On February 22nd 1967 a Food and Wine Brotherhood was formed in a small trattoria in Grinzane Cavour
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.
A great lover of the Langhe and visionary standard-bearer for local food and wine, Luciano Degiacomi (1921-1995) devoted his keen intellect and boundless passion to highlighting the quality of the prestigious products of our region. His clear analysis set out to create refined awareness of good food by relaunching the local cuisine (Confidenze di un Gran Maestro, Luciano Degiacomi, 1972).
He was among the most strenuous, diehard champions of what was only the second regional wine showcase to be established in Italy after Siena: the Enoteca Regionale Piemontese Cavour, which opened in Grinzane Cavour Castle on November 27th 1967.
In February 1967 he founded the Order of Knights of the Truffle and Wines of Alba, becoming its leading light and Grand Master for 25 years.
I had long been wondering what I could do for the Langhe, to put the area on the map, to breathe life into aspects and possibilities which had remained in the shadows.
(Confidenze di un Gran Maestro,
Luciano Degiacomi, 1972)
The Coat of Arms
The coat of arms of the Order of Knights of the Truffle and Wines of Alba draws on the ancient crest of the city of Alba. The name Alba is formed from the initial letters of the symbols of the four Evangelists, which are also represented in sequence on the façade of its Cathedral:
A theAngelo (Angel) of Matthew
L the Leone (Lion) of Mark
B the Bue (Ox) of Luke
A theAquila (Eagle) of John
The name Order of Knights of the Truffle and Wines of Alba appears around this old crest.
This was decided on by the Order’s Founder, Grand Master Luciano Degiacomi, due to his deep attachment to the city.
Experience the refined atmosphere of ancient ceremonies,
savouring the finest tradition has to offer
The Order of Knights of the Truffle and Wines of Alba uses an ancient, cultured ceremonial format and terminology. The meetings organized by the Order during the course of the year (generally once a month) are named Chapters. Subjects relating to food and wine are discussed during the Chapters, and traditional dishes prepared to authentic recipes are served, accompanied by wines selected by a scrupulous Tasting Panel
The Chapters are held in the picturesque Hall of Masks, set up to welcome illustrious guests and for the Investiture of new Knights, called Postulants.
The procession of the Ruling Council is welcomed to the Castle’s courtyard by the Flag-throwers and Musicians of Alba. Then, dressed in their traditional finery the Grand Master and the Masters on the Ruling Council takes their places at the table laid with candelabra, the Great Book of the Order and the vine cane for the Investiture Ceremony.