XXII Alba White Truffle World Auction


Over 5 million euros raised since 1999 - the last edition closed with a record-breaking figure of 482,000 euros - to be donated to charity associations and projects in Italy and around the world, are not just the goal, but the starting point for the new edition of the Alba White Truffle World Auction®.

On Sunday 14th November, the walls of the Grinzane Cavour Castle - which is set to become a point of reference for international charity, after hosting also the debut of "Barolo en primeur", with the auction of 15 barriques of the prized wine made from the grapes of the Gustava Vineyard – will be ready to welcome the 22nd edition of the biggest solidarity event, organized by Enoteca Regionale Piemontese Cavour, thanks to the precious support of Regione Piemonte, together with Enit - Agenzia Nazionale Italiana del Turismo (Italian National Tourist Agency), Ente Turismo Langhe Monferrato Roero (Langhe Monferrato Roero Tourist Board) Fiera Internazionale del Tartufo Bianco d'Alba (International Alba White Truffle Fair), Centro Nazionale Studi Tartufo (National Truffle Study Centre) and Ordine dei Cavalieri del Tartufo e dei Vini d'Alba (Order of the Knights of the Truffle and the Wines of Alba). Once again, some extraordinary lots of Alba White Truffle will be put up for auction, along with large format wines from the producers who are members of the Consorzio di Tutela Barolo Barbaresco Alba Langhe e Dogliani (Consortium for the Protection of Barolo Barbaresco Alba Langhe and Dogliani).

Joining live from Hong Kong, connecting with the Langhe, is Chef Umberto Bombana (three Michelin stars) with his world renowned restaurant "8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana": here, in collaboration with Maria Pranzo di Aretê food and wine, the enthusiasts of Tuber magnatum Pico and of the prestigious regional wines available in the East-asian metropolis will gather to renew the solidarity and humanitarian relationship between the Auction and the Mother's Choice Institute, a charity that helps children without families with the aim of giving hope and new life perspectives thanks to the funds raised.

This year, to add further value to the event, thanks to Fondazione CRC Donare, the last lot of the "Barolo en Primeur" auction will be awarded to the highest bidder: the most generous philanthropist will thus be able to take home the Nebbiolo barrique number fifteen from which, in 2024, about 300 bottles of fine Barolo will be obtained.

Chef Davide Corso will be the protagonist with his "Bosco Cafe" at the GUM Department Store, overlooking the Red Square in Moscow: in the presence of Giorgio Starace, Italian Ambassador to the Russian Federation, the auction participants will help, bid after bid, to support the Dmitry Rogachev National Medical Research Center of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Immunology, a cutting-edge research centre specializing in hematological, oncological and immunological diseases of childhood and in molecular diagnostics.

For the third consecutive year, the Art Restaurant of Michelin-starred Chef Beppe De Vito, one of the most renowned names in fine food and wine and owner of five restaurants in Singapore, will delight guests inside the prestigious National Gallery – in the presence of Mario Andrea Vattani, Italian Ambassador to Singapore - with the inebriating scents of the most valuable fruit of the earth. The funds raised in the Asian city-state will go to Dreams Asia, an education foundation that aims to give children equal opportunities to dream by providing after-school care and holistic development support.

Finally, on the occasion of Expo2020, Piedmontese food and wine excellence will be the absolute protagonist in the live connection with Chef Giovanni Papi, of the Armani/Ristorante at the Armani/Hotel Dubai, located inside the iconic Burj Khalifa skyscraper.

As for Italy, the partnership with the Alba-Bra Onlus Hospital Foundation is renewed: part of the money raised at the Auction will in fact be donated to finance the pictorial humanization project for the paediatric ward of the Michele and Pietro Ferrero Hospital in Verduno, and thus allow to support and create an initiative aimed at adapting spaces to the needs of young patients, a key factor to help encourage the use of imagination when dealing with the impact of hospitalisation. The auction lots will also include three giant Panettoni cakes "made in Piedmont" weighing 5 kg and 10 kg, made by Albertengo, a historic company based in Torre San Giorgio, in the province of Cuneo, which produces one and a half million festive pastries every year. Livia and Massimo Albertengo will give the guests joining live from the international venues connected with Grinzane Cavour a nice present: a trio of mini panettone cakes made with apricots, Moscato and traditional iced panettone.

The 22nd edition of the Alba White Truffle World Auction® can be followed by live streaming on the Grinzane Cavour Castle Facebook page (www.facebook.com/CastelloGrinzaneCavour) and on the social media pages of the main local and national newspapers.

