Francesca Castaldi’s tiny four hectare farm is tucked in the hills just outside of Briona, one of the handful of villages that make up the Colline Novaresi DOC in northern Piedmont. Her family’s winemaking lineage in this region dates back several centuries, and she grew up among the family vines, but didn’t start making her own wines until 1997 after leaving a finance job. While the majority of Castaldi’s wines are made with nebbiolo at the fore, Valceresole is made of 100% uva rara, typically a blending grape used to add softness to nebbiolo-based wines. Uva rara is sometimes mistakenly referred to as bonarda, though it bears no relation to the bonarda of Lombardy’s Oltrepo Pavese. Valceresole is woodsy and elegant, with purple flowery aromas, acid-driven fruit, and a pleasantly bitter, spicy finish. For pairing ideas, make a reservation at Centre Street Cafe, where they’re currently featuring this wine by the glass!