Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Alba, Al Fresco, and Alfieri

This wine trip continues to be an embarrassment of riches, so to speak. Rich experiences wrapped in gorgeous views, lovely wines and beautiful people.

Our day started out yesterday with a visit to Punset Winery, whose owner, Marina Marcarino, was and is a pioneer, not only as a female producer in what used to be a man's world, but also in biodynamic vineyard management and wine production not only in the Barbaresco zone but in Piemonte and Italy as well.

Barbaresco vineyards below Sunset

Marina Marcarino

Marina, who had just returned from a business trip to the United States the day before, treated us not only to a few of her wines but as well presented us with a fascinating discussion of her approach to biodynamics and the difference that approach has made to her wines.

Neive, one of the three villages of the Barbaresco denomination,
viewed across the valley from Punset.

Sheral, Marina and Suzanne

From Punset, we headed to the village of Barbaresco itself for an al fresco luncheon in the middle of town. There, we were joined by Davide Pasquero, who combines his international business background, his deep knowledge of wine and his passion for cycling in the services offered by his company, Terroir Selection. Obviously, Davide and I had no shortage of topics to discuss over lunch.

Davide Pasquero and me

From Barbaresco, we headed to Alba, one of the largest towns in the region, for a few hours of strolling, shopping and aperitivi. 

A (somewhat blurry) shot of the vineyard landscape as we headed from Barbaresco to Alba.

My new discovery: a Contrattino, Alba's answer to an Aperol Spritz.

From Alba, it was back to our home base of Marchesi Alfieri. Awaiting us was an enchanting evening of simple dinner fare, wonderful wines and interaction with yet more members of Suzanne Hoffman's extended wine producer families, including Marina Marsaglia, owner of Cantina Marsaglia, all in the beautiful setting of the orangerie of the Castello Alfieri.

One of the owners of Marchesi Alfieri,
Donna Giovanna San Martino di San Germano, dropped in to say hello.

Marina Marsaglia, owner of Cantina Marsaglia, who brought bottles of two of her delicious Roero Arneis.

Suzanne Hoffman, Marina Marsaglia and her husband, Emilio, and Donna Giovanna.

Lori, Michelle and Mandy pose with a photograph of La Tota -- both the bottle of Marches Alfieri wine that was served and a photograph of the Alfieri relative (who was a single woman) for whom the wine is named. 

Our group, along with Davide Pasquale, Marina Marsaglia and her husband, Emilio.
What a night!

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