Piemonte

Regional Info

Piemonte, translated as “the foot of theCosta di Bussia Estate mountain,” is Italy’s leading DOC region with a total of fifty. In this part of northwestern Italy, French influence on the winemaking process is notable. Historically, many fine wines have been produced here-too many to mention short of writing an encyclopedia. This region hosts an abundance of native whites, such as Cortese, Arneis, and Erbaluce. If the whites don’t sound familiar, the reds surely will: Barbera, Dolcetto, Brachetto, and Nebbiolo, which is the base grape of Barbaresco and Barolo. Sparkling wine-such as Asti Spumante, a sweet version made from the Moscato grape-have attained worldwide recognition and distribution. Piemonte is also one of the most densely planted wine regions in the country, with a significantly different approach to viticulture. Typically, producers work small plots of land. For Barolo and Barbaresco, the average size of a respective vineyard is 5 acres (2 hectares). Their base grape, the Nebbiolo, is difficult to work with: the skin is thin and subject to harm from numerous factors, including hail. Barolo has been dubbed the “King of Wines” and the “Wine of Kings,” while Barbaresco is considered equally powerful and complex. Nebbiolo takes its name from the root of the word nebbia, or fog, and indeed the grape thrives on the thick mist that forms during the late growing season and subsequently allows it to ripen slowly. One might think Barolo and Barbaresco are thin wines at a glance, but the thin skins of Nebbiolo release fierce tannins, creating a powerful punch in these regal reds.

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