Understanding Italy: Piemonte

Beautiful Piemonte, home to Barolo and Barbaresco.  Well, home to Nebbiolo more correctly.  Take it a step further, home to Barbera, Dolcetto, Moscato, Cortese, and Arneis in addition to other local and international varietals.

In addition to a plethora of grape varietals grown in Piemonte, the region produces more DOCG wine by volume than any other region in the country and hold no IGT classifications within its borders.  The workhorse of the production is the southern area of Piemonte: Alba (Cuneo), Asti and Alessandria.

Piemonte has 40+ DOCs, but most well-known are the DOCGs, highlights include the notable Asti, Barbaresco, Barolo, Gavi, and Roero (sometimes labeled by varietal as Arneis).

Varietal labeling is allowed in Piemonte with the varietal and town both being listed, some examples of this are Dolcetto d’Alba, Barbera d’Asti, and Moscato d’Asti.

Piemonte’s geography is the backbone to the quality of their wines and incredible expressions of terroir within.  Located in the foothills of the Alps bordering Switzerland and France and influenced by a cool climate, the region is notable for its fog and the assistance it brings to ripening the Nebbiolo grape.  In fact, the name Nebbiolo comes from the local word nebbia, meaning “fog”.  The Piemonte region has a short wet season due to being situated in the rain shadow of the Alps with October generally being the wettest month in most of the major wine producing areas.

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