The big idea

For the last two years I’ve rambled on about the Langhe, wine, food, renovations and falling over. What I haven’t ever really talked about is our plan. Why we’re here. What we’re doing. I’ve been afraid of overdoing the marketing, so as a result, I just haven’t done any. Rest assured, normal drinking and falling over (not necessarily related) duties will resume shortly, but in the meantime, sit back, relax and let yourself be marketed to.

We’re renovating a big Piemontese cascina, nestled among the Langhe’s famous Nebbiolo vines, whose grapes are destined for many a bottle of Barolo. At one end of the building we’re creating a house for ourselves, while the other end will be a five bedroom, four bathroom, fully self-contained holiday home for 10 to 12 people. It will have a living room, dining room, kitchen, bike store, garden and, of course, its own swimming pool.

From the outside, it's going to look something like this

From the outside, it’s going to look something like this

There's no lack of windows...

And from the inside looking out…

We toyed with the idea of creating a B&B or smaller holiday apartments, but if you want that you’re spoiled for choice around here (check out the wonderful Rosso di Sera and Azienda Agricola Stra, both here in Novello, for example). There aren’t, however, many options if you’re travelling as a larger group. Certainly not in such a location.

As I think I may have mentioned, we’re surrounded by vines, with views south towards the town of Novello and then on towards the maritime Alps. It’s a very quiet spot with glorious countryside views, and yet just a couple of minutes in the car and you can be enjoying the restaurants and wine bars of Barolo, La Morra, Novello or Monforte d’Alba. Bigger towns like Bra and Alba are just 15 minutes away. If you want to go further afield, in just an hour you can be wandering the streets of Turin, hiking in the mountains or chilling on the beach in Liguria.

A moody morning view from the house

A moody morning view from the house

Looking in the other direction, it's vines all the way...

Looking in the other direction, it’s vines all the way…

Of course, you could forget about your car completely and just walk or cycle through the UNESCO hills. There are trails throughout the vineyards and you can easily (so long as you don’t mind a few hills…) walk or ride from the house, straight into the vines and on to one of any number of beautiful Langhe towns. The Langhe is quite literally (well, actually, no, not literally…) your oyster.

The house itself is packed with character. It’s a genuine Langhe farmhouse, used for generations to keep animals and make wine. There are vaulted brick ceilings, revealed stone walls, massive wooden beams and big picture windows to show off that view. The bathrooms are all brand spanking new and very stylish, and we’ve even redone the kitchen. Just for you!!

Did I mention the pool? Admittedly, the photo requires a little imagination, but imagine spending a lazy afternoon sat there, glass of Nascetta (Novello’s very own white wine) in hand, soaking up the sun, admiring the view and forgetting all about the stresses of everyday life. And then, as evening approaches, why not sit among the hazelnut trees and watch the sun go down over Monviso?

Who wouldn't want to spend a few hours here?

Who wouldn’t want to spend a few hours here?

Now the best bit – that’s right, it gets even better – is that if you need anything at all during your stay, we’re on hand to help you out. We’re not intrusive types so if you don’t want to see or hear anything from us that’s absolutely fine, you have total independence and total privacy, but if you did want anything, maybe someone to point you in the right direction for a walk, to arrange a wine tasting for you, or to recommend a nice restaurant, we’re there to help. Guide books are all well and good, but you can’t beat having a local at your service to make sure you get the most out of your stay.

Castle Langhe Piemonte

The town of Barolo is just a couple of minutes away

So, that’s the plan. It’s going to be awesome, if I say so myself. As you can see from the photos, there’s still a bit of work to be done, but we have our first tester group arriving this summer, with a couple more following shortly after, by which point we have no choice but to be ready.

And then, from September, we need more people… we haven’t marketed it yet, we haven’t finished the website, we’re not on any booking engines… because we don’t want proper bookings. We want you to help us test the place out. Tell us what you like, what you hate (nothing, obviously), what we could do a bit better and then maybe leave us a nice review somewhere. In exchange, we’ll offer you a unique opportunity to be one of the first ever people to stay in the house. One of the only properties of its type in all of the Langhe! Yes, you’ll have to pay… sorry… but it will be a hugely discounted rate. If you think you might be interested, send me an email (you can find the details on the contacts page) and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Sunset anyone?

Sunset over Monviso anyone?

Consider yourself marketed to!

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22 responses to “The big idea

  1. Lots of success and what a good idea to enter this niche market of larger groups. I already live here (Monferrato) otherwise I would certainly come and test sleep with my family.

  2. What a beautiful part of the world. I wish I could say “pick me” too.. Hopefully ‘one day’. The place (already) looks AMAZING.. & I’m completely envious of your life! 😉 but thoroughly enjoy reading your posts.

    • Thanks so much Sonia! If it makes you feel any better, I’ve spent the last 6 hours at the top of a ladder painting walls. It’s not all wine tasting and snowboarding! 🙂

  3. Looks fabulous! Great marketing skills as well, think you got it so right targeting larger groups, as you say there are plenty of B&B’s around the Langhe areas to suit couples. Added to the fact that you are close enough to be of assistance if needed.
    The best of luck.

  4. Hello,

    My name is Ginette, I have been following your progress ever since we ourselves were supposed to relocate to Milan for work with an American company. You are doing such a wonderful job! Unfortunately we didn’t move because my mother fell ill, but we plan on vacationing in Camogli all of July of 2016 next year and maybe coming up to Piemonte afterwords. We are a family of four from Montreal, Canada. We have two daughters, one will be 18 and the other 14. Your new house looks beautiful and very inviting and we’ve never visited the region. If you could give us a rate for one week and for two weeks we would be greatly interested.

    Thanking you in advance,

    Ginette Zakko

  5. I’m so glad you didn’t do this marketing spiel earlier. That place is so beautiful, it makes me a little sad that isn’t ready yet. So stunning! You must be so proud of how all your hard work is coming together!

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