A day in Alto-Adige with Peter Dipoli
In the fall of 2003 I traveled to Northern Italy with Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson. We were doing research into the cuisine of the Italian Alpine Foothills for the restaurant that we would open in Boulder, Colorado later that year. After we arrived in Milan our first stop was Alto Adige. We were staying at Cor Romigberg amidst the bewildering and wonderful mix of footpaths that crisscross the vineyards around Bolzano. We needed a guide and reached out to Peter Dipoli. We had served his “Voglar” Sauvignon Blanc at the French Laundry. It’s a brilliant, crystalline example of alpine white wine. Peter offered not only to taste his wines with us, but to take us on a gastronomic tour of the area. These days we are wiser, having been swept up in countless acts of unparalleled and often deliriously wonderful acts of European hospitality, but this first time caught us by surprise. Unknown to us at the time, Peter was the head of Alto-Adige’s chapter of slow food and in a unique position to offer us insight into the region’s food and wine.
We visited a speck producer whose dark cave with dirt floors made us feel like we were in the Middle Ages. We ate pork ribs with horseradish and drank the delightfully pale local red wine Santa Magdalener on a mountainside deck. We visited a farm where they milked cows for the production of local cheese and pigs for ham. The day ended in an isolated mountain town where they practice a forgotten variant of catholicism from the 15th century. Their religion and isolation allow them to maintain a lifestyle long ago lost elsewhere. We stayed in a family run inn where dinner is served in an almost church like setting. They raise their own animals, forage for mushrooms, grow their own grain to bake bread (the village still has a mill run by water from the local stream), make cheese from the animals they milk, and bring this bounty together at a deeply traditional evening meal.
At the time, I could scarcely believe that all of this was done by a single family. I could not fathom the details of any part of it and could not have imagined that less than ten years later China and I would be taking steps toward a similar life.
At this dinner we will serve the wines of Peter Dipoli and try to replicate the magic of that day.
There are 16 seats available for each dinner.
Ticket prices include food, wine and service.