Fancy a bit of luxury on your next trip to the Langhe? There are few better places to spoil yourself than the home of Barolo and white truffles… But there are plenty of other ways to treat yourself too.

Hot Air Ballooning

How about a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the vines and hills of Barolo? A number of companies offer flights, but the best is Giro in Mongolfiera. They take-off from various places depending on the time of day and the wind direction, and offer group and private flights, as well as in-flight wine tastings or even a string quartet to fly with you!

You will never forget the thrill of hearing (and feeling) the fire blasting into the balloon for the first time as you begin your ascent. You’ll get to see the Langhe come to life as you drift peacefully over the villages and vineyards. If there’s a better way to start the day, I’ve no idea what it is!

Truffle Hunt

While perhaps not quite as exclusive as a hot air balloon ride, a private truffle hunt is still an experience not to be missed. A trifolau and his dog will take you out to their favourite hidden spots, explaining everything as you go.

You wouldn’t imagine that following a dog through a forest would be thrilling, but it really is… watching the dog pick up a scent and sprint through the trees to show the trifolau where to dig, and then you pick up that first aroma, which tells you whether it will be black or white.

If you are lucky enough to find a good one, you can usually buy it and take it home to shave over some eggs or tajarin for lunch. All washed down with a good Barolo of course. There are several trifolaus who advertise locally and online, but for a real experience, ask your accommodation provider (us, hopefully) if they have a contact of their own.

Wine Tasting at Gaja

Anyone can (and absolutely should) go on a wine tasting here in the Langhe. There are hundreds of cantine to choose from, all of them offering a warm welcome and some amazing wines.

But a wine tasting at Gaja is different. Very different. First of all, you can’t just make an appointment and turn up, you have to be ‘accepted’ (if that’s not exclusive, I don’t know what is). Secondly, you need to make a donation of around 300 euros per person to a charity of Gaja’s choosing. That sounds like a lot, but this is a special place and if you love your wine it’s worth every penny…

Angelo Gaja is an absolute pioneer of Italian wine, credited with transforming Barbaresco from an obscure Italian wine into one of the world’s greatest. Year after year they produce what Wine Spectator describe as “perhaps the finest Italian wines ever made.” A tasting here is guaranteed to be the wine tasting of a lifetime.

Private Guide

A day or two with a private guide is the number one way to get the most from your time in the Barolo area. Before you arrive you can talk to your guide about your interests and tastes and together with you they will put together an itinerary of wine tastings, restaurants and anything else that takes your fancy, tailored just for you. They will pick you up from your accommodation in the morning and drive you through the hills, telling you all about the history and geography of the area as you go, then they will accompany you on the tastings to  ensure you get as much as possible from the experience. This is one of those things that I really cannot recommend highly enough.

We work closely with three local guides, get in touch if you would like to know more, and tell them we sent you!

Anna Savino – Italianna

Valerie Quintanilla – Girl’s Gotta Drink

Evan Byrne – PiemonteMio

An Evening to Remember

If you are fortunate enough to be staying at Villa Ribota, why not skip going out one evening and make everything come to you instead. Get a private chef to come to the house and prepare you a restaurant-quality dinner (you can work with them to prepare the menu) and a wine producer to come along too and provide a tasting. The two can work together to ensure that the menu and the wines pair together perfectly and the producer can talk you through everything, answering your questions and keeping your glasses topped up. You are essentially making the best of the Langhe come to you. It really doesn’t get much more luxurious than that…

If you want to know more about any of our recommendations, just let me know, I would be happy to help!