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Piedmont and Franciacorta With Mr. Chad Melville proprietor Melville Vineyards

Join wine grower Mr. Chad Melville as he explores some of the greatest and some of the most unknown vineyards in the world with Heathen Wine Tours

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Piedmont and Franciacorta With Mr. Chad Melville proprietor Melville Vineyards
Piedmont and Franciacorta With Mr. Chad Melville proprietor Melville Vineyards

Time & Location

May 08, 2022, 1:00 PM GMT+2 – May 14, 2022, 12:00 PM GMT+2

Alba, 12051 Alba, Province of Cuneo, Italy

About The Event

Introducing a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel to Italy and chill with award winning, renown winemaker and grape grower, Mr. Chad Melville of Melville Vineyards. Melville Vineyards is located in Santa Rita Hills, California and champions farming and grape growing to produce the best wines in the Central Coast of California. Join Mr. Melville for a week of great wines, culinary extravagance, world class scenery and an insiders view of what it takes to grow and produce world class wines. This experience is cohosted by Melville Vineyards and Heathen Wine Tours.

CHAD MELVILLE - HEAD WINEGROWER  “WE TAKE GREAT PRIDE IN BEING AN ESTATE… OWNING, FARMING, AND GROWING WINE FROM OUR LAND”  In 1997, working side by side with his father Ron and brother Brent, Chad helped to establish Melville’s Estate vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills, a journey that began and continues to endure with tremendous passion and dedication. Since that time, Chad has received great critical acclaim for his wines. Through both his intimate knowledge of the vineyards and his relentless commitment to winemaking practices that honor tradition and the land, Chad understands the magical evolution each bottle of wine undertakes from vine to glass.

Our travel will take us from Franciacorta in Lombardy, to Barolo in Piedmont. For centuries farmers and grape growers in these Northern Italian regions made their mark producing long lived, elegant, vineyard focused wines. As a farmer Mr. Melville understands and lives the daily ins and outs of the vineyard, grapes and all aspects of production. His knowledge of farming/winemaking will add a unique perspective to our journey. Imagine the experience of traveling with a world class vintner, to one of his favorite places in the world. All the while we soak up his insight and wisdom while drinking Melville wines, side by side with other great wines he holds in high acclaim.

After departing Milan, we head to our home for the next three days in Lombardy. Franciacorta to be exact, where the local wineries have been producing world class sparkling wines rivaling Champagne for years. We'll stay at a local winery Le Quattro Terre, and take over their rooms at the agritourismo for our three nights. After a tour of the grounds we'll crash their cellar for older vintages, followed with dinner. The next morning starts with a visit to Lake Iseo for local sights and history. We'll head to the island of Monte Isola for lunch on fresh lake fish and local wines. After our boat ride, we'll head to Barone Pizzini to meet the Franciarota Consorzio President, and get up close and personal with local history. We'll taste world class sparkling wines with the owners and winemakers from Ca' del Bosco and Arcani & Danesi. We will also gain access to some of their lesser known wines, which don't make it out of their cellars. We'll also take a surprise visit to one of the greatest wineries in the area, and try Melville Pinot Noir next to the best Pinot Noir produced in the region.

The legendary Nebbiolo vineyards of Barolo need no introduction to anyone in the wine world. These Grand Cru sites are home to the "King of Wines and the Wine Of Kings"! We'll spend three days and nights in and around these world heritage UNESCO villages, and meet some of the greatest winemakers alive. Massolino, Boroli, Pietro Rinaldi and Cordero de Montezemolo, just to name a few. Our first evening we'll dine at Pietro Rinaldi with 4th generation owner Paolo, it's only appropriate that we make this our home base for our time in Piedmont. We'll take over rooms in the middle of the vineyards in Barolo. That's right you'll wake up and go to sleep over looking the most historical vines as your back yard view.

Barrel samples with Achille Boroli at Boroli Winery, followed by lunch at a local osteria in Castiglione Falletto. A vertical tasting at Massolino, side by side with current vintages. How about a private truffle hunt with a world renown truffle hunter and his dogs to snag some fungi for dinner? We'll also spend time in the local village of Alba, known around the world as some of the best food, wine and truffles anywhere. Our friend Denise Marrone has a traditional restaurant and winery, and has invited us to make pasta for dinner. A once in a lifetime event never before seen or recreated. We'll also take time to visit local castles dating back to the 14th century, and enjoy spring bounty and fresh made pasta with local chefs.

Agenda includes

Castle tour of Castello di Serralunga d'Alba

Cooking class and dinner with the Ms. Denise Marrone

Truffle hunting with our favorite local guide and his dogs 

Guided tour of Lake Iseo

Cellar tours and back vintage tasting at Franco Massolino

Cellar tour and dinner at Pietro Rinaldi with 4th generation owner Paolo 

Free time in Alba and Breschi to dine, see sights, shop, etc...

