New stockist for our wine
The Hollies farm shops in Tarporley and Lower Stretton, Cheshire now carry a range of our Piedmont wines along with the finest of local produce from Cheshire. If you are in the area please pay them a visit.
Christmas wine offers
from Piedmont wine - order today for home delivery (UK only) you can buy our own wine and some of the best Italian boutique wines we have found whilst living here.
Recently the bi-annual SlowFood international Cheese festival was held in Bra (Piedmont) - the worlds largest cheese fair - Clik4Pics
**New** - now you can buy all those great Piedmont foods at home in the UK - our friends at Castello Food Company have launched their Italian food store online.
New pictures have just been added to our section .
"life of vines"
This weekend our village hosted a Quad bike race (and cool fireworks)
the last weekend of July the Tall Ships race came to Genoa - big festival, street music, fireworks, great food. See the pictures
picture - Corsi di Botte (Barell rolling event in Nizza June this year
picture - great food at the Nizza Barbera festival (June)
Read what our guests have said about our B&B accommodation here in Piemonte, Italy. We also provide a link to the original web review, where appropriate.
After good wine tasting in Alto Adige and super food in Bologna we ended up in the Piedmont region in Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana estate, and this most certainly met our expectations for a relaxing and lazy stay. Though apparently its very well suited for city trips to Turin, Genoa and for hiking. Yet the best thing to do is to enjoy the surroundings and soak up the wine which surrounds this beautiful estate.
Phil and Ingrid, the owners, are very friendly, hospitable and welcoming..(but don't trust the dogs!! ha ha). If they invite you to a wine tasting evening with a few snacks, don't prepare dinner as you can count on a veritable feast (Ingrid - what's your Pesto recipe??!).
To top it all off you can chill out around the pool, swim without getting red eyes from chlorine (cause its salt based) and help yourself to a nice, cold beer from the pool bar!!
Views of the rolling Piedmont countryside are good but can be fantastic on very clear days when the Alps are visible on the horizon...its quite a picture!
A lush place to stay and worthwhile checking it out!
We had a wonderful stay here. Our host, Ingrid and Phil, were warm, welcoming people. They answered all our questions, provided maps to help us get around and made us reservations at a couple of excellent restaurants. We couldnt have asked for better. We had a great informative visit to a local winery that Phil and Ingrid arranged for us and Phil gave us a great tour of their vineyard. Our breakfasts were fresh and tasty. I highly recommend this B&B -so much so that we would like to go back with our children and stay in their 2 bedroom aparment.
Suzzane, Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
My wife and I spent three days with Ingrid and Phil at their wonderful winery. Our stay was magnificent to say the least. I would highly recommend their establishment to anyone looking for a country retreat in the Piedmont area.
The winery is located off the beaten tourist path. Nevertheless, it is only a short drive away from local stores, authentic Piedmont restaurants, pizzerias, pharmacies, and other modern amenities. There is even a small train station close by. This B&B would be a wonderful base to explore the wine region of northern Italy.
The property includes an excellent maintained guesthouse with a number of private rooms and apartments. They are all spacious with private bathrooms. All public and private areas exceptionally clean. Satellite TV provides feed in different languages. There is a computer in the lobby as well as a free WiFi connection. They guesthouse has a well-stocked library and collection of DVDs. In the warmer months, you can use a modern large pool (it was too cold for us to use it in October).
Ingrid and Phil are gracious hosts that will make you feel at home. They can arrange various excursions, tours, and wine tastings. Breakfasts are generous and include a variety of local produce. For dinner, adhere to your host's recommendations and you will not be disappointed. Make sure to try their exceptional wines.
We stayed only three nights at Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana but felt as if we'd been away for a long holiday. We were made to feel so welcome by Phil and Ingrid, our hosts.
For starters, the views were stupendous, it was fantastic to be surrounded by rows and rows of vines, yet we weren't far from anywhere that we wanted to visit. Our room was perfect and there was also a huge sitting room just for guests. They had obviously put a great deal of thought into every detail. For example, breakfast included local rice flakes, local honey, home made jams from their fruit, local eggs and ham and Piemontese coffee. Phil and Ingrid were a mine of information on the area, how the wine is harvested, where to eat (and like true Piemontesi, they know their stuff where food and wine is concerned) etc. We even got a tour of their vineyard and a great wine tasting evening. I know this review sounds horribly "gushy" but we both can't fault the experience and look forward to returning soon for some more R and R and perhaps we'll have time for a dip in the pool too.
Sara & Martin, London, UK
Very relaxing, out-in-the-country, bed & breakfast or guest apartments with pool on a working vineyard.
My family (2 adults and 2 older teenage kids) extended our original 3 day stay at the Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana for an additional 2 days.
