A little over a year ago, my husband and I went arbitrarily cruising in our convertible VW bug looking for fun wineries to visit. We ended up in the middle of the vineyards of Dogliani and took the driveway marked Chionetti. Looking more like someone's house than a winery, we hesitantly asked the smiling people standing outside if we could "fare una degustazione." A pint-sized silvery grey haired man waived us in with a smile. It was the winemaking legend himself, 86-year-old Quinto Chionetti. As they would say in Italy, "che culo!" or "what luck!"

We sat down at the old wood table as he opened up one brand new bottle of wine and then a second. Just like family, we drank our glasses of Dolcetto (an everyday wine), while shooting the breeze and getting to know each other. We talked about everything from our local mountain cheese, his tragic loss of a son and politics to changes in the wine industry.

His words and "modo di fare" enchanted me.
"Wine needs sediments... it shouldn't be too filtered...chemicals...there is too much garbage out there," he chuckled as he spoke. "And barrique... ahh it's all a show!" Sipping his Dolcetto, I was starting to understand the expression of both these wines and Quinto himself. Natural, well-ageing, genuine and profound. We moved on to the Briccolero Dolcetto, one of the best of the best. For the first time in my life, I actually bought a whole case. This was a wine that I wanted to drink again and again.

A few weeks ago I started flipping through my mental archives of all the wineries I have visited here. My current task was to take around a few Texans and show them the best of Langhe. So in the land of Barolo, I took them to experience Dolcetto first.