After a delightful lunch alongside super wine with Stefano at Ca dei Frati we headed off for a three hour journey from Lugana to Barbaresco in Piedmont. There we were to visit the Bruno Rocca winery for a tour with Elena Oberto. Barbaresco often suffers at the hands of it's more famous neighbour, Barolo. Both are made from Nebbiolo grapes, the former often playing the more feminine role to the laters masculine. Back in 1978, Bruno Rocca was working for Ferrero Rocher in Alba a town in Piedmont when his father, who was a grape grower, sadly passed away. Bruno could not afford to run two families, so decided to vinify his own wine, bottle and sell it himself.
The Bruno Rocca CellarAlmost 40 years later the estate is one of the most famous and well respected Barbaresco producers in the region and quite possibly the world. Only 65,000 bottles are made in total production from the winery, so it is very boutique and the wines are very much sought after throughout the wine world. We had a glass of their Chardonnay on the terrace overlooking their vines. The view was quite possibly the most breath-taking I have ever seen. The sun was just beginning to disappear over the Alps and it was a truly staggering sight.
The View from the Rocca WineryAs we were to be guests of Bruno Rocca winery for dinner that evening, we decided that it would be good to try their range at dinner, which was at a fantastic wine bar/restaurant in the town of Alba, where we were staying for a couple of nights. It was called Ristorante Enoclub and I would recommend it to anyone visiting Alba. It is spread over two levels, with the ground floor more bistro/wine bar style and the restaurant proper situated downstairs.
The wines on showBarbera d'Asti Crisp and fresh with light, cherry and redcurrant fruit and lively acidity. Perfect food wine. Barbera d'Alba More body to it than the Barbera d'Asti with lower acidity and more blackberry fruit. Barbaresco Elegant, with notes of roses, lavender, cherry and a savoury element on the palate. Went very well with the wild mushroom pasta dish. Barbaresco Rabaja Made from grapes on the Rabaja hillside vineyard, this is an ethereal wine with layer upon layer of soft oak, spice, rose petals, bittersweet cherry and wild blackberries. A fantastic partner to the rabbit dish they cooked for us. So that was the end of day two. After a nightcap in a great wine-bar called Hemmingways we headed back to the hotel for some shut-eye before another long day on Wednesday. Stay tuned for more! Graham
Northern Italy Wine Map