Piedmont is an astoundingly beautiful region located on the north west of Italy, bordering with Aosta Valley, surrounded by the highest mountains of the Alps, its name translates to “the foot of the mountains”.
Piedmont is also one of the main wine producing Italian regions, with around 40% of DOC and DOCG wines being made here, from Barolo to Barbaresco, from the Barberas, Alba ad Asti, to the Dolcetto or Gavi and Arneis only to mention a few. There are two major features affecting the weather in Piedmont and therefore wine production, the ice cold Alps and the warm Mediterranean.
Piedmont viticulture is made of small, family run wineries focusing on quality, not just in the main wine areas such as Barolo or Barbaresco. Nebbiolo is the Piedmont grape king, not only widely planted but also the grape used in the region’s main wines, from Barolo to Barbaresco, from Gattinara and Roero little known DOCG wines.
If Nebbiolo produces some of the best Piedmont wines, Barbera is the main planted grape and was mainly used to make Piedmont’s every day wines. Recently, the grape is being used to produce outstanding wood aged wines. The most important appellations are Barbera del Monferrato, Barbera d'Asti or Barbera d'Alba. The other main red grape is the Dolcetto, used in several DOC and DOCG wines.
Even though Piedmont is associated to red wines, it grows several white grapes and produces some great white wine. One of the most important is the Cortese that makes the Gavi DOCG, possibly the most important Piedmont white wine. Another importand and widely planted grape, is the Moscato, used in the production of Moscato d’Asti and the sparkling Asti Spumante.
Another white grape worth mentioning is the Arneis that in the last decade has seen an exponential growth and Erbaluce, almost completely abandoned until a few years ago, that is currently experiencing a renaissance. Piemonte is also international grapes, from Chardonnay to Sauvignon, from Syrah to Pinot Noir.