A group of Italians in Armani ski goggles and bling winter bobbles are ordering a Gewürztraminer from a winery that produces just a few thousand bottles a year. I’m trying not to stare but I’m suffering a severe bout of food and drink envy. Not only has this dashing group requested an unusual wine I’d like but they’re also eating tagliatelle adorned with black truffle.
I’m not in Tuscany or Alba – I’m on a ski slope, a place where you’d normally have an artless grey morass some would call a burger. What’s going on?
Firstly, this area, Alta Badia in Italy’s South Tyrol, in the Dolomites, is worth the pilgrimage for any foodie – local Ladin specialities and 20 Michelin stars awarded to chefs in the area make it epicurean skiing territory.
Secondly, I’m here to try an unusual concept: a wine ski safari, where people hop from refuge to refuge across Alta Badia’s 130km slopes sampling some of the finest wines the region has to offer.