We had two of the bed and breakfast rooms to ourselves (both apartments where also in use by families from Sweden and Scotland) so we were able to just leave doors open giving the feeling of being in a home. Surprisingly, this B&B was my 19 year old daughter's and 17 year old son's favorite place to stay on our trip this year.
We made good use of the pool with its wonderful views of the country-side and really enjoyed the ability to take endless walks around the orchards, vineyards, and woods in the area. The B&B is at the end of a road, about a mile from Castelnuovo Belbo, which has a bar, a couple of small stores, a bank, and a pizzeria.
For lunch and dinners we follwed the advice of the owner, Phil and Ingrid, and explored places to eat recommended by them in nearby villages. Around the pool and the patio we enjoyed the wine, cold beers, and diet Coke that were available. My kids really enjoyed the low alcohol Muscato wine made from grapes grown on site. The area is wonderfully untouristed and the people in the stores and restaurants were very friendly. All of us really enjoyed the opportunity to talk grapes, wine, and the Italian lifestyle with Phil and Ingrid.
If you want a wonderfully, quiet, and relaxing place to stay on your trip to Italy and Piemonte I can very much recommend this B&B/apartments. I only wish we could buy their wines here in the US.
We really can't say enough about this place after our 2 day stay there at the end of June/early July. Phil and Ingrid welcomed us into their home and truly provided a wonderful experience. Whether you're looking for a relaxing break to the busy days of sightseeing or for a great home base to explore the "real" Italian atmosphere of the Piedmont region, Vecchio Podere Santa Christiana is the perfect getaway.
My wife and I actually decided to make the trip using public transportation since we knew we didn't have time to fully explore the region. Phil was gracious enough to pick us up and drop us off at the town's train station. Phil and Ingrid were great at providing us with recommendations on how to handle being limited by not having a car, pointing us in the right direction for great walks through vineyards and to local towns such as Nizza Monferrato and Castelnuovo Belbo.
We felt like we were in great hands the whole time there, from arriving to a wine tasting with the other couples staying there to coming back after our long walk in Nizza to Phil holding up two glasses of the wonderful Moscato. Their wines were great...loved both the Moscato and their Barberas. The room was very spacious and comfortable, the breakfast spread was wonderful (consisting of all locally grown products), and the view from the pool and vineyards was fantastic. If you're looking for a great place to stay and explore the Piedmont region, my wife and I highly recommend staying at Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana.
Spending a week in July at Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana was a great experience! Not only was the place as such really nice with everything you could ask for in the apartment as well as in common areas, but the hospitality of Ingrid and Phil made a long lasting impression. They really made an effort to make us feel welcome, not only to their place but to the region as a whole, providing lots of really good advice and tips. If you look for a calm place well situated in a region not as busy and touristic as Tuscany but still dedicated to food and wine, this could very well be it.
A little bit of trepidation since we weren't sure if staying on a vineyard would suit our boys, but knew we would enjoy it. However it was truly a great experience, Phil and Ingrid were most hospitable and they really have a beautiful house and working vineyard. On the second day we all (Phil, Ingrid, our Podere neighbours from Helsingborg and ourselves) took part in the village's annual cantina (pub) crawl and outdoor lunch for the whole village and us visitors. The local cantinas were most welcoming and we (happily) sampled their wines. Our boys also really enjoyed meeting Aldo, the local carabinieri, vice-mayor, cantina owner who showed them a carabiniera version of rock, paper scissors. This has been played many times since.
Phil and Ingrid's Barbera is superb but we especially enjoyed the chilled Moscato D'Asti while relaxing at the really nice pool, taking in the great views across the countryside towards the Alps.
Good local restaurants, the one in the village was especially enjoyed by the kids. Good location for touring, Turin, Genoa and even Milan are not so far for a day out.
We will most certainly return.
The Spinneys, Dalgety Bay
Wonderful location. Clean, modern rooms and facilities. Excellent Breakfast. The real bonus for those interested in wine is the active participation of the owners in the local wine industry, which they share enthusiastically. We attended the bottling of their 2006 Piano Piano Barbera d'Asti. Totally delightful stay.
Delta, Chestertown, MD, USA
After staying in a serveral places in Italy we (Bart, Claudia and our son Jip) searched the internet for a place to stay in Piemonte and found the website of Vecchio Podere Santa Christiana. Perfect website with lots of site-information. After 1 phonecalle we made the reservation and off we went to Piemonte. A very warm welcome by Phil and Ingrid, the owners of this property, with a drink of their own wine in their own bar. We stayed for 5 nights in a self catering appartement which was wonderfull and very practical decorated. A good kitchen with every kitchentool you need, a perfect bathroom, a big livingroom and last but not least: perfect beds to get the rest you are looking for on a holiday. There's also a swimmingpool with the greatest few, a small poolbar, nice loungechairs. You can interfer with other guests but there is also a lot of privacy.
