There are many activities you can indulge in around Acqui Terme. What about a wine tour and picnic available from Marenco. The experience is a tour and tasting of wines. a look into the past with the small museum of collected historical objects and a picnic lunch in the shade of a walnut tree. All in all a taste filled activity.
Yesterday we found ourselves trying some wine after a tour of Cascina Garitina – located between Acqui and Nizza. The drive there was truly beautiful. The Cascina is a neat and tidy well run operation with mostly steel tanks and DOCG maturation in Barrels. The interesting thing about this is they use a lot of screw caps as opposed to corks, the question seems to be about risk. Cork shrinkage lets in air and ruins the wine, this seems smart and logical but flies in the face of wine snobbery and tradition!
Having said that they produce a range of seriously delicious red wine. Based off mostly Barbera, they had everything from a daily wine to the right of the photo all the way up to full bodied Barbera (the 900 range). The 2014 was elegant, dry not overly fruity the perfect companion with a good steak. That is the bottle at the front left. One of our favorites was the Bricco Garitta – Bricco means grapes grown on a sunny hilltop and this was truly a divine wine. Given Barbera is a grape that loves a long and warm summer (temperatures above 30C) a sunny hill is a perfect location. 2015 was also a very warm and long summer and the Bricco Garitta had a soft, silky and even slightly smoky flavor. Still a very young wine (2015), but ready to drink now or store. We also tried Merlot and Pino Nero which are not the “standard” Piemonte grapes but those were nice too. Lastly the little brother of Barbera the Dolcetto Vera was smooth and elegant, perfect for your Apperitivo or drink on it’s own.
They also produce the lightest most drinkable Bracchetto d’Acqui I have ever tasted, not overly sweet. We were told that this is the Brachetto that people used to drink (in the good old days) with the merenda (between meal snack), especially on a warm summer day. Lastly we tried the Passiti which was refined with a touch of aroma but not overly sweet that some Passiti can be (this is of course personal). Served at 4C it was perfect for the cheese board!
So the sum was I could do an entire dinner with just this winery to pair with, how fantastic and versatile is that!
Vincenzo was a great guide and we will be returning and sending our guests!