Parma/Bologna, and Verona), since we have not had that experience in other regions of Italy. A total waste of calories. Fortunately, the grissini were excellent and more than made up for the poor bread.

Guilio helped me book four winery visits for us, Giacomo Conterno (excellent private visit with Roberto Conterno), Giuseppe Mascarello, G.D. Vajra (fun private visit with the passionate Francesca Vajra), and Elio Grasso (way too many barrique's for my taste). Four very different experiences. Also popped into the Produttori del Barbaresco and Gigi Bianco for tastings on our first day.

The prices and selections in the enoteca's and tasting rooms were fantastic. We drank a lot of great wines, many that are very difficult to find in the US. Even found several freisa's.

Le Case Della Saracca
via Cavour 5
12065 Monforte d'Alba CN

tel. 0173 789222 –
info@saracca.com
http://www.saracca.com

Le Torre
Via Ospedale
12062 Cherasco

Osteria Veglio
localita Annunziata 9
12064 La Morra, Italy

Centro Storico
Via Roma, 6
12050 Serralunga d'Alba

Trattoria Antica Torre
Via Torino, 71
12050 Barbaresco, Italy

Vincafe
Via Vittorio Emanuele, 12
12051 Alba, Italy

  1. d
    DavidT Jun 3, 2013 05:53 AM

    Thanks very much for the report!

    1. s
      Scooter22 Jun 10, 2013 04:04 PM

      My wife and I will be in this area this October. Is Le Case della Saracca a high priced hotel or more moderate. I'm trying to see if it will fit into our budget.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Scooter22
        a
        Al Ehrhardt Jun 10, 2013 05:32 PM

        Scooter,

        Since Giulio does not have prices on his website, I don't want to post the rate, but the rate is REALLY inexpensive for the quality of the hotel and rooms. I am not sure you can find any hotel that is cheaper.

        Send him an email for prices, you will not be disappointed.

        Best,
        Al

        1. re: Al Ehrhardt
          s
          Scooter22 Jun 10, 2013 06:26 PM

          Thank you. As soon as I nail down the exact dates, I will contact him. Thanks for your help.

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