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When in Piemonte, Italy The Winery You Must Visit

Going to wine country in Italy is not quite like visiting Napa Valley or Sonoma County in California.  While things are getting easier for wine tourists, you just can’t show up and expect to be able to go taste at any winery you want to.  The concept of a tasting room open daily to visitors is still something that’s not as common in the region that is home to Barolo and Barbaresco.  But one winery has recognized the need for opening its doors to wine lovers.  That’s why you can visit the Ceretto winery and be treated not only to great wine but eye-catching art too. The main Ceretto winery is in Alba, just outside of the historic downtown area.  The building was a farmhouse that belonged to Vittorio Emanuele II, the famous king who ruled the newly unified Italy in the mid 1800s.  Now it is the Ceretto…

A Visit To Gaja

Gaja. It is one of the most iconic names in all of Italian wine. Without Gaja, Barbaresco may not be the grand wine it is today. But they have the most modest entrance to a winery I’ve seen. It is very understated, located on the main street that runs through Barbaresco, a village in the Langhe region of Piemonte, situated on a hilltop overlooking the Lange hills. We missed the sign, it’s so small and modest. There’s no palatial entrance, no big sign, no grand facade. To visit you need an appointment. Luckily we had that, and the big steel door that leads to the winery rolled open upon our arrival. In the interior courtyard where grapes are crushed we’re greeted by Gaia Gaja, fifth generation vintner, one of Angelo Gaja’s three children. Her sister Rossana is also involved in the family business, working with the Gaja properties in Bolgheri,…