A Sommelier's wine secrets
The wine-producing region of Piedmont, often called the “Burgundy of Italy,” is one of the most viticulturally versatile areas in the world. Located in the foothills of the Alps in Northwest Italy, Piedmont consists of 142,000 acres of vineyards. The region produces 7 wines that have received the highest distinction of quality, DOCG status*. There are also 44 DOC wines* with styles ranging from lightly, delicate whites like Moscato to the viscous and velvety Nebbiolo. The seven DOCG wines in this region consist of Asti, Gavi, Brachetto d’ Acqui, Barbaresco, Barolo, Gattenara and Ghemme.
Only the first two are white and the latter four all contain the Nebbiolo grape. In fact, both Barbaresco and Borolo only contain Nebbiolo, with the difference in style being a reflection of the variances in the climate and soil. The forty-four DOCs include Barbera d’Alba, Barbera d’Asti, Carema, Dolcetto d’ Alba, Erbuance di Caluso, Langhe, Monferrato, and Nebbiolo d’ Alba.
Some of the best wines in the world, including one of my favorites, Barolo, come from Piedmont. If you are not familiar with these wines, I would encourage you to sample the distinctive and diverse wines from this region.
* In Italy, wines are demarcated according to their consistency and quality by one of four designations - Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG), Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC), Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) and Vini da tavola. DOCG is the highest designation, signifying wines of the best quality and consistency. DOC status is granted upon wines of very high quality, though not quite to the level of the DOCG wines.