Cavalieri del Tartufo e Vini di Alba: Becoming a Knight of the Highest Order
Just over 50 years ago, an association was formed in the name of love for food and wine. Dubbed “The Order of the Knights of the Truffle and Wines of Alba” (Cavalieri del Tartufo e Vini di Alba), the food and wine confraternity formed in a small restaurant in Grinzane Cavour with the goal of bringing awareness to the area’s impeccable cuisine and wine.
That was on February 25, 1967, where the impartial and independent founders, 21 of them in total, created statutes that are still upheld today to protect the revered products of Alba and the Langhe. Now known worldwide, the membership of the Truffle Knights has grown to include members in every corner of the world.
Delegations now exist in New York, Napa Valley, Hong Kong, Switzerland, and Taiwan. Masters lead the chapters, each of them severely devoted to the food and wine traditions of Alba and the Langhe. The original chapter drew its inspiration from the famed French Confrérie and continues in these modern times to use an ancient yet refined ceremonial practice. Typically once a month, the Order organizes meetings at each of the various Chapters. Food and wine are most certainly discussed but the real joy around being a knight of the highest order here is in the traditional dishes from authentic recipes and the best wines selected by the incredibly discerning Tasting Commission.
Since the beginning when The Order of the Knights of the Truffle and Wines of Alba was first formed, people have been knighted into this elite society of divinities for their professional activity or special merits and achievements in the field of food and wine. The passion for Alba must be there as well for those that intend to become a Cavalieri. November 15th 2018 Cavalieri del Tartufo e Vini di Alba – 7th Chapter “La Tradizione” at Il Gattopardo restaurant in Manhattan I, along with 10 other, were being honored and knighted. The ceremony is set up for new knights, called Postulants. The setting is regal and the attire traditional as everyone takes their places at the table lit up with chandeliers to showcase the Great Book of the Order and the branch of vine used during this Ceremony of Investiture, as the knighting process is called by the Order.
The Chapters continue to be held within the historic headquarters of the Castle of Grinzane Cavour, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2014. Inside, the O.N.A.F., the Wine and Health Observatory, the U.G.I.V.I., and the Enoteca Regionale Piemontese also reside.