My arrival in Bologna could not have been any better. I arrived by train from Rome and was met by my brother Jacques at the train station. We went to his place, changed and headed for a local vineyard called Podere Riost0. You see, Jacques took some sommelier classes a while back and has been enjoying Italian wines – particularly northern Italian wines.

Let me introduce you to Podere Riosto.

The owners of the vineyard decided they wanted to build a restaurant where they could provide a set meal once a week – Thursdays. I could try to explain all the dishes and how good they were, but…

Thursday dinner – course 1 – the most delicious pasta salad I’ve ever eaten. Wish I knew what they put in it, simple, but incredible. Black rice salad, equally as wonderful, and crostini – yum.

Cucumber, cheese, red pepper, and veal in a tuna sauce – a standard dish here and utterly delicious.

Add some turkey to the veggies and cheese.

And of course some wild boar.
PS: all these dishes were cold – likely due to the 35+ degree weather here.

A meal is not a meal without dessert. Bring on the various biscotti and cake.

It was an incredible meal in an incredible setting. Those who come simply sit around the tables, talk, eat and drink a number of different wines served at different stages of dinner. And then, when I thought I could fit nothing more in…came the grappa. Goodness me, grappa…

This is where we mingled, talked, ate and drank.

I love the tables made of reclaimed wood.
The woman you see on the left is the owner.

I know I say this a lot on this trip…but a girl could really get used to this! When we heard that they were doing a special meal on Sunday around truffles, we thought “why not?”. A meal where every dish includes truffles in some way  shape or form sounded good to us. So at 1:30pm Sunday we were back at Riosto and thoroughly enjoyed this fine meal:

World’s. Best. Risotto. Ever. I don’t eat risotto a lot, but man, this one was outstanding.
Somehow I forgot to photograph the crostini that came before this – little pieces of garlic/truffle bread – fantastic.

Pasta. Simple and delicious. Pasta + olive oil + cheese + truffles + spices = yummy.

Veal and scalloped potatoes. Seriously. I love this country and the food – risotto, pasta and potatoes all served up in the same meal. But I am seriously going to have to cleanse when I get home (thank goodness I did before coming here!).
I also thought I’d give you a glimpse at the various wine glasses… And there’s a water glass there too. Plenty of water was drunk as well.

I don’t know where they get their pineapple from, but it is juicy and sweet – you’d think it was grown locally. And the melon is also fresher and sweeter than I’m used to.

Just in case, like me, you thought the fruit was dessert – no. Gelato and cake, with local blackberries.
I thought I was going to burst. But every mouthful was fantastic.

No trip to a vineyard is complete without coming home with a selection of its wines. Now, we’re just outside of Tuscany here and if this vineyard was in Tuscany the prices for its wines would be triple what they are. But, luckily for us, they are not quite in Tuscany. Their wines go from 6 – 10 Euros per bottle. That’s crazy when you think that a comparable bottle of BC wine runs $20-$40 at the very least, some more.

The front desk inside, with the wines lining the shelves.

The dining room inside, where we ate on Sunday because although it was beautiful and sunny out it was also very windy. The building is a fairly industrial building, but the owners wanted to make sure they gave it warmth and character and therefore brought in reclaimed wood. They definitely succeeded.

Jacques and the owner as we were chatting outside post Sunday’s meal. We were the last ones to leave. This time I said no to the grappa and the scotch, but yes to his homemade lemon/basil liquor, which was actually very tasty.

I will leave you with more photos of the area. It’s only 10-15 minutes away from Bologna, so close to the city but still out in the countryside. Tranquility.

The owners of the vineyard also own this house in the hills beyond. Likely pretty darn quiet there!

They also have rooms/apartments you can rent in the middle of the vineyard. You follow the winding road in this photo into the valley. As they are not set up with a restaurant that does regular meals, the units have full kitchens so you can grocery shop and bring your food with you. Next time. It would be great to spend a couple of days there.

Just so pretty.

Take care little grapes. You will be harvested and made into delicious wine soon!

Merci Jacques! I’m so pleased you discovered this place and that I got to experience it.