On the agenda for today was a wine tour with Micha Baur of Baur B&B.
We started with a stop at Alice Bel Colle, one of the highest points in the area. Here is the view from there:
And the darling little church just below:
Then on to Ricaldone Cantina Sociale, which was really interesting. It is a cooperative where many people bring grapes, and wine is made from the combined grapes. It is distributed in bulk from machines that look like gas pumps. Take a look:
People bring in large containers for the wine to be "pumped" into. Micha says that sometimes they take it home and put it in bottles to make it last longer. What a great deal - wish we had that in the US!
Next stop was Cantine Maranzana, another cooperative, where harvest of the Freisa grape was in progress. Any member of the cooperative who had Freisa grapes brought them to the cantina to be combined and crushed. It was a fun thing to watch.
The young guy in the last photo really liked having his picture taken. He kept smiling and hamming it up for the camera.
Then a quick stop in the "cookie town", Mombaruzzo, where we bought both almond flavored cookies but also nocciolo flavored ones. I hope they don't get squashed on the way home.
Our last stop of the day, though, was the best - a visit to Diana and Micha's friend, Domenico, who hand-crafts his wines like his father and grandfather did for years, producing about 20,000 bottles a year.
We have just arrived at Domenico's home/winery.
Here's Domenico and Micha looking at the view:
We sat down at the dining room table to taste the wines, and Domenico's dog Kika made friends with Bill. Kika also liked sausage and bread too!
We tasted six of Domenico's wines:
2007 Brachetto Seco, which unlike most Brachettos, has no fermentation, so it is a still wine. He is the only one who makes a Brachetto Seco, which he calls Bric e Brac.
2007 Amista, which is a blended wine - 80% Dolcetto and 20% Brachetto. It doesn't have the required 90% Dolcetto, so it must be called by the proprietary name.
2007 Dolcetto d'Acqui.
2005 Dolcetto Superiore, which spends a little bit of time in Oak, and is aged longer than the regular Dolcetto.
2005 Albarossa - the grape is a hybrid of Nebbiola and Barbera. It has just recently become a DOC. It was my favorite and is the most age-worthy of Domenico's wines.
Brachetto d'Acqui - this is the traditional way Brachetto is made with a little fizziness and was an award-winner for Domenico. It was sold out, though, so we couldn't buy any of it.
We then went down into Domenico's cellar
This display was of bottles that his father and grandfather used during their winemaking days:
This is the bottling machine that Domenico uses. He is a one-man show and does everything in the winemaking process.
And the stainless steel barrels:
Another winetasting area:
And here I am with Domenico. Thanks so much for a great tasting!
When we got back to the B&B, Diana had made dinner for us - fresh anchovies on roasted bell peppers, braised fennel with gorgonzola, and some yummy fried potatoes.