Riccardo Monco, Chef of the Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence, a world standard-bearer of the Italian cuisine of excellence, will be awarded a special diploma and will be joining the list of the Alba White Truffle ambassadors. The prestigious award, which in the past has featured some of the most famous chefs in Europe and the rest of the world, goes to the chef born in 1972. After completing his studies at the "Carlo Porta" Hotel School in Milan, his home town, he had several experiences before he started working, in 1993, as station chef at the Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence, where he is now first chef.

Starting at 1 p.m., streaming live from the ancient manor house - a specific site declared World Heritage Site by Unesco, as part of the broader recognition of the "Langhe-Roero and Monferrato Wine-growing Landscapes" - great chefs and famous personalities from politics, culture, show business and the international jet set will compete for the various lots paired with precious magnums of Barolo and Barbaresco, put up for auction by Caterina Balivo and Enzo Iacchetti, auctioneers of the day together with journalist and gastronomy editor Paolo Vizzari.

The guests attending the event at Grinzane Cavour include Alessandro Campagna, Olympic gold medallist and multiple world champion with the Settebello team, currently coach of the Italian national water polo team, and Martina Caironi, Italian Paralympic athlete, who recently won two silver medals at the Tokyo Games, after her gold medals in London and Rio. Fulvio Marino, baker at Mulino Marino in Cossano Belbo, will be playing at home as he is a well-known TV personality, starring on Rai1 in the show "È sempre mezzogiorno" (It's always midday) hosted by Antonella Clerici.

"After last year's very special event, at the height of the pandemic, we are pleased to be back with an edition of the Auction in presence also at Grinzane Cavour Castle, which has finally returned to welcome tourists and visitors in complete safety and with record numbers" - says Roberto Bodrito, President of the Enoteca Regionale Piemontese Cavour – Together with the mayor of Alba, Carlo Bo, and of Grinzane Cavour, Gianfranco Garau, we are quite confident that also this year solidarity will be great, raising significant funds to be donated to charity projects all over the world”.

“The Truffle World Auction is one of the most important events of international appeal and visibility for Piedmont and Italy as a whole. – underlines Alberto Cirio, president of the Region –. An event that I had the honour of seeing come to life when, thanks to Bruno Ceretto's great intuition and vision, for the first time ever, the Chinese, Americans and Italians were all bidding for truffles at the same time. The ability to become global through this event has been the key that helped us achieve a successful event. In the early days we had to deal with some big technological issues, considering that we also needed a satellite for the event. It makes us realize how the truffle is not just an extraordinary product, but also a vital communication tool to promote our territories, with their excellence. At a time when we are all investing all our energy to start again, we must do so with our feet firmly planted on what gives strength and value to our land. And the Alba White Truffle is the emblem of this strength, which is inimitable and unique.

“Barolo and Barbaresco are the great representatives, worldwide, of our wine-growing excellence, capable of being appreciated together with all the prestigious denominations protected by the Consortium – adds Matteo Ascheri, president of Consorzio di Tutela Barolo, Barbaresco, Alba, Langhe e Dogliani –. The Auction has always been a precious moment for promotion and solidarity, which is why our producers offer their prestigious bottles to be paired with the Alba White Truffle lots. Therefore, we continue to support this initiative with determination, as we prepare for the sixth Global Conference on Wine Tourism, which next year will see our territory in the spotlight.”

“The last few months have provided us with extremely positive data in terms of the number of presences and arrivals throughout the territory. – explains Luigi Barbero, president of Ente Turismo Langhe Monferrato Roero –. European visitors are back, many have chosen to come on holiday to our land and, given the number of bookings for the autumn and the encouraging trend of tourism flows, the aim is to close 2021 by reaching 80% of the visitor numbers of 2019. For the year 2022 we are investing in a new digital and social media campaign, carrying on projects with international tour operators and developing foreign communication campaigns”.

“We could say, perhaps, that it is the most difficult year for truffles. – sums up Antonio Degiacomi, president of Centro Nazionale Studi Tartufo –. While it is true that it is not the first time there is a shortage of truffles due to the very hot weather and little rain, it is worrying to see a trend of low rainfall, concentrated in adverse weather events. We should not forget that the production of this treasure of the earth still depends on spontaneous growth in natural environments. Plant protection, forest maintenance and the planting of truffle trees in suitable areas are urgently needed. And also some stronger, more comprehensive initiatives on climate change”.

“We have chosen to give this 91st edition of the Fair, entitled “Connected to Nature”, a decisive cultural twist, taking into account the most contemporary issues such as environmental protection, climate change and sustainability, not only in its “green”ecological sense, but also in social and economic terms. – explains Liliana Allena, president of Fiera Internazionale del Tartufo Bianco d’Alba –. With this global focus in mind, the Auction stands out as one of the highlights of the prestigious event dedicated to our white diamond; an event that will be open until 5th December.”

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