In the province of Cuneo lies the small town of Serralunga d’Alba. Although it has a population of only 500, it is one of the best-known of the towns whose vineyards produce Barolo. The special soil and climate, the terroir, makes the wines unique and highly distinctive the world over. It is on these gentle hills that the Villadoria winery is located. The Lanzavecchia family’s connection with the wine world stretches far back to the dream of Daniele Lanzavecchia Sr. Born in 1887, in Predosa, Italy, about 30 miles west of Serralunga d’Alba, Daniele was a determined and intelligent young man, but times were difficult and the land offered very little. It was precisely in these tough times that he developed the idea of opening a vine plant nursery. It was to become a passion for the rest of his life, but it took many years before his dream of making wine came to fruition. In 1920, his son Pietro was born, who grew to share in his father’s passion for vineyards and wine. Enterprising and clever, he understood that the area best suited to vine growing was the Langhe. After graduating with a degree in agriculture in 1959, Pietro set up the Villadoria Wine Estate on the Serralunga hills, buying up vineyards and building his winemaking and aging cellar in partnership, now with his son, Daniele. Today it is Daniele who owns the company and workd with his daughter, Paola.
For the Lanzavecchia family, Barolo has always represented the union between form and substance in its wines. Nebbiolo reaches its maximum potential in these hills, thanks to the unique composition of the soil.
It was to this majestic setting that the Publisher’s Tour group came for a visit to the vineyard, wine cellar, a wine tasting and five-course lunch. The Lanzavecchia family welcomed the Tribune guests at the Tenuta Cappallotto guesthouse, originally a hunting-lodge which belonged to the House of Savoy. This is the ideal place to taste the Villadoria wines, surrounded by the peace of the vineyards in the hills of Serralunga d’Alba. The group was amazed by the wonderful view from the hillside. Daniele pointed to the top and told his audience that it was at the very top that the last grapes are harvested, those closest to the sun have always made the best Barolo. All of the harvesting is done by hand. Back down the hill, the visitors then looked through the vast wine cellar of Villadoria, with row upon row of wines aging in oak barrels. The wine tasting was beyond delicious; it was remarkably informative. One became overcome by the passion of Daniele and his daughter, Paola and captivated by the sheer effort and knowledge that is required to produce their exceptional wines. While the tastings took place, each vintage was paired with an appropriate food from the tasty appetizers and cheeses, to the pasta, main course and dessert. The lunch was a masterful orchestration of tastes and wine pairings that left its mark on each of the faces of each well-fed traveler. Many thanks were extended to father, daughter and staff. It was a remarkable experience and a meal and wine tasting that will provide cherished memories for each of the Publisher’s Tour guests.