Population: < 1000 | Novello, Barolo, Grinzane Cavour

Grinzane Cavour Evening Light

July 6-7

It’s 4 PM on Thursday while I write this and we’ve already turned in for naps. Blame the truffles and the wine, not our weak constitution for hiking up steep vineyards with no reprise from the sun. I haven’t been to Tuscany, but I must say Piedmont has been particularly nice to us. The people have all been very sweet, and the atmosphere is just perfect. Outside of the summer heat, which one can avoid by coming here before July or after August, I can imagine spending a month or more here. Cycling up and down the hills, an afternoon Muscato followed by some dinner with friends, washed down with some local grappa (or pannacotta). Sprinkle in the winery tours that you book ahead of time (the best wineries are appointment only, evidently), and you’ll have a memorable month. If you could be so lucky.

Some pics below of the views around our AirBnB in Grinzane Cavour, the amazing wine prices, our little balcony dinner, and views of the castle. After those, we’ll turn to today.

Grinzane Cavour Window View

Grinzane Cavour View

Grinzane Cavour BW

Grinzane Cavour DandS

Grinzane Cavour Castle BW

Grinzane Cavour Wine Prices

Grinzane Cavour Dinner Prep

Grinzane Cavour Dinner Patio

After hiking a mile or so in the sun today from the center of Barolo through beautiful vineyards, we stopped into Cascina Boschetti for a tour and tasting. Giampiero was kind and gave us some lessons in what makes a Barolo able to be called Barolo, along with the differentiations between the micro-regions around us. Nebbiolo is the only grape going into a Barolo, along with strict aging guidelines of 38 months with 18 of them in oak. A Riserva is aged for more. Giampiero had just been in New York five days earlier, so he showed us the places he visited with his distributor. He spent some time about a block away from my first apartment. He shared some suggestions, and we shared ours for his next visit. Not bashful or stingy with the tasting, and excellently priced bottles at the winery, we happily walked away with a few bottles for the evening ahead. Then we walked down to Osteria la Cantinella for some slightly touristy priced, albeit very tasty, pasta and truffles.

Barolo Vineyards

Barolo Vineyards Shed

Barolo Vineyards Shed MandS

Barolo Vines Nebbiolo

Cascina Boschetti Barrels

Cascina Boschetti Bottles

Barolo Osteria la Cantinella

From there we went to Novello, another hamlet where we walked around and soon decided to go hide from the sun. We walked past the homes of the locals and noticing the armies of tomato plants, lemon and fig trees, and all sorts of other productive plants neatly scattered in their backyards. All set to the sounds of two-stroke scooters buzzing around the town like a little beehive.

Later, just before we turn in for those naps, we’ll arrive back in Grinzane Cavour and be greeted by our neighbor. She is 89, speaks only Italian, and seems in great health with lots of spunk to boot. She told Melina all about her husband, who was the greatest dancer in the Alba region and that all the girls wanted to dance with him. We were in the cantina as we watched her take her walk to get biscottis for her morning coffee. She was very Italian, and all smiles.

Below are a couple shots from Novello, including the local church: Parrocchia S. Michele Arcangelo

Novello Doors

Novello Parrocchia S. Michele Arcangelo

Novello Parrocchia S. Michele Arcangelo Door

With gratitude – thanks for reading

By Daniel Hatke

The author was born and raised in Indiana. After graduating from Purdue University he worked in the asset management industry in New York City. He holds an MBA from Columbia Business School with concentrations in finance and entrepreneurship. Currently, he is fueling his curiosities through taking time off for extended travel and experiences in Europe and Asia, as chronicled here.