We took the tour with Parma Galosa in June 2009. We met our guide, Nick, just a short walk from the Parma train station and started one of our very best days in Italy. If your aim is high-quality, authentic Parma cuisine and wine, in one of the most picturesque rural settings, go with Parma Galosa and they will take you to Foodie Heaven.
After a short drive, we arrived at the Parmesan Cheese maker. Nick gave us a detailed explanation of the process and we stood a few feet from artisan cheesemakers as they pulled a newly form wheel from the whey. We saw the full molding, salting and branding process. And then we enjoyed a fabulous tasting of 12mos, 24mos, and 31 month Parmesan. Who knew the age was so important in the texture and flavor. You will never take quality Parmesan for granted again.
We then took a short drive to the Prosciutto factory which we had to ourselves for a private tour. Thankfully, no slaughter occurs there! Interesting tour to see the salting, storage and aging process. Nick was very knowledgable and patient with our questions.
We then headed to a beautiful hillside winery for a delightful lunch which included a sampling of the areas finest culatello, prosciutto, pancetta. We sampled Lambrusco for the first time ever - it's now our most favorite summertime wine. We were able to buy some to ship home at the next stop. Nick was a very personable host and we thoroughly enjoyed his company and descriptions of real Italian life.
After lunch, we travelled a few miles to the Ermete Medici balsamic house. Located on a beautiful winery with an incredible collection of aged balsamic. Nick introduced us to the owner, who warmly welcomed us and invited us to taste 4 vintages of balsamic. This liquid gold is unlike any other - they ship directly home and it's worth the expense. We also brought back some of their Concerto Lambrusco, which is phenomenal.
After this tour, we parted ways with Nick and our driver returned us to the train station. We had perma-grin for the next 24 hours - it was one of the best foodie days ever. We learned so much, met the nicest people and had a GREAT experience. Go with Parma Galosa, it's pricey, but worth it. No hassles, no complaints - highly recommend. Enjoy!