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Wine and Food in Puglia

Sunday, May 3rd to Saturday, May 9th, 2020

On this trip, we focus on Puglia's rich wine tradition, with visits with winemakers and enologists at small, family-owned vineyards and modern, state-of-the-art facilities making some of Italy's best wines today. We'll learn how to pair these world-class wines with Puglia's traditional cuisine, learn from food artisans and even get our hands into some pasta dough. With deep roots in the heel of southern Italy's boot, we'll make sure you experience the very best of Puglia's bounty. And we keep it small, intimate and deeply local—no more than twelve guests—so you experience the magic in the company of old and new friends at a relaxed, casual pace.

Itinerary

Wine and Food in Puglia

Sunday, May 3rd to Saturday, May 9th, 2020

Sunday

We’ll begin our week by gathering in your hotel, a grand Italian palazzo converted into a luxury accommodation, for an aperitivo and a welcome dinner in the charming town of Trani.

 

Tuesday

Monday

Today we'll visit one of Puglia's most important wineries, Rivera, a several hundred-year-old estate rooted in the past and focused on the future. The Rivera winery is one of the premier producers in the Castel del Monte zone and has played a prominent role in Puglia’s wine rebirth, with wines that offer intense personalities that exhibit a strong sense of place. We'll tour the estate and solar-powered winery, tasting Rivera's finest, from terroir-rich nero di troia to the authochtonous bombino biano and pampanuto.  We'll also stop by a biodynamic producer of finely-crafted, small quantity wines, visiting the family masseria and tasting its hyper-local food products as well. Lunch today is at of the best, most authentic small restaurants in all of Italy. First, we'll tour the restaurant's organic garden, then experience a traditional Pugliese meal that has been elevated to new heights through the expertise of its dedicated kitchen staff. After the feast, we'll need a leisurely walk, so we'll return to your home base in Trani. We'll see this historic port town with its famous Romanesque cathedral by the sea with an expert local guide. Dinner tonight begins with an aperitivo all'aperto and a light dinner of regional specialties before returning to our hotel.

Today we leave the Alta Murgia area of Puglia, traveling south to the Itria Valley and its spectacular coastline. Famous for its trulli (cone-shaped roof stone houses), olive groves and vineyards, the Itria Valley is reported to hold mystical powers and healing energy. On our way to our new accommodations just five miles from the sea, we'll join a husband-and-wife, American-Italian winemaking duo for a light lunch in their palazzo headquarters to learn what drew them to Puglia and why their wines here are so distinctive.  After lunch, we'll head to the UNESCO World Heritage-protected town of Alberobello for an up-close look at Puglia's curious cone-shaped roof, stone structures and maybe some aritisanal gelato. Then it's on to our new accommodations by the sea for some unstructured time. Once you have checked in, there will be time to explore the grounds or have a swim. Dinner tonight is in the masseria's vaulted-ceiling dining room.

Wednesday

We start the day with a visit to Martina Franca's weekly farmer's market, the biggest in the area. You will be dazzled by the choices on offer since Puglia provides much of Italy's (and Northern Europe's) fruits and vegetables.  We'll also stop by an artisanal cheesemaker's kitchen to taste mozzarella and burrata fresh from its final water bath, followed by a visit to a wood-burning oven and its bakers who turn out focaccia, taralli and bread around the clock. Marketing concluded, we'll stroll through town to your first cooking class. Today's class will be conducted by a pair of delightful grandmothers and their classically-trained chef sons. Both generations are passionate advocates of a healthy Mediterranean diet as represented in the traditional foods of Puglia and they will share their extensive experience along with personal memories and traditions, focusing on the role that fresh vegetables, legumes, grains and locally made cheeses play in the genuine food of the region. You'll dive in, hands first, then join the grandmothers, their sons and an array of local friends—food artisans, vintners, butchers and more— who will drop by to meet you at lunch. After lunch, you can wander Martina Franca's twisty, pedestrian-only alleyways with a local historian, visiting the town's Ducal Palace and its frescoes while stopping for an espresso in Martina's best-loved cafe. If you prefer, though, the afternoon can be spent on your own, discovering Martina's unique shops and local artisans. . Dinner is a truly local experience: fornello pronto!

Thursday

After breakfast, we'll visit a grand old masseria and its venerable olive grove by the sea near the white city of Ostuni. Some of these olive trees are over 3,000 years old and are still producing organic extra virgin olive oil that is second to none. We'll tour the family's underground olive mill, which predates the Roman era, then conclude with a tasting of extra virgin olive oil. Next, we head to Puglia's fabled coastline for a seafood luncheon unlike any you've ever tasted. Just a few feet from the water's edge, you'll dine on hyper-local shellfish, mollusks and fish pulled out of the sea only hours before by the fishing family that runs the restaurant. After lunch, we make for the hills to a family-owned estate that specializes in organic extra virgin olive oil and handmade preserved fruits and vegetables. Here we'll tour the estate, gaze at the 360-degree views of the Adriatic and the olive plain below and learn to make the after-dinner liquers for which Puglia is famous. We'll taste several varieties as we enjoy an aperitivo all'aperto at the estate. Then it's on to Locorotondo, another charming hill town just minutes from our masseria home. In Locorotondo, we'll tour the town's historic center and enjoy dinner at the best pizzeria in the Valle d'Itria.

Saturday

After breakfast at your masseria and perhaps a final stroll around the grounds, it will be time to say goodbye. We’ll send you home our sincere thanks and well wishes along with a booklet of the recipes you learned during your week in Puglia. With prior notice, we will be happy to make transportation arrangements to nearby airports (Bari or Brindisi) or train stations (Martina Franca or Bari). We’ll also help you plan an itinerary before or after your time with us.

Friday

We’ve saved the most spectacular sight for last: Polignano a Mare. Built along the craggy, limestone cliffs that face the Adriatic Sea, Polignano is often called the most beautiful town in Puglia. After a morning spent touring its historic center, with plenty of time for wandering (shopping?) on your own, we'll enjoy lunch in our favorite Polignano spot. Then it's back to the masseria for a swim, a wander or a little free time before our farewell dinner in one of our favorite trattorie in Italy. You'll immediately warm to its charm, then become entranced by its cuisine. We promise a night to remember.

Wine and Food in Puglia

May 3rd to 9th, 2020

What's included:

• all lodging (six nights) in luxury accommodations

• six breakfasts, five lunches and six dinners, all beverages (and wine!) included

• guided walking tours and museum admissions

• cooking classes

• wine tasting with proprietors, winemakers and enologists

• visits to food artisans and product tasting

• all transportation

What's not included:

• transportation to and from Italy and the start of the tour and workshop (on request, we'll make airport transfer arrangements for you and advise you on air transportation)

• incidentals

• tips for drivers, tour guides, etc. (meal tips are included)

Cost:

Double Room: $3,500 per person
Single Supplement: $500

Reserve your place by making your deposit.

We'll get back to you immediately with more information, payment schedule and travel details.

If you'd like to get in touch to learn more before reserving, send us a quick note.

We'd love to hear from you!

WHAT PEOPLE SAY

“We are in deep reflection about our big trip with you and so many special memories. Thank you again for all that you added to our experience. We are, of course, missing the food already”

Peg and Matt, Santa Cruz, CA