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Piedmont is a wine region in the northwest of Italy and is one of the most important wine regions in the world. The capital of this wine region is Turin. The most important grape variety of the region is the variety Nebbiolo, from which the wines Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero originate. Together with Tuscany, this region is one of the most important wine-growing regions in Italy.
Special features of Piedmont:
Historians are not 100% sure whether the region of Piedmont was already producing wine during the Celtic period, or whether the Greeks brought wine culture to this northern part of Italy. The Romans also knew the wine from the region, but did not pay too much attention to it. Just in the Middle Ages did the wines from Piedmont receive attention, which is primarily due to the winegrowing work of monasteries and their monks. Minnesingers sang whole hymns of praise to the noble wines and thus lent them not only culinary but also literary significance. In the 17th century, the court jeweller of Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy, received much recognition for his bright red Chiaretto, which was made from the Nebbiolo grape variety.
When it comes to quality, the Piedmont wine-growing region and Tuscany are at odds over the wine sceptre of Italy. Wine connoisseurs and wine lovers immediately think of the top products Barolo, Barbaresco or Dolcetto when they think of wines from Piedmont. With 12 DOCG and more than 50 DOC areas, Piedmont has the most controlled denominations of origin and is thus synonymous with the quality of Italian wines to be taken first. Piedmont is also the home of the wormwood and the largest producer of sparkling wine in the boot-shaped country.
Climate and geography
The wine-growing region of Piedmont is enclosed on three sides by mountains and opens towards the east in the flat Po plain. Piedmont, which in German means "at the foot of the mountain", therefore has unique vineyards with views of peaks over 400 metres high. The wines from Piedmont come from three completely different climate zones: The Alps in the north, the Po plain and the hills in the southeast. This is also where most of the region's designations of origin can be found.
The Piedmont region is divided into 4 sub-regions:
- The area around Ivrea (Erbaluce, Caluso, Carema),
- The Provinces of Vercelli and Novara (Gattinara, Ghemme, Lessona, Bramaterra, Sizzano, Fara, Boca)
- In the famous Monferrato
- In the Langhe, which is considered the most important wine region of Piedmont.
The area of Piedmont consists of 48,000 hectares of vineyards and is probably the strongest wine region in Italy in terms of quality. The majority of the approximately 48,000 ha of vineyards consists of south-facing hillsides, which characterise the landscape of Piedmont and are known under the regional name Sori.
The soils in the region are the result of the decline of the Padan Sea. What remains is a soil consisting of clay, tuff, quartz, sand and sulphurous gypsum. The different layers that penetrate the vines give the wines their unique characteristics.
The Langhe is Piedmont's most important wine growing area. The noble Barolo and Barbaresco wines come from this area. In this area there is a perfect symbiosis between geographical location and climate. The red wines from the Langhe are characterized by a strong personality.
In the Italian region of Piedmont, a moderate continental climate determines the weather. Here you can find snowy winters and hot summers. Due to the many hills and mountains there are also many microclimates, which can influence the berries differently.
The main grape varieties of Piedmont:
Piedmont, like most wine regions in Italy, is a red wine region. Of the more than 100 authorised grape varieties, only a few have any real significance. The most important red wine varieties are Barbera, Nebbiolo, Bonarda and Dolcetta. White wines from Piedmont are mostly based on Arneis, Cortese and Moscato Bianco.
- Barbera: More than 50% of Piedmont's vineyards are planted with Barbera berries. It produces strong, ruby-red wines with a low tannin content.
- Nebbiolo: The Nebbiolo grapes have a special meaning. The famous Barolo is a single-varietal wine that was produced as early as 19th century. In the 19th century it became known as the 'wine of the kings' and is made from the Nebbiolo berry. It is full-bodied with strong tannins.
- Arneis: Also known as Barolo Bianco. Almost extinct, the winegrowers of the Arneis variety turned more attention again in the 1990s. The mostly pure white wine often reminds the palate of almonds and is pleasantly fresh and fruity.
- Bonarda: Also called Bonarda Piemontese, is a very old Italian grape variety. This grape variety is mainly cultivated in Piedmont and we often use al DOC blending with the Nebbiolo grape.
- Grignolino: Autochthon is this grape variety between Asti and Castle in Piedmont. The wines of these grape varieties are drunk relatively young. The wines are very light and have a relatively low alcohol content. Also some sweet red wines are produced with this grape variety.
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