2019 – a year of big change
In 10 years (or 20 or 30) I think I can, with certainty, say that the year 2019 was a game changer. The highlights include:
Quit my job
Got a dog
Slept outside for 2 days
Started my own company
Organized my first Winemakers dinner
Hosted my first ever “Piemontegirl Tour” in Piemonte
Walked the “Champagne Mile” for the first time
Was on the News (and the radio)
And many many more adventures. You could say it’s been quite a year! But let’s start at the beginning.
One of the first items on the agenda for 2019 was a visit to Beijing Palace to eat delicious Dim Sum and drink Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for Burgundy. Nothing like spending some quality time with Hong and his crew when you’re going through hell.
Next, I quit my job. What a relief. But did I have a plan? Not really. So what did I do? Put my heart and soul into my work. That’s how I ended up on the news for the first time in my adult life. Intrigued? I am only just beginning.
Got a dog. Her name is Tilla, named after my good friend Silvia Altare. I adopted Tilla after she failed her training as a seeing eye dog. Failure, you said? I’ll tell you she doesn’t fail at anything else.
The next thing that happened might be one of the most crazy and strange thing I’ve ever done: I decided to pack a bag (with lots of warm clothes) and spend 48 hours outside on the street in the freezing Norwegian winter. Why did I do that? I got one word for you: Burgund Slipp! I’ve got more words, but you’ll have to read them here.
Oh, and I officially started my own company: Piemontegirl! Most of you know I’ve had a passion for wine since I was about 17. What started as a summer vacation in Italy in 2011 ended up being the beginning of a wonderful adventure! And slowly, Piemontegirl grew. And now it’s become a reality. A scary, challenging, amazing, interesting and fun reality.
One of my first tasks in my new role as CEO & Founder of Piemontegirl was expand my knowledge base. Thank you Kulinarisk Akademi and Heidi for taking me through WSET Level 2!
March might be my favorite month, because…. You guessed it: It’s my birthday!! My annual birthday trip to Piemonte included a visit (and photo) with Accomasso, multiple birthday celebrations with my second family, visit to Ciccio & Centro Storico, birthday Insalata Russa (thanks to the beautiful staff at More Macine), and many other incredible moments. I will forever be grateful to my Piemonte Family! And am already looking forward to my next birthday trip!
“April would mark a milestone for my Piemontegirl career. Trediberri accepted my offer to come to Oslo for a tasting! This “Trediberri Masterclass” was Piemontegirl’s first official tasting – and it was a huge success. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Nicola so enthusiastic before. Hopefully he’ll come back again in 2020!
The month of “Pylsa & Barolo” – the yearly non celebration of my Dad. And it’s exactly like it sounds. We eat hot dogs and drink Barolo. Don’t know it ’til you try it!
17th of May, the Norwegian national holiday, calls for a celebration. Our annual tradition brings us to Cru for some delicious food and good wine. Norwegians consume a lot of Champagne on this day. Myself included.
All of a sudden I find myself on a plane to New York. This time it’s not for pleasure. Although I did managed to enjoy a very good meal at Babbo. I try to stop by either Lupa or Babbo when I’m in the big apple. Lupa used to be my regular spot back when I lived in the States.
June would be a month for travel, and I once again found myself on a plane. This time to La Morra. I’ve never been to La Morra in June before and let me tell you: it was amazing. The temperature was perfect, the tourists were not overwhelming, and the wineries were “regular” busy and not harvest busy. So if you’re looking for a good time to go, June is a good time!
Summer vacation time! This year Burgundy made the list of destinations, and I spent 3 wonderful days in Beaune. Highlights include a visit with Joseph Voillot, Michel Lafarge, dinner at Caves Madeleine & a stroll through Romanee-Conti.
In La Morra that summer I would test my skills as a tour guide, as I dragged my friends around for winery visits, lunches and dinners. I’d say it was a success! The activities include, but are not limited to:
A visit with Nicola at Trediberri where we got to taste the Barolo 2016 fresh off the bottling belt.
Lunch at Repubblica di Perno, where we ran into Jan Restoff, a very talented chef from Denmark.
A trip into the vineyard with Veronica and Andrea Corino, where we learned about plants getting sunburned.
Champagne at Vinoteca Centro Storico – of course.
All in all a very successful summer vacation!
Back to work, and the fall started lining up with many fun Piemontegirl Tastings.
August is also the month of Mangialonga! Mangialonga might be my favorite wine event of the year! It involves eating and drinking while walking in beautiful surroundings. I usually work at a stand with the local youth serving wine, and when the last participants pass through, we grab some glasses and go!
You heard about the Burgund Slipp? Well, the Piemonte Slipp (or random wines from Italy ++) took place in September. For fun, I decided to spend the night on the street outside the store. I did not have as much fun as I did in February. I flew solo until about 7am. Oh well, here’s to hoping next year will be better!
September will be remembered for something besides Piemonte Slipp – Ludo had it’s official opening! This new pizza joint in my neighborhood has become a favorite! Might have something to do with all the italians working there, but if that’s not your thing, the pizza’s are excellent! So for whatever reason works for you, check it out if you’re ever in Oslo.
Big things are happening! Piemontegirl organized her first Piemontegirl Tour! The trip included a winery visit with Marengo, where we got to taste wine just after the alcoholic fermentation. The group’s birthday boy got to try his hand at pumping over with Nicola at Trediberri. We also walked the Champagne Mile – a legendary 10k from La Morra to Serralunga. And the reason we call it the Champagne Mile is because Alessio greets you with a glass (or two) of Champagne at the finish line!
Masterclasses and Winemakers dinners! Both Marengo and Gianfranco Alessandria came to Oslo for Piemontegirl tastings. Along with my partner Gutta på Haugen, we were able to organize multiple successful events! The feedback I’ve recieved is overwhelming and I am so grateful to everyone who is supporting me during this startup phase of my business. I have high hopes for many more winemakers dinners and masterclasses in 2020!
I’ve come a long way since December 2018. Just last year I was experiencing multiple nose bleeds due to stress, I had no idea where my life was heading and my future didn’t look all that bright. But with a little help from my friends, family and licenced professionals, I’ve managed to slowly build Piemontegirl into a business, and gotten my life back on track. Looking forward to seeing what 2020 will bring!