The hospitality is supererb. Phil organised a winetasting and Ingrid made delicious appetisers, so sweet of them. We went to see the botteling of their own made wine, which was very nice to see. During the days we did some siteseeing at Piemonte, went to this very nice place called Aqui Terme, had a massage at a beauty farm etc. etc. Very relaxing, very nice food, very nice fews, very good talks, very good wine! At the last day we even looked for a property of our own. Who knows what the future will bring. At least we would would definitaly like to be a part of this community of Castelnuovo Belbo and neigbours of Phil and Ingrid! Keep up the good work and for everybody who is planning to visit Piemonte in Italy: go and stay at Vecchio Podere Santa Christiana
Kippies, The Netherlands
We visited Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana primarily because we love the food and wine of the Piedmont region and it turned out to be a perfect spot for a holiday in this stunning part of Italy. The property is perched at the top of a hill in it's own vineyards, with amazing views over the surrounding countryside. Rooms and communal areas are clean, spacious and high quality - great value for money. Most importantly, Phil and Ingrid were so welcoming and generous that we felt really looked after. Phil produces his own wine, a superb Barbera called 'Piano Piano' and it was a treat to sample it looking out over the vineyards in which it was grown. All together an idyllic break in a wonderful setting which we would recommend heartily to those seeking rustic, boutique accomodation of a high standard in the heart of Piedmont's wine and culinary centre.
Shaun, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
We have just returned from a short break on a hilltop retreat with stunning views at Vecchio Podere, a working vineyard near Castelnuovo Belbo.
The accommodation, provided by our hosts Phil & Ingrid Blades, is excellent, in a magnificent setting of the rolling vineyards & hills of Piedmont. We have never had an experience where we (there were 8 of us) have relaxed and re-charged our batteries so quickly and effortlessly. This was in no small part due to the very friendly welcome, excellent service, information & guidance given to us by Phil & Ingrid - what really nice people, hosts and guardians of their own domain.
The location of Vecchio Podere is probably perfect - perched on the side of a gentle hill, with the pool and terrace area giving a terrific view across the vineyards and valley. It was so incredibly peaceful we were able to "step off the world" and just enjoy our company, location, service and Phil & Ingrid's homegrown red and white wine (at very reasonable prices). Ingrid's healthy and tasty breakfast are mainly drawn from her own home grown and local produce - a really good, relaxing start to the day (how often do we all rush breakfast? - not here, it's part of the experience)
The villages and towns around Santa Cristiana, all 30 minutes or less by car, are still authentically Italian with excellent restaurants at cafe prices, and such friendly and lovely people who take pleasure in ensuring you have good food and enjoy your meal...great!.
Overall I would say this is probably one of the best places we have ever stayed on holiday..... we are definitely going to try and get back before the secret is known by everyone.
Brian & Marie, Liverpool, England
I cannot recommend staying with Phil and Ingrid highly enough. They are superb hosts with a true passion for the region and culture that they have adopted as their own. This comes through particularly in their love and knowledge of the food and especially the wine of Piedmont, which they produce themselves with admirable results.
My stay with Phil and Ingrid was a first for all of us as it involved my teaching a week long Tai Chi retreat at Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana for 24 students. Phil and Ingrid coped brilliantly with this large and diverse group of people. They worked far beyond the call of duty to make everyone’s experience as enjoyable as possible.
In the three years that they have been in Piedmont, Phil and Ingrid have integrated themselves into their community to an extraordinary degree, learning from and giving back to their friends, neighbours and colleagues in equal measure. Consequently they are able to share with their guests something of Piedmont as it is lived. In everything they do it is clear that they do it for the love of the thing itself rather than commercial interest.
One of the great joys of the retreat for me was to meet in Phil and Ingrid people who produce their wine along the same principles that we follow in our Tai Chi: listening and acting in harmony with nature, working in accord with the seasons rather than against them and accepting the natural pace of things rather than attempting to hurry it along. The name of their own high quality Barbera D’Asti “Piano Piano” (a local phrase meaning “slowly slowly”) is a tribute to thisphilosophy. I must add that it is a philosophy that produces wonderful results. Their wine along with that of their close friends and colleagues Roberto Urscheler and Mario & Clementina Cossetti is the cleanest that I have ever tasted. Beware, once you have tasted their wine you may never be able to go back to the mass produced wine of the supermarkets.
Matthew, Bermuda and Kent - May 2007
Things to do
world class shopping.
visit the Alps.
visit the Italian Lakes.
visit the Italian Riviera.
relax by our pool.
tour our vineyards.
festivals & events.
enjoy peace & tranquility
STAY IN PIEDMONT - NAVIGATE