It’s a rare day that is uneventful on The Grape Escape.
We were a bit jittery about the bike being in the town centre public parking. So, I found solace in pistachio croissants and cappuccino, while Vikram went to check in on Bonnie. He came back with a “this is not good news” face. I have to confess my heart stopped a beat, I thought Bonnie was gone, stolen, taken away from us!!
But things are never as bad as they seem. We had been victims of theft, but it was the bike cover that was stolen. The cover, which had sparked much debate the previous evening, was now gone. Thankfully, Bonnie was still there.
And every cloud has a silver lining ...or two in this case. We no longer had to carry the cover with us and we didn’t have to make any more decisions about whether to cover the bike or not.
We rode to Casa Wallace, with a quick lunch stop on the way. We rode through small villages and beautiful scenery. We got excited when we could see Casa Wallace in the distance. I wanted to video us entering and the two giant wine bottles that guarded the entrance; but I wasn’t quick enough to whip out my phone. So, all I’ve got is this photo. A bit blurred, but gives you an idea of how beautiful the entire place is.
Casa Wallace is an oasis of serenity and beauty in Ovada, Lower Piedmont. The property spans about 35 acres, out of which 15 acres is reserved for vines. We started with a tour of the historic villa that has been converted into a bed and breakfast, including a communal kitchen and beautiful outdoor area for guests to relax and dine. Guests are able to pick vegetables from the farm and cook if they wish in the communal kitchens. The outdoor area becomes really magical in the evenings, when the fairy lights come on and everyone comes together to share wine and conversation.
Must add here, that the drinking water at Casa Wallace tastes amazing and definitely better and more refreshing than any bottled water I’ve drunk in the last few years.
Sarah then showed us around the vineyards and talked about the principles they use to manage the vines. Casa Wallace vineyards are all farmed without irrigation and without the use of fertilisers, pesticides or herbicides. The high quality of the bio dynamic method used on the grapes is reflected in the quality and taste of the wines that they produce.
Sarah Wallace and Claudio Cepollina have been running Casa Wallace since 2001. In the initial years, they worked with an oenologist to make the wines. The first vintages, 2004 and 2005 were made with rules and formulas. But after that, they decided to part ways with the oenologist and follow the logic of the grapes.
We had the opportunity to visit the bottling and labelling unit – everything is done in house at Casa Wallace.
Finally, to the cellars, where we were able to taste some of the delicious wines that Casa Wallace produce. One of the wines we loved was the Casa Wallace Liquid Gold, which is a Sauvignon based white wine.
And I heard magical music that I've never heard before - the sound of wine fermenting!!
From the cellars, we were back outside into the lovely communal meeting area that Casa Wallace has. It was a nice, sunny day and the perfect setting to sample some of the Pink 2, one of my favourite wines. Pink 2 is a sparkling rose, made with Dolcetto and aged in old oak.
We parted after some great conversation with Sarah and Claudio. Our luggage was only slightly heavier, we had been good and only added 1 bottle of Pink 2. We fully well intended to drink it later in the evening, once the ride was done.
(Remember: don’t drink and ride)
And we ended an eventful day – with the delicious Pink 2 from Casa Wallace and some fresh goat cheese from Agriturismo San Lorenzo, where we stayed that night.
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