That time I spent the night surrounded by luxury in Italy’s Wine Country[dropcap letter=”H”]ave you ever dreamt of spending the night in Italy, surrounded by vineyards, landscapes you’ve only dreamed existed, and a serenity so pure it calms the soul? So have I. Something about the allure of spending my day among the grapevines and falling asleep in the heart of wine country, endless stars and the darkness of night is too tempting to pass up. Add luxurious accommodations and personalized service and how can one possibly say no?!
I experienced this exact magic on a recent trip to Piemonte, Italy. Traveling by car around the region, I found myself at two luxurious properties in the heart of the vineyards, one in Gavi and the other in the Langhe.
Locanda La Raia
The Gavi region, located in Southern Piemonte, is in the Province of Alessandria. Lying between Liguria and Lombardy — only 30 kilometers from the sea — the region has cooling influences from the Alps Mountains, as well as the Mediterranean. While Piemonte is primarily known for its red wines, the eleven towns that form the Gavi appellation are known for their white wine made from the Cortese grape.
Located among the undulating landscape of hills and valleys, covered with vineyards and woods, is Locanda La Raia, a twelve-room boutique hotel owned by the Rossi Cairo family. Giorgio Rossi Cairo, a businessman in Milano, purchased the 180-hectare property in 2002. Today there are 48.5 hectares of grapes planted and the property is certified biodynamic.
A former mail station, the large green house on the property was renovated and converted into the boutique hotel. The original structure of the house, with the arches and vaults, was preserved and there are large windows overlooking the vineyards. Each room is spacious and uniquely furnished with Piemontese pieces from the 1600’s and 1800’s matched with contemporary furniture. There is a warm, rustic, yet modern charm to each room.
Upon arrival to Locanda La Raia, the personable staff will welcome you and offer you a glass of La Raia wine. You can either sit in the gardens or inside the hotel in front of grand scale windows that give you a beautiful view of the vineyards.
Start each day with a delicious, freshly baked breakfast. And end each day with dinner at the restaurant where the traditional cuisine of Gavi has been updated by Michelin-awarded chef Tommaso Arrigoni.
A visit to Locanda La Raia is ideal for relaxation; swim in the pool or sit and read in the garden, but there is more to do. In addition to the winery, La Raia produces honey, farms spelt and rye, and raises Fassone cows (a Piemontese breed of cow). In addition, scattered across the property, in the vineyards, woods, and fields, are site-specific works made by international artists for Fondazione La Raia, the family’s art foundation.
Casa di Langa
Located in the hamlet between the Barolo, Barbaresco and Alta Langa wine-making regions, Casa di Langa is a luxurious resort in the Langhe region of Piemonte. Sitting on more than 100 acres of rolling hills, working vineyards, and natural landscape, the 39-room hotel is the essence of luxury through sustainability.
A sense of calm and serenity awaits you at Casa di Langa. Each room reflects the natural environment with understated elegance and soft, muted colors. Rooms have comfortable beds, spa-like bathrooms, and spacious private terraces. And, thanks to large, heavy doors, exterior noise is blocked, enabling silence and tranquility for a good night’s sleep.
Committed to carbon neutrality, the use of 100% recycled water for irrigation, geothermal heating throughout the property, and the use of solar panels, sustainability is the essence of Casa di Langa. Sustainability practices are not just for the overall property but are implemented to the smallest details. In the rooms, the key cards and coffee pods are biodegradable and there is zero single use plastics. Organic materials are found in the mattresses, towels, slippers, and more. Low-energy LED lights are installed, and waste is recycled.
Casa di Langa offers many experiences on property. There are cooking classes and wine classes offered. You can ride on a Vespa through the vineyards or enjoy live music under the stars at night, and you can enjoy the day relaxing by the heated infinity pool with its breathtaking views. There is also a fitness center and a small ecologically-minded Spa.
The front desk staff can assist in recommending local restaurants, but you may want to stay on property and enjoy all your meals at Fàula Ristorante. Chef Manuel Bouchard creates a modern twist on traditional Piemontese dishes with local, seasonal ingredients. From the presentation to the flavors of each bite, Fàula Ristorante will impress, and the knowledgeable staff will happily pair local and international wines with your meal. There is also the Sorì Cocktail Bar where you can enjoy cocktails and aperitivi by the water vapor fireplace.
From the accommodations-to the scenery-to the service, as well as the wine and cuisine, both Locanda La Raia and Casa di Langa offer luxury and serenity among the vineyards in the blissful Italian region of Piemonte.