Cellar Tour and lunch in the vineyards with Ms. Valeria Odero, owner of Frecciarossa Winery

Cellar Tour and tasting in the vineyards with Ca del Bosco

Cellar Tour and tasting of Barolo with Achille Boroli

And many more surprises, tastings and of course the most scenic vineyards, lake shores and villages in the country.

Of course we will have our own bus/driver for the week. Pick up and drop off will be from the Milan-Malpensa airport. Our driver will pick us up Sunday, May 8th at 1:30PM to head to Franciacorta. After check in at our home for the next 3 days (the fantastic 4 star resort Le Quattro Terre), we will have a private tour of the property and wine cellar followed by dinner at their award winning restaurant.

Monday, May 9th Morning starts with a delicious, traditional European breakfast featuring local breads, eggs, cheese, charcuterie, fruits, juices, coffee and yogurt all served in the 18th century farmhouse. Our first stop this morning will be to Lake Iseo for a boat ride to visit the scenic mountains and shores of this historic place. After our boat ride we'll head to Monte Isola for a lunch of local seafood, and a bit of shopping before heading to the world renown Barone Pizzini winery. Here we will tour the cellar, taste their amazing sparkling wines and meet with the winemaking team.  That evening we'll head to Iseo for free time and dinner at Radici, before returning to Le Quattro Terre.

Tuesday, May 10th starts with another great breakfast at the farmhouse. That morning we are in for a huge treat as we will head to Arcani & Danesi to taste with the owners in their vineyards overlooking the valley. After lunch at de Gallo, we head to an afternoon of laughs, great wine and world class scenery with Ca del Bosco. After our tasting we head to the village of Breschi for time on your own. Renoun for the historical local squares, churches and plazas make for an enchanted evening joined with local eats and drinks. Of course, we end the evening with a return to Le Quattro Terre for our last evening before departing to Piedmont.

Wednesday, May 11th after another fantastic breakfast we check out and head South to Piedmont. No one likes a bus ride without something to break up the drive. So what better way to break up the trip than the best Pinot Noir in the region? A cellar tour and lunch in the vineyards with Ms. Valeria Odero, owner of Frecciarossa Winery. After a short ride we'll arrive in the scenic vineyards of Barolo to our home for the next 3 days. One of most storied families in the region, the Rinaldi's will greet us at their 8 room resort MiaClara. After a tour of the historic property, we'll head to the cellar for a tasting, followed by a traditional dinner.

Thursday, May 12th starts the morning with local Piedmont breakfast in the resort. After, we head to our friends Boroli Winery in Castiglione Falleto for a tasting and tour of some of the most revered vineyards in the world. We'll meet with winemaker Achille Boroli to learn about his families story, the grape Nebbiolo and the importance of vineyard and region to his wines. Following a short walk in the village we'll lunch overlooking the vineyards at one of the best osteria's in the region, with their fresh take on local cuisine. That afternoon we head to Massolino, highly reverred in the region to taste current and older releases with Franco Massolino. That evening we head to the village of Alba where you'll have time to see the local sites, shop and grab dinner and drinks on your own.

Friday, May 13th begins with our favorite local breakfast in the resort. Our first outing is off to hunt truffles with a local guide and his fungi loving dogs. Through the forest we will hunt for some of the most rare, prestigious mushroom glory in all the land, truffles. Our first stop will be with Alberto Montezemolo of Cordero di Montezemolo and a grand tour of his familes property near La Morra. After a local lunch in the nearby village we head down the hill to Familia Marrone in Barolo. Our friend, and all around awesome lady Ms. Denise Marrone is 4th generation proprietor, and one of 4 sisters who run the winery, restaurant and cooking school. We'll make pasta with her Chef served with truffles from our morning outing, all paired with wines from Marrone and Melville.

Saturday, May 14th doesn't have to be a sad day. We'll finish with one more great breakfast in the resort. The group will depart for a 2 hour voyage to the Milan-Malpensa airport. Here we'll say our good byes to our new best friends by noon.

Accommodations in Franciacorta  - Le Quattro Terre

Accommodations in Piedmont - Pietro Rinaldi

All rooms, ground transport, tastings, meals (other than 2 nights on your own), visits, tours included.

Airfare and time on your own not included. We have 16 people traveling for this once in a lifetime experience with Mr. Chad Melville and Heathen Wine Tours. 

Double Occupancy $4800 per person 

Single Occupancy $5500 per person

Please note a 3% additional charge will be added to all credit card purchases.

Covid testing taken no more than 1 day in advance of travel is necessary for all people arriving to the USA. Vaccination cards in Italy are required in most scenarios. Mobile phone apps such as Verifly and Navica are accepted in both the USA and Italy. These can easily be downloaded on your phone to avoid carrying extra paperwork and long lines at the airport. To travel in Italy you will also need to obtain the Super Green Pass.

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