Piedmont

Piedmont is one of the great regions of northern Italy and is particularly famous for its ancient and widespread wine tradition, which gift us always has always fine wines that are exported and recognised all over the world.

It is located in the northwest corner of the country. It borders east with Lombardy, in the direction of which open wide plains, while on all other slopes it is surrounded by large alpine masses (shared west with France and north with Switzerland) and the Apennines (shared south with Liguria).

Inside it there are several hilly areas, covering about 30% of the territory. The most extensive and central group is composed of the Turin hills, the Roero, the Langhe and the Monferrato.

The climate of the central zone is continental, characterized by wide thermal excursions between day and night, relatively cold and damp winters, and hot and hot summers.

Native and local varieties

  • 30% Barbera 
  • 21% Moscato bianco 
  • 13% Dolcetto 
  • 9% Nebbiolo 
  • 6% Cortese 
  • 3% Brachetto 
  • 2% Freisa 
  • 2% Arneis 
  • 2% Grignolino 
  • 1% Moscato giallo 
  • 1% Erbaluce 
  • 1% Croatina 
  • 1% Bonarda 

International varieties

  • 2% Chardonnay 
  • 1% Merlot 

Region

  • population: 4.367.559 (2018)
  • superficie: 25.387 km²
  • mountains 43% / hills 30% / plains 27%

Vineyards

  • 2017: 42.284 hectares (stable)
  • 2016: 42.195 hectares (-1%)
  • 2015: 42.761 hectares

Wine production

  • 2017: 2.043.136 hectoliters - 48,3 hectoliters/hectare (-20%)
  • 2016: 2.549.079 hectoliters - 60,4 hectoliters/hectare (+3%)
  • 2015: 2.466.919 hectoliters - 57,7 hectoliters/hectare

Classification

  • DOC and DOCG wines 89% / IGT wines 11% / generic wines 0%
  • red wines 54% / white wines 46%
Source: Istat 2018

Presenting Piedmont wines in a few lines is not easy. Not only for the quantity (with 17 DOCGs and 42 DOCs is the region with more designations in Italy) but for the importance that each of them has in local and international. To simplify the analysis, we can distinguish three macro-areas: the first is a long hilly strip at the base of the Alpine arc that starts from the Saluzzo Hills in the province of Cuneo, passes around Turin and reaches the provinces of Vercelli, Novara and Verbano-Cusio-Ossola. To the south, instead, we find the enological heart of the region: on the one hand, in the province of Cuneo, Turin and Asti, a large area consisting of Colline Torinesi, Roero and Langhe; on the other side the hilly expanses of the Monferrato, straddling the provinces of Alessandria and Asti.

Alpine arch

The eastern side, in the provinces of Cuneo and Turin, mainly enhances local black grapes, such as Barbera, Nebbiolo, Pelaverga, Dolcetto. Designations such as Colline Saluzzesi DOC, Pinerolese DOC and Valsusa DOC are therefore synonymous with red wine, in some cases also in rosé and sparkling versions.

North of Turin, in the Canavese area, the designation Erbaluce di Caluso DOCG, in the still, sparkling and passito typologies, enhances a white wine produced in purity with native grapes, the Erbaluce. In the same area, the small designation Carema DOC produces a red wine based on Nebbiolo.

In the provinces of Novara and Vercelli, Nebbiolo differs from the more austere one of the Langhe. Among the many designations present in this area, Gattinara DOCG and Ghemme DOCG are the ones that give the most interesting interpretations of the noble vine that, often, is assembled with Vespolina and Uva Rara.

In the extreme north of the region, in the province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, Chardonnay and Nebbiolo (here called Prunet) are cultivated in an alluvial origin valley bottom and are at the base of the designation Valli Ossolane DOC.

Turin Hills, Roero and Langhe

South of Turin, the keyword is red wine. Starting from the productions of the Turin Hills, based on Barbera and Freisa, we reach the Roero and the Laghe, areas dedicated to the cultivation of well-known black grapes: Nebbiolo, Dolcetto and Barbera. Here they are enhanced in various designations: among the best known ones Barolo DOCG and Barbaresco DOCG based on Nebbiolo, Dolcetto di Diano d'Alba DOCG and Dogliani DOCG based on Dolcetto, Barbera d'Alba DOC based on Barbera.

The production is not exclusively red-oriented: Roero DOCG promotes both a red wine (also based on Nebbiolo) and a white wine, based on Arneis. Alta Langa DOCG represents the Piedmont interpretation of the Metodo Classico (Traditional Method), based on Pinot Nero and Chardonnay.

Monferrato

Divided between Alto Monferrato (in the southern part of the Region, on the border with Liguria), Monferrato Astigiano (around the city of Asti) and Monferrato Casalese (south of the town of Casale Monferrato), the Monferrato is a kaleidoscope of productions that includes a multiplicity of white and red wines, both still and sparkling.

Let's start with the whites: the best-known designation, especially for those who love sparkling wines, is probably Asti DOCG, in the Moscato d'Asti and Asti Spumante versions, based on Moscato Bianco. The still white of Loazzolo DOC is also produced with the same grapes. Gavi DOCG and Cortese dell'Alto Monferrato DOC are instead produced in purity with Cortese grapes, with very different results compared to Moscato, both in terms of vinification and, then, of the organoleptic framework.

Turning to red wines, the offer is further expanded with products based on Barbera and Dolcetto. The first is the basis of many designations, including Barbera d'Asti DOCG, Barbera del Monferrato Superiore DOCG, Barbera del Monferrato DOC, Nizza DOCG and Rubino di Cantavenna DOC. Dolcetto, like Barbera, is expressed in various ways depending on where it is produced: Dolcetto d'Acqui DOC, Dolcetto di Ovada DOC and Dolcetto di Ovada Superiore DOCG are the most famous designations.

Among these we also find many peculiarities based on less known grapes, such as Brachetto, used purely in Brachetto d'Acqui DOCG (one of the few sparkling red wines in Italy), Ruchè, at the base of the red Ruchè di Castagnole DOCG, or as Grignolino, at the base of Grignolino del Monferrato DOC.

DOCG wines

DOC wines

  • Alba 
  • Albugnano
  • Barbera d’Alba 
  • Barbera del Monferrato 
  • Boca 
  • Bramaterra 
  • Calosso 
  • Canavese 
  • Carema 
  • Cisterna d’Asti 
  • Colli Tortonesi 
  • Collina Torinese 
  • Colline Novaresi 
  • Colline Saluzzesi 
  • Cortese dell’Alto Monferrato 
  • Coste della Sesia 
  • Dolcetto d’Acqui 
  • Dolcetto d’Alba 
  • Dolcetto d’Asti 
  • Dolcetto di Ovada 
  • Fara 
  • Freisa d’Asti 
  • Freisa di Chieri 
  • Gabiano 
  • Grignolino d’Asti 
  • Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese 
  • Langhe 
  • Lessona 
  • Loazzolo 
  • Malvasia di Casorzo d’Asti / Casorzo / Malvasia di Casorzo 
  • Malvasia di Castelnuovo Don Bosco 
  • Monferrato 
  • Nebbiolo d’Alba 
  • Piemonte 
  • Pinerolese 
  • Rubino di Cantavenna 
  • Sizzano 
  • Strevi 
  • Terre Alfieri
  • Valli Ossolane 
  • Valsusa 
  • Verduno Pelaverga 

IGT wines

  • none
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