PIEDMONT'S wine harvest will be in by now but it was just poised to swing into action when I attended the most recent gourmet wine dinner at Luton Hoo Hotel.

These quarterly events offer visitors the chance to discover more about the wines from the estate cellar and gives the chef an opportunity to create a bespoke pairing menu.

On our visit there were just three couples, Frederic the sommelier and Italian wine expert Gianni Bertolino. Gianni is one of three siblings running the Tenuta Olim Bauda winery in Piedmont, Italy. He chose a selection of wines to match each dish, from his vineyard’s array of elegant, refined Gavis and vibrant, juicy Barbera di Astis. Gianni says the family's success is due to having a respect for the land and expert local knowledge.

He says: "My family took on the vineyard in 1961 and four generations have worked it. We have around 4,000-5,000 plants per hectare. The terroir is the secret - we found a lot of fossils when digging a new vineyard as it used to be the seabed.

"It takes many years of your life to create a new vineyard - a year to prepare the land, planting takes four years. We don't use fertilisers except at the beginning. You have to respect the land, cut the grass, give more water, choose the grapes. In August we have the green harvest where we leave only the best grapes. These are not the biggest but those that have the best shape and are the most homogeneous. Two per cent of the work is done by machines the rest is by hand.

"This is a fantastic occasion to show three great wines from the Piedmont region.

These three varietals have been produced by our family since the beginning of the last century. Olim Bauda is still a family estate where every phase of the production is personally managed by my brother, sister and I – great vineyards and long tradition are the only secrets.”

The pairing menu has been designed by Luton Hoo’s senior sous chef Aimee Reddick to seamlessly bridge the seasons between summer and autumn, with dishes including a crab and lobster tian with sweetcorn parfait, roast sweetcorn and lemon balm, a delicate dish yet with a robustness to complement The Gavi, which exudes a refreshing, subtle fizz with lemon notes and buttery finish. For the main course the Barbera D'Asti Superiore, Nizza 2012, deep, rich and smooth with an aroma and fruitiness of the hedgerow that beautifully paired with roast fillet of beef with ox cheek croustade, confit shallots and plum and thyme reduction. For dessert we needed something really special to stand up to the creaminess of poached white peach with textures of raspberry and brown sugar meringue.

The Moscato d'Asti Frizzante is a refreshingly light dessert wine with an elegantly balanced sherbet taste.

"It is partially fermented through a specific process and has no sugar or co2 added," says Gianni. "It undergoes a long fermentation time at a low temperature to produce a thin bubble. It's a good match when the wine doesn't cover the food or the food cover the wine. They have to play together."

The menu was exceptionally well delivered and the convivial atmosphere most enjoyable. I arrived knowing little of the wines of Piedmont but was thoroughly impressed by their depth and quality.

The next wine dinner takes place on November 10 and features guest host Kevin McKee from Taittinger Champagne.

Details: 01582 698888, lutonhoo.co.uk/gourmet-wine-dinners-2016.