Our Piemonte gastronomy tour has commenced and a fabulous weekend of top class wines and Michelin starred cuisine is unfolding.
Despite the appalling weather that has been assaulting Northern Italy this week, flights were early and we arrived at our lunch destination as they were still turning the lights on and folding the napkins!
I Castagni ristorante is in the town of Vigevano about an hour south of Milan run by owner/chef Enrico Gerli. Situated in an elegant farmhouse style building, the dining room looks onto a pretty garden and is off the beaten track near the canal.
Amuse bouche of pigeon pate, goose salami and a local soft cheese carried us into some cruda hams, gurnard on barley, a sumptuous mushroom risotto, guinea fowl, an array of local cheeses and a dessert platter to die for. All washed down with Oltrepo Pavese Metodo Classico, a 2010 Malvasia orange wine and a 2009 Bonarda made from the Croatina grape.
Suitably full, we set off for a visit at Monsupello estate. Having drunk their magnificent sparkling Oltrepo for lunch we could now see the operation at first hand. Owner, Laura Boatti showed us the cellar and revealed the meticulous detail they go to ensure the highest quality juice.
We then sat down to explore a mere six wine selection out of the 33 different wines they make. What a fascinating start to oue trip.
Big day ahead on Saturday.