Italy is a country with beautiful landscapes, good food and a lot of history. It is also one of the largest wine producing countries in the world. It produces more wines in hectolitres than any other country. Italy is divided into 20 wine-growing areas, all of them full of beautiful vineyards producing high quality wines. Most of the vineyards in Italy has a rich and diverse wine heritage.
In the northwest corner of Italy, there is located one of Italy’s most famous wine region Piedmont.
Piedmont region produces lots of high quality wines with D.O.C.D classification. Italian wines are controlled with classifications systems Vino de Tavola, Indicazione Geografica Tipica (I.G.T.), Denominazione di Origine Controllata (D.O.C.) and Denominatzione di Origine Controllata Grantatita(D.O.C.G). D.O.C.D is the highest level of classification found in Italy.
Piedmont is the best known of its tannin rich red wines and 70% wines produced there are red wines. Rest 30% are white or sparkling wines.
Piedmont region is divided into different zones and all of those zones are known to produce different kinds of wines.
Piedmont shares borders with France, Switzerland, and the coast of warm Mediterranean. Its climate is affected by the Alps and Apennines and by the warm Mediterranean. Whether is usually hot and dry in the summer and cold and dry in the winter. During the harvest time in the autumn there might be occasional rains and fog. The low-lying fog affects positively on the vineyards located on the hills. The areas located higher up on the hills are more likely to get more sun, meaning that the wines produced in those areas are more likely to be better tasting. Areas that not get that much sun and where the climate is cooler, produce lighter tasting, higher acid wines.
There are lots of differences between the wines of the sub-regions of Piedmont, because of the different combinations of climate and environmental conditions.
Due to the length of Italy, it is hard to describe the condition of the soil precisely. The soil of the Piedmont region is variable and mostly clay based. It contains lots of high levels of magnesium oxide and manganese. In some areas like Serralunga Valley, the soil is heavier and full-bodied and it contains a lot of iron and phosphorus.
The most well-known grape from Piedmont is a red wine grape called Nebbiolo. It is a high tannin grape with rose aroma and berry, mint and tar flavors. It is used to produce a high quality wines with D.O.C and D.O.C.G certifications. The most appreciated wines produced from Nebbiolo are red wines Barolo and Barbaresco, both of them classified with D.O.C.G.
Other notable red wine grapes from Piedmont are Barbera, Dolcetto and Brachetto. Despite Nebbiolo being the most well-known grape, the fruity tasting, soft tannin Barbera is the most cultivated in the area of Piedmont.
Dolcetto is also one of the famous grape varieties and it produces dry red wines with some tannin and fresh taste.
Regardless of Piedmont known as red wine area, there are produced some white wines as well. The most well-known grapes for white wine production are Moscato, Cortese, and Arneis.