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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wine: The Wines of Pio Cesare




Joe, who is in my Italian class, writes a very entertaining column on wine. The column is called Annechino on Vino. I love Joe's columns... He always makes me feel like I'm right there, traveling through Italy with him. This column is about an extra day he had in Piemonte, and how he spent it visiting the vineyard of the Pio Cesare company. I'll print the first half of Joe's column today, and the second part, about the Pio Cesare wines, tomorrow.

With Joe's permission, I give you Piedmont Picks:

While leaving Lombardy late last year, a couple of life's perennially prevailing questions came to mind, demanding reconsideration. What, we wondered, were the occasions for which it was better to be late than to be early? And, of more relevance for future planning, what category did the situation in which we found ourselves that day belong?

Except for determining which weekend we'll plan to visit our newly discovered relatives in Benevento, our trips to Italy require only two dates -- the day of arrival and the day of departure. And since most trips begin and end in Rome, we've long been familiar with the areas and addresses of our preferred accommodations.

This time however, we had planned to return home from Milan, whose airport I had been to on only one previous occasion. So in case we encountered any surprises along the way, an extra night's stay at a nearby hotel seemed like a prudent precaution to prepare for our morning flight out. But then the question arose of how to enjoy the extra day that we had as a result of getting to Malpensa so early.

By now you know that one of the principal pleasures we derive from Italy... is? Of course! So, realizing that we were within an hour's drive of one of the world's greatest areas for growing grapes, it was easy to agree upon the most desirable destination.

Italy's north-west is well worth wandering about for an entire vacation. But we had only a single day. So it was best to limit our visit to an area that most broadly mirrored the rest of the region ... and in Piemonte, it's the town of Alba.

Now, here's a little town with some mighty big attractions! There's the familiar Ferrero candies, the food emporium Eataly (now also in Manhattan) and perhaps the world's most priciest product, the precious white truffle. But its most notable agricultural attraction is produced by the nearly 300 wineries whose wines are among the very best in the world...

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Come back tomorrow to read Part 2, about the wines of Pio Cesare!



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