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Old 06-04-2011, 03:13 PM
boothguy boothguy is offline
Piacere di guidare
Location: Vista CA
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,443
Mein Auto: 428 Cabrio - ED'ed 8-14
So after not laying eyes on the M3 for three days, since travel around Lake Como is primarily by passenger ferry, I was happy to see it right where I left it, with no other cars anywhere near an unusual circumstance in parking-challenged Italian towns.

A quick trip down the Autostrada gets us to the Langhe part of the Piemonte region home of some of Italy's best red wines: Nebbiolo, Barbera, Barbaresco and the king of them all, Barolo.

The hilltop towns that produce these wonderful beverages are largely unchanged by time and really tiny (under a thousand inhabitants), and also not very far apart. Which means not too much time on the narrow, twisty roads between wine tastings ordinarily a bad thing. But since pouring this stuff into a dump bucket seems so sacrilegious, it's good that the drives are shorter right now.

It's been raining off and on, which means the Le Mans Blue is showing the dirt. But I'm really liking the current-generation NAV, and the I-Drive is way better than on my '08 335 E93 as well. The non-runflat Michelin Pilot Sports are compliant but plenty grippy and the DCT gearbox is really dual purpose. Let it shift on its own, and it's almost imperceptible in its smoothness. But in spirited driving and using the paddles, it's lightning-quick and extremely direct. Wow.

They're introdcing the 2007 vintage in Barolo tomorrow and all the producers will be there pouring. We'll see if we can elbow our way into the town, which seems to have parking for about 50 cars total.

Key to today's pictures:
Lake Como ferries stop at picturesque towns large and small.

We waved to George Clooney, but he didn't wave back the snob. He's OFF the Christmas card list for this.

Less than a week and the M3's already pretty dirty. Energetic lady in the picture restored this villa above Alba and turned it into a seven-room B&B, and it's even nicer than this picture can depict.

View from last night's restaurant toward Barbaresco (with the tower), and all those Nebbiolo grapes in between, just waiting their turn to become wine.

Wine tasting with a view Barbaresco.

Wine tasting with producer Giuseppe Grasso in his cellar at Cascina del Monastero. Good Barolo is astronomically expensive in the States, but here, 25Euro gets you a really nice bottle of wine. And this was REALLY nice.

A couple of Swiss families were tasting at Cascina Del Monastero with us, and took home at least six cases of wine, all crammed into the back of his 3er wagon. I asked the driver here in the pic where the luggage was going to fit, and he said, ".. the wine is more important". A man after my own heart.

Giuseppe left us on our own in the cantina with 12 bottles of wine. Luckily, moderation won the day otherwise we'd have been sleeping there.
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My 2014 ED trip report: Born Yesterday - 3rd ED off to a (mostly) flawless start

My 2011 ED trip report: Second ED off and running... after a brief interruption

My 2008 ED trip report: "Thirteen months, 135 miles and wha....?"

Last edited by boothguy; 07-01-2011 at 01:14 PM.
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