Ornella Bonifacio: Top wine tips, tours and tastings in Piedmont
Text: Kiki Deere
Most wine lovers like nothing more than getting the inside track on wines and wineries, and gregarious tour guide Ornella Bonifacio is an expert at providing exactly that, guiding visitors around Italy’s premier wine region.
“I specialise in custom-designed holidays around Alba, a historic town located in the heart of Piedmont’s wine region,” explains Ornella. “I work with a wide range of producers, carefully selecting the best wineries to suit the tastes of each and every client.”
Having conducted wine tastings in a local family-run winery for a number of years, Ornella eventually decided to set up her own business leading wine tours in the region. Over the years, her business has greatly evolved, and today, Ornella is also involved in various other projects.
“Many of my clients come to Piedmont to explore the region’s exceptional food and wine scene, although a number are more interested in shopping, art or even literature. Some are even on the hunt for a second home,” explains Ornella.
Over the years, Ornella has built close relationships with a plethora of businesses in the area, from local seamstresses to niche bookshops and real estate agents, providing her with the expertise, knowledge and local contacts to create bespoke itineraries to suit her varied clientele, who come from as far as South Korea and Japan.
“Most visitors inevitably visit this area to learn more about Piedmont’s fine wines, not least its exceptional Barolos and Barbarescos. As Charles Baudelaire said, ‘A man who drinks only water has a secret to hide from his fellow men’,” she laughs, quoting her favourite French poet. Ornella teaches clients about every aspect of the local wine industry, from viticulture to wine tasting.
“There is much, much more to Piedmont than fine wines. I offer my clients a diverse range of experiences for them to really delve into the heart of Piedmont’s culture and traditions.”
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