Winefriend by David Way

Writing about the wines of Piemonte, Italy and France

Italian wine

‘Old Piemonte’ – Pinot Noir in Oltrepò Pavese

It is the nature of research to lead you down some interesting byways. In my work on The Wines of Piemonte, I have been tracing the history of traditional method sparkling wine in the region. This has led me from today’s Piemonte to il vecchio Piemonte, ‘Old Piemonte’ as the senior generation in Oltrepò Pavese

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Half term report: The Wines of Piemonte

Diary 22: half-term report

It is difficult to believe but I am now halfway through my contract period for writing my book. I asked for three years to write a 300-page book on The Wines of Piemonte for the CIassic Wine Library. You can see the summary of the book on the publisher’s website. Is it time for a

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Mauro Veglio's gold capsules

Diary 21: on the move at Mauro Veglio’s Barolo

Founded during the period when modernism had just taken hold in the region, Mauro Veglio‘s Barolo, like many other estates, is now going through a subtle change of direction.  To go back to the early days, Mauro himself started to label his own wine in 1992, having taken over the business in 1986 at the

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Masnaghetti wine maps of La Morra, Barolo

Diary 20: Masnaghetti wine maps, a complete toolkit

Masnaghetti wine maps are created by Alessandro Masnaghetti, known as Italy’s Mr Map Man. But his contribution goes well beyond maps as he provides a complete toolkit for interpreting vineyards. The detailed maps are indeed the most fantastic resource for wine lovers and students. Whether in your home or in the field, you can examine

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Grignolino wines

Diary 19: Supercharged Grignolino

In Monferrato’s famous five, I started to express my excitement about the Grignolino variety – pale, aromatic and tannic. By the way, does that remind you of a famous variety from Piemonte? Today I have tasted some examples from two wineries that are part of the Monferace initiative. This is a group of producers, mostly

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Brexit bureaucracy

Diary 18 – additional Brexit bureaucracy

My family has strong European connections. My mother was an Austrian refugee to the UK before World War 2, my father loved Austria and Germany and of course, I have visited Italy and France regularly and Germany, Austria, Spain and Portugal occasionally in the last 15 years. So like many of the 48% who voted

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The Barbaresco Range of Pertinace

Barbaresco co-operative, Pertinace, with a sense of place

There are very few things I like more than a good co-operative wine producer. I love the romance of the small grape growers of a region pooling their harvests, sharing experience and expertise. Sensibly, they entrust the complex tasks of making, promoting and selling the wine to a company set up for the common good,

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Mascarello's Freisa, Nebbiolo’s rustic relative

Diary 16 – Freisa, Nebbiolo’s rustic relative

This post completes my earlier survey of five local Monferrato grape varieties, Monferrato’s famous five. Freisa is one of Piemonte’s historic varieties, now not much grown but with one claim to fame. In 2004, Anna Schneider and her team at the University of Turin established that it has a parent-offspring relationship with the undisputed top

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Braida branding

Braida and Chiarlo – the two titans of Monferrato Barbera

Every wine region needs its standard-bearers. They come in various shapes and sizes, Krug in Champagne, DRC in Burgundy, Penfold’s in South Australia. However, what they share in common is being widely regarded as among the very best of a region’s producers. And, vitally, they carry the reputation of a whole region with them at

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Barbera, Freisa, Grignolino, Ruchè

Monferrato’s famous five

The most common complaint from those who know Piemonte well is that attention is overwhelmingly given, often exclusively given, to one grape variety, Nebbiolo, and one sub-region, the Langhe. The latter does contain the two great denominations of Barolo and Barbaresco but there is so, so much more to Piemonte. It has such great vinous

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