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A Magical Journey to Piedmont Italy: Part II

Thanks to Russell Hone, we found ourselves staying at Villa Carita in La Morra, a small property owned and operated by a husband and wife, with majestic, breathtaking views of the Barolo valley. The spacious suites were a pleasant surprise. The unexpected “amenities” in the suite for the Keeper Team were no Wi-Fi, no phone, and no TV, but we did have heat for the December winter cold! This created a peace for the team that allowed us to get out of the typical American mode and truly appreciate the beauty of Piedmont that surrounded us.

We met up with the rest of our group as it was time for our first dinner in La Morra. Russell selected a locally, well-regarded restaurant, Osteria Veglio. We were pleased and surprised to learn that one of Russell’s long-time close friends, Elio Altare, would be joining us for dinner.

The first white wine was a local Arneis wine and then 2008 Elio Altare Cinqueterre, a new white wine project for Altare.

The amuse came out and was a local speciality similar to a variation of American potato salad on a spoon!


Amuse Bouche - Potato Salad

We tried another local specialty as our Primi (appetizer), vegetables dipped in a hot anchovy sauce, called “Bagna Cauda”. This dish was so unique and tasty that the Keeper Team will try to recreate it!


Bagna Cauda

Another Primi was a form of Minestrone Soup, made with Barley. It was a very soothing and comforting dish with layers of flavors.


Minestrone Soup

Secundi (Main dish/Entrée) was next for the team. It all looked so good that we took small bites of each to savor the new tastes and flavors of the area.

One dish was Braised Oxtail with Whipped Potatoes, which seemed similar in taste and texture to Osso Buco.


Braised Oxtail with Whipped Potatoes

Freshly shaved white truffles over homemade pasta is a must and was delicious with its purity and simplicity.


Pasta with Alba White Truffles

Another selection was lamb rack, which the Osteria said was from a whole, local lamb that had been delivered that day! The restaurant prepared individual dishes from all parts of the lamb. It was different from New Zealand, Colorado, or Australian lamb. It was less gamey and more tender. This was served over white beans.


Lamb Rack

When in Italy, one pasta is not enough, so the Team could not resist the Agnolotti as an option – it was divine and a great choice. These fresh pasta pockets, stuffed with spinach, were incredible – we had definitely arrived in the land of fresh pasta dishes.



Of course, we wanted to pair our food with some beautiful Altare wine and the 2008 Elio Altare Dolcetto D’Alba was a perfect selection – thanks Elio!


Elio Altare

Elio also suggested that we try a 2004 Ravelli Barolo, Vielles Vignes. Ravelli is a winemaker that we learned Elio had mentored. The wine was lovely.

As if this wasn’t enough, Elio insisted that we try some desserts, and two were selected. The first was a Barolo Poached Pear with Homemade Fresh Sweet Cream Ice Cream.


Barolo Poached Pears with Homemade Sweet Cream Ice Cream

The second dessert was a Classic Panna Cotta- simple, light and perfect texture.


Panna Cotta

The entire night, food and company, was pretty amazing as we knew that we had made new life-long friends. How could this trip get any better? We had a feeling that the magic had only just begun!