My experience becoming a Knight of Alba 

May 22, 2023,

I can say with almost 100% certainty that I never once thought I would be able to say this – but I am officially a knight. Dame Michelle Durpetti has a pretty cool ring to it, right?! 

Ok, so how am I a knight? and where, exactly? Good questions, here is a little info for you! 

The Order of Knights of the Truffle and Wines of Alba is headquartered in the prestigious Castle of Grinzane Cavour. The symbolic significance of this location in the history of Italy was specifically recognized by UNESCO World Heritage in 2014.

On February 22nd 1967 a Food and Wine Brotherhood named the Order of Knights of the Truffle and Wines of Alba was formed in a small trattoria in the village of Grinzane Cavour. Galvanized and led by Luciano Degiacomi, the association’s twenty-one Founder members – who used to love underlining their “disinterest and independence” – drew up Articles of Association setting out the Order’s main purposes as preserving, safeguarding or reintroducing local customs, practices and traditions, raising the profile of local food and wine, and actively promoting the typical wines and food of Alba both in Italy and abroad.

The twenty-one founder Knights were all “Albesi”, or in any case from the surrounding hills of the Langhe. Today the Order has more than 2000 members all over the world, with Delegations in Switzerland, Hong Kong, New York, Napa Valley, Taiwan, Austria and Dubai. Led by Masters, they organize Chapters dedicated to our food and wine traditions, outstanding products and highly-regarded wines. For more, you can check out the website here!

There are now more than 15 delegations worldwide including Chicago, which was inducted in May along with 21 additional knights plus myself.

Our role as Knights of Alba is really to represent the culture and history of the region, promoting the wine and food of course along with tradition and Italian culture in general. For anybody that knows me well or follows me on Instagram, you know that Italy lives in my heart and that I am an expert on all things Italy when it comes to travel and wedding planning so this was an incredible honor for me! 

A very special thank you to all who made this night (pun intended) possible:

Podere Gianni Gagliardo: Stefano Gagliard,  CEO, presenting the wines and history of the company.

TarufLanghe (truffle products marketplace): Barbara Bosini, Business Development & Marketing & Paolo Montanaro, owner.

Gardens at the Cabin by Harry (flower arrangements).

321 Fast Draw Inc (program book & film) : Diane DeRE, President & Co-founder, & her video crew and graphics artists.

Chicago’s Italian Counsel General Thomas Botzios for his presence.

JC Viens, Maestro of the Ruling Council, Order of Knights of the Truffles and Wines of Alba.

Exmoor Country Club : Assistant General Manager Randy Bauwens and his team and staff & Matthew Hinkle, Executive Chef at Exmoor, for the gorgeous food.

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