Relaxing and checking out the wine

This morning started with sitting around drinking Nespresso coffee and enjoying the vineyards. Our peace was interrupted only by barking dogs and farm implements. Dave thought about when we lived in California and the people who bought way out in valley for the solitude of the agricultural setting. Once there, they became upset because of the smells and sounds associated with farming … lol. Dave took a little walk before stopping because the insects were bothering him.

Sunrise from the Airbnb in Mango
Grape leaves getting into autumn

Early in the afternoon, we took off for our wine tasting at Azienda Agricola Dante Rivetti. Our guide was the daughter of the owner, Dante. It was a nice adventure. Grapes were being harvested and that meant processed. It was an interesting process to see the grape skins and juice being separated from stems and leaves. We then went past stainless-steel fermenting casks. From there we went into the aging room and saw many barrels and bottles being aged. It was overwhelming to think how much wine was in this room.

Church in Rivetti from the winery
Pomegranate tree at Dante Rivetti
Harvested grapes ready to begin the process
Hopper of grapes
Workers processing grapes
Machine that separates the juice and skins from the vines and leaves
Our guide explaining to Dave how the juice is processed (the skins float to the top, five times a day the juice is pumped to the top to run through the skins)
Stainless-steel tanks
Aging room – The casks at the end are about a five-foot diameter
Special barrel at Dante Rivetti
This wine was bottled 22 years ago when we moved to California for the second time
Dante Rivetti wine barrel
Packaging area of winery

From there we headed to the tasting room. It was much bigger than we anticipated. We suspect that they do wine tours, including larger buses. As it turns out we had the place to ourselves. That was, until another couple from the US (New Jersey), showed up. They had just arrived in Milan and drove down. They knew far more about the area and grapes than we did. Last time they came to visit they shipped three cases home.

Tasting room

On to the tasting. We started with a white wine, Langhe Arneis Briccodoro. We both liked it, especially, Linda. We then had the Moscato D’Asti Riveto. Dave, not the one for sparkling wines, in general, thought this one too sweet. As he went to pour it out, Linda intervened and finished the glass. From there we went to the Dolcetto d’Alba Sitovarei. It is a red wine from young grapes that is fermented in steel. Neither of us found it interesting. Next, we tasted two vintages of Barbaresco Bric’Micca which comes from younger Nebbiolo grapes and ages for 24 months. The 2018 vintage was quite spicy (not normal for this varietal according to our NJ friend). The 2016 was much milder. We moved on to the Barbaresco Riserva Bricco di Neive. This is a 2015 vintage that is made with older vine grapes and aged for 36 months (24 months in French Oak casks, 12 months in large casks, and 18 months in the bottle). It was very good and liked by both of us. We then tasted three vintages (2013, 2017, 2020) of Barbera d’Alba Alabarda Superiore. All three of the vintages were liked by both of us, but the 2013 was our favorite. Unfortunately, when it came time to buy, we found that the 2013 was only available in magnum bottles.

Wine, cheese, meat, and breadsticks … everything looks good here

In the end we purchased six bottles to be shipped to us and took one of the Briccodoro with us to enjoy in Milan tomorrow.

As we finished up, a group of men came into the tasting room. It seemed that they must be regulars. As it turns out, it is a group of men from Switzerland who come each year. They are a group of “hobby chefs” and when they visit, they cook a meal for the people at Dante Rivetti.

The gang from Switzerland is in the house

We decided to drive into Neive (we were here briefly yesterday) and walk around the town. It is a cute town. Though Dave does not understand why, Neive seems to have quite a draw for tourists. There doesn’t seem to be that much here; though, there are two churches.

View from vineyard road
View from Neive
St. Michael’s Church
Cheisa San Michele – this church was odd; seems more like a museum now
Mary in Chiesa San Michele
Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Neive
Sanctuary of Church of Saints Peter and Paul
Altar in Church of Saints Peter and Paul
St. Michael, the Archangel statue in wood
Back of Church of Saints Peter and Paul
View from Neive
Flowers adorning the street in Neive
Chimneys on old palace in Neive
Downtown Neive

Since we attempted to make reservations too late for the restaurant we wanted to visit in Barbaresco, we needed to make other plans. So, what do you do if you can’t get into the white tablecloth restaurant? You get take-out pizza, instead. We stopped in Santo Stefano Belbo to get the pizza. While waiting for the pizza, we checked out a grocery store. Dave told Linda that he thinks grocery store walk-throughs are like walking through a museum for Linda. Dave wandered down the street to the local church, but realized it was about 18:00 on Saturday and there were a lot of people starting to enter to attend mass.

Church in Santo Stefano Belbo

We got our two pizzas for a total of 12.50 euros and, well, it showed. They tasted okay, but there was not much quantity of toppings. Such is life; we’re on vacation.

Linda navigated us home the back way, avoiding the early evening Mango traffic (that’s a joke). While Dave didn’t get to see much (the road was narrow and the edges dropped off), what he did see was beautiful.

View from road near our Airbnb
Vineyards along the road by the Airbnb
View of maturing vineyard

At the house, we put the pizza in the oven to warm it back up and settled in for the night.

If you would like to see the pictures in more detail, you can click here: 2022-10-08 Mango-Neive.

