Winefriend by David Way

Writing about the wines of Piemonte, Italy and France

David Way

Italian speaking expert on the wines of Italy, especially Piemonte and Toscana. Currently writing The Wines of Piemonte for the Classic Wine Library. Researcher and writer of wine study materials for the WSET Level 4 Diploma; creator of www.winefriend.org.

Sunset in Collio DOC

Collio DOC: quality wines, styles, challenges

Collio DOC is a small but high quality denomination in Friuli Venezia Giulia, 130 kilometres north-east of Venice.  It was the first Italian region to make fresh, clean modern white wines, using techniques learnt in Germany in the 1970s. As a result, it was the third wine area in Italy to receive its DOC, the

Cantina Kurtatsch's Bordeaux variety wines

Cantina Kurtatsch’s Bordeaux variety wines

As the old joke goes, you wait and wait for a bus to come along in London and then two come along at the same time! Only for me, the ‘buses’ have been vertical tastings of ageable wines. The first of these was Cantina Kurtatsch‘s Bordeaux variety wines, Cabernet Sauvignon Riserva Freienfeld and its Merlot

Guido Rivella, Barbaresco Montestefano vertical 2010-2019

Diary 45: Guido Rivella’s Barbaresco Montestefano, a vertical tasting

I was fortunate to attend a complete vertical tasting of Guido Rivella’s Barbaresco Montestefano, courtesy of Ultravino, his UK importer. Ultravino is doing a great job finding hands-on winemakers producing small volumes of really high-quality wines from Piemonte. It has been impossible to visit every important winery for my forthcoming book on The Wines of

Colli Euganei: volcanic cone

Colli Euganei: Bordeaux blends on volcanic soils

The Colli Euganei is one of Italy’s less well-known but distinctive wine regions. Situated close to Venice, between Padua and Vicenza, it is a series of hills of volcanic origin whose main attraction is the thermal springs. Abano Terme, close by, has endless spa hotels from the grand to the functional. If you can tear

Santo Stefano vineyard, Valdobbiadene

Three days in the lovely Prosecco DOCG hills

Not all Prosecco is the same. The two most favoured regions are those in the hills. These are the better-known and original Prosecco, now called Valdobbiadene Conegliano Processo Superiore DOCG (Prosecco Superiore for short) and the nearby hills of Asolo DOCG. Altitude (and therefore better day-night temperature difference), poorer soils, steep slopes (better exposure to

Alba DOC in tonneaux

Diary 44: Alba DOC really does exist…and it’s not what you think it is!

Is Alba DOC the same as Barbera d’Alba? Barbera d’Alba, Dolcetto d’Alba and Nebbiolo d’Alba are all well-known Piedmontese DOCs. The former two are important as they represent Barbera and Dolcetto in and around Barolo and Barbaresco, even if there are also specialist DOCGs in this area for Dolcetto. By contrast, Alba DOC is an

Moscato d'Asti vertical 2021 back to 2014

Diary 43: a final long visit to Langhe and Monferrato?

I started work on my book, The Wines of Piemonte, for the Classic Wine Library in October 2019. The idea was to deliver the text for this 300-page book in three years. However, Covid 19 had other ideas. Fortunately, I was hugely helped by the growers who sent me samples during lockdown and were happy

David with all the wines of the Nascetta di Novello association

Diary 42: rare varieties around Barolo

Barolo is of course made with the Nebbiolo grape but there are also rare varieties around the Barolo area. For me, the week of 18–23 July 2022 was devoted to Pelaverga piccolo, Gamba di Pernice, Nascetta and Croatina. With, naturally, some fine Barolo along the way. All of this research contributes to my forthcoming book,

Carema, pilun

Diary 41: Piemonte–wine regions for the adventurous

Piemonte has wine regions for the adventurous, beyond Barolo, Barbaresco and Nizza. Early May 2022 gave Janet and me the chance to visit the least well-known wine areas of Piemonte, plus some better-known regions that are under-regarded. The former are the three denominations in the Alpine valleys that lead to France. The latter included the

Diary 40: the small DOCs in Piemonte’s Western Alps

I am about to set off to visit the small DOCs in Piemonte’s Western Alps: Valsusa, Pinerolese and Colline Saluzzesi. To call these little known would be an understatement. I am not sure any journalist has visited them recently, apart from the indefatigable Ian d’Agata. They also boast some extremely rare grape varieties, including Avanà,

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