Winefriend by David Way

Writing about the wines of Piemonte, Italy and France


The wines of Piemonte/Piedmont 

A month in Piemonte: Nizza Monferrato in early autumn

Diary 33: a month in Piemonte

On Friday, Janet and I returned to England after a fantastic month in Piemonte. I am exhilarated, slightly overwhelmed by the amount of material I have gathered and somewhat exhausted too! We made 93 visits in around 25 days of visiting … The research was for my book on The Wines of Piemonte, to be

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Dolcetto in Dogliani: Piemonte vineyard landscapes

Diary 32: Piemonte vineyard landscapes

There is a time for words and a time for images. Today, the images of Piemonte vineyard landscapes convey far more than words.

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Uvalino in autumn

Diary 31: Uvalino on the vine

One of the joys of visiting a region is learning about the local grape varieties, in this case, the rare variety Uvalino. Yes, everyone in Monferrato grows Barbera and Moscato but Uvalino is basically grown mainly by Cascina Castlet in Costiglione d’Asti. It has been treasured by Maria Borio who has grown and studied it

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Fresh Moscato juice, Asti

Diary 30: first day in Asti DOCG

This really is a diary entry: a first day in Asti DOCG. For the first time in nearly two years, Janet and I are in Piemonte, visiting wineries, talking to technical experts and enjoying brilliant early autumn sunshine. After months of tasting samples and Zoom calls, it is great to actually be here and enjoy

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Nebbiolo outside Barolo: Sandrone and Marchesi Alfieri

Diary 29: Nebbiolo outside Barolo, two fine examples

It’s easy to think that Piemonte’s great Nebbiolo wines come exclusively from Barolo and Barbaresco. This post features two wines, both 100 per cent Nebbiolo, that come from nearby, one quite well known, one a real hidden gem: two fine Nebbiolos outside Barolo. As part of research for my book, The Wines of Piemonte, I

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Fascinating wine co-operative in Piemonte: Basilica, Castelnuovo Don Bosco

Diary 28: another fascinating wine co-operative in Piemonte

Yesterday I had the chance to talk to Paolo Aiassa, director of the Terre dei Santi co-operative, as part of my research for The Wines of Piemonte in the Classic Wine Library. I love co-operatives when the wine is good and it certainly is here. Here are my reflections on another fascinating wine co-operative in

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Tank method sparkling: full array of colours

Diary 26: tank method sparkling wine: much more than Asti

Aiming for pure fruit expression Tank method sparkling wine has such a bad rap. Do we complain that delicious, refreshing Beaujolais is not grand cru Burgundy? Both have their time and place. In the same way, it makes no sense to compare a fruity and undemanding Prosecco with a grand Champagne. Indeed, within Piemonte, there

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Wine map of southern Piemonte - Gabiano and Rubino di Cantavenna

Diary 25: Wine map of southern Piemonte

In mapping Piemonte, I explained the fun I had at the beginning of research for The Wines of Piemonte in commissioning a large (A1) size map of the region. I have now gone a second step, acquiring a wine map of southern Piemonte. It is based on the ‘heart of Piemonte’ map in The World

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Piemonte's sparkling wine tradition: the full line-up

Diary 24: Piemonte’s sparkling wine tradition

Today Piemonte is famous for its grand red wines and, in a different part of the market, for the delights of Asti and Moscato d’Asti. The latter two made with the tank method, producing low alcohol, sweet wines have indeed been a huge success. But in fact, Piemonte’s sparkling wine tradition predates Asti and the

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‘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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