Well, this certainly is different

The morning started with us finalizing our packing and getting ready to head out for our Airbnb in Mango. Mango is in the Piedmont Wine Country near Alba, Bra, Asti, Barbaresco, etc. To finish the packing, though, Dave had to go to the market and buy that extra suitcase. We need to bring some things home with us and there isn’t any room in the two suitcases we have.

Once packed up, we stopped at our cafeteria for one last cappuccino and a crème croissant. Well, it turns out that the one croissant they had when Dave was coming back from the market was gone. Instead, he found that they sell a piccolo crème croissant. It’s a little over half the size of a regular one. That’s what we should have been eating all along.

Picolo crema croissant
Other patrons at the caffeteria and our barista on the right

Once done with breakfast, it was time to retrieve our bags and head to the car. That all went smoothly, but driving out of the city was, again, a challenge. Dave only missed one turn, but the stress of the trip to the highway was unnecessary. 😊 After we left the city, the trip was very easy. The topography of the area was a significant change from yesterday. This land is flat. The cities are on plateaus, but there are fields everywhere. The land around Torino/Turin seemed to be corn and other similar crops. As we neared Bra, we could see that there were more vineyards coming into play.

We parked the car in Bra, stopped at the ATM at the post office (Jim taught Dave that there are no fees charged at these ATMs), and started walking. Well, wouldn’t you know it, there is a morning market in Bra. We picked up some coffee pods and a felted necklace. Continuing on we came upon, wait for it, a church. This one, Chiesa Sant’ Andrea, was so dark inside that we had no idea what things looked like. Fortunately, the camera on our phone does a nice job of “illuminating” things without a flash.

Bra market and Chiesa Sant’ Andrea
Altar in Chiesa Sant’ Andrea
Chapel in Chiesa Sant’ Andrea
Chiesa Sant’ Andrea
Chiesa Sant’ Andrea
Chapel in Chiesa Sant’ Andrea
Sculpture of Jesus being baptised by John the Baptist

We walked on to our lunch reservation at Osteria Boccondivino, one of the “slow food” restaurants in Italy. Here we had Steak Tartare with White Truffles, Tajarin “40 egg yolks” with butter and sage, and Tajarin “40 egg yolks” with meat sauce. Everything was amazing, but we decided that the white truffles with the tartare was not necessary. The flavor of the truffles was very subtle, though aromatic. The tajarin was rich. The richness was especially noticeable when combined with the butter and sage. We also had a glass of wine. Linda had a local Timorasso “Dethona” ’20 and Dave had a Barolo from 2017. The wines were outstanding.

Street in Bra
Street scene in Bra
Entry to Osteria Boccondivino
Dave at Oseria Boccondivino
Slow Food Movement logo
Steak Tartare with White Truffle
Tajarin and bread
Tajarin with butter and sage (notice the varieance in the width of the noodles; definitely hand cut)

We then walked back to the car. Well, we attempted to walk back. It turns out there’s more than one post office in the area we were. Oddly, we both found the same post office on our phones and we took off walking. After a while, we went, “Hey, none of this is familiar.” We looked, again, and found the right post office and started off, again.

St. Rocco’s Church
Bra street; – death notices are posted on the bulletin board on the right

Back at the car, we took off for Alba. This is truly a vibrant city. So vibrant, we couldn’t find a parking space. We may get back there tomorrow or Sunday. We continued our drive to Mango. It was a beautiful drive through more vineyards than we’ve ever seen. The curvy roads made the journey slower than expected, but it was worth it. Unfortunately, the skies were hazy, so we didn’t get much in the way of pictures.

Vineyards along drive to Mango
Vineyards along drive to Mango

We arrived a little early, so we had to wait for our host to drive down from Torino/Turin to meet us. Since we were a bit early, we drove to the house a looked around Mango. This feels a lot like our visit to Ripabottoni. A smaller downtown area, but in this case more housing and buildings in the vineyards, than the fields in Ripabottoni. We returned to the gas station where we were to meet Silvano and his mother, our hosts. They arrived within 10 minutes and we were on our way to the house.

Oh, my … this house was Dave’s splurge for the trip.  This was the only Airbnb that Dave didn’t ask Linda what she thought about it. While we have had nice places to stay up to now, this place is over the top. It’s probably a 2,500-3,000 square foot house that is immaculate. It’s good we didn’t start with this.

Front of Airbnb
Roberta and Silvano, our Airbnb hosts
View from kitchen in Airbnb
First floor living area
View to loft area
Airbnb loft area
View to living area from loft in Airbnb
View from loft area
Green bedroom in Airbnb
Blue bedroom at Airbnb
View from bedbrooms

For dinner, we went into Mango to the Poli Bar (in fairness, if you were going to eat, it was the only place to go). We each had a glass of wine and we had a mixed meat and cheese plate. It was great and the owner of the bar was the sweetness guy. We communicated through Google Translate and he so wanted to make sure we were happy, it made us glad we came. When Dave said maybe we’d see him tomorrow, he said, “No, we are closed on Saturday and Sunday. I need to be with my family.”

Mortadella, ham, cheese, salami
Dave and locals at the Poli Bar in Mango

After dinner we returned to the house and relaxed.

Exterior of Airbnb lit up
Airbnb at night
Nealy a full moon
Wall in Airbnb

If you would like to look at more details on the pictures or additional pictures you can click here: 2022-10-07 Torino to Mango