Unesco art project – the towns of Roero.

My first question to our art group was why, amongst all the towns of the Roero, Piobesi d’Alba was the last on the list. The one that no-one had chosen, that I picked by default. What was so unremarkable about it that nobody else wanted it? And so I started my mission to paint Piobesi. […]

Briggs and Stratton – a lesson in the value of a second-hand mower

“Can I sit on it?” he asked. A question from a 15-year-old interested in buying our old ride-on lawn mower, affectionately known here as the “trattorino”. Red, cuts grass. “It’s the 11hp Briggs and Stratton, right?”. We confirm and the next question is almost inevitable – “what’s its top speed?”. We’re not really sure, and […]

My palette – spring in Langhe

I love this world of fluffy, palette spring. It’s amazing to see the transformation mother nature undergoes during spring. In the Langhe, you can’t walk out your front door without being taken aback. Where I live, on the cusp of the Langhe and the Alta Langa, I can enjoy everything from little fruit orchards, to […]

To dare is to write good copy – how our farmstay agriturismo just got creative

Per osare di più – to dare. I have dared to write and honestly, I’m quite satisfied with the result. It may never go online, but it’s important to practice and hopefully, improve. I am now wondering if I will write my best copy for my clients, which is not a bad thing if I’m […]

Judging a wine by its label a valid consumer choice

I have broken the first, the one-and-only, the golden rule of being a sommelier – never purchase wine because you like the label. I have broken this rule twice when it comes to this lovely Dolcetto di Dogliani, Pettirosso from Romana. Which proves that buying wine because of the label can sometimes work. In fact, […]

Chionetti – dolcetto cru and that tremendo kind of wine

“When it comes to Dolcetto, you have to be a professional,” says Nicola Chionetti. And he adds that you have to be passionate about this variety. It’s difficult to grow and, he says, it’s “tremendo” to vinify, too. My first stop on my more in-depth exploration of Dolcetto, is at Chionetti, where they live and […]

Don’t mention the ‘D’ word – in defence of Dolcetto

“It’s a blood pressure issue” my friend says at the mention of the dreaded ‘D’ word….. Dolcetto. And I can well believe it when I hear that Dolcetto is prone to disease, difficult to grow and difficult to vinify. The devil child of the Langhe area, so I understand. Devil – another ‘D’ word. I’ve […]

The great wine and grammar debate – barbera

I have been corrected – that it’s “IL barbera”, not “la”. I have heard that barbera is definitely female, to the point where there is even a book “La Barbera è femmina”, by Marzia Pinotti (I’ve yet to read it). Recently, on day two at the Grandi Langhe fair, I attended the afternoon session on […]