The name “Piedmont” comes from the Italian word “Piemonte” meaning, foothill. Ultimately from Latin “pedemontium”, meaning “at the foot of the mountains”
Piedmont is one of the top wine regions in Italy, as the land of Barolo and Barbaresco, even though these mega-popular wines only account for 3% of the region’s wine production.
The red wines are mainly from three grapes: Nebbiolo, were Barolo DOCG and Barbaresco DOCG are from. Barbera grape, the most planted grape in Piedmont less finicky than Nebbiolo base wine, very enjoyable. Dolcetto grape which it does not produce sweet wines as the name will suggest but it could be similar as characteristic to Merlot wine. Other successful red grapes from Piedmont region are: Brachetto, Freisa, Bonarda, Quagliano, Grignolino, Pelaverga, Vespolina, Malvasia di Schierano, Ruche'. Piedmont white grapes varietal is also mainly three, Moscato Bianco for Asti Spumante and Moscato d'Asti both sparkling wines. Cortese for Gavi wines that could be similar to Pinot Grigio and Chablis and last but not least Arneis, very aromatic similar to a Sauvignon Blanc.
Vespolina creates light-red colored wines, with sour red cherry and berry aromas lifted by balsamic notes, roses, violets and spices like pepper on the nose. Typically planted in Northern Piedmont around Gattinara and Ghemme. Vespolina is typically blended with other grapes, such as Bonarda Piemontese and Nebbiolo.
Timorasso is a Piedmontese white grape that yields crisp, high acid and very mineral-forward wines, with white floral aromas, ripe stone fruit, and bright citrus on the palate. Its high acidity makes it a white wine that is suitable for aging.
From this grape, two of the most world-renowned wines are made: Barolo and Barbaresco, with many more DOCs and DOCGs throughout northern Italy. The name Nebbiolo comes from the word “nebbia,” which means “fog,” a very common occurence in Piedmont where it mostly grows. Nebbiolo produces very different wines depending on where it is grown. In general, Nebbiolo expresses as bold, tannic, and elegant red wines. The color of these wines is light and bright, turning more brick in color with age. Nebbiolo’s typical nose includes delicate red fruit and roses, with cherry, leather, coffee, tar, anise, and earthy notes on the palate, with grippy tannins.
This grape is used to produce Piedmont’s Asti Spumante and Moscato d’Asti. Moscato is recognizable for its unmistakable bouquet that almost always includes musk, peach, and sage, with secondary aromas of lime, wisteria, honey and white flowers. In sparkling wines, you can also find creamy notes due to the yeast. Typically low in alcohol with elegant structure, but always compact, with medium freshness and low minerality.
Grignolino is a red grape from Piedmont which exudes a lovely aroma of fresh flowers, small berries, and spices such as white pepper. Grignolinos also have high acidity and crisp tannins that make them great pairings for fatty food.
In Piedmont, Dolcetto’s home, the name means “little sweet one.” There are eleven DOC wines made from this grape throughout Piedmont that all have different characteristics. Generally though, Dolcetto presents soft tannins and low acidity. A typical Dolcetto wine is intensely and brightly colored and offers dark, gently spicy aromas with earthy undertones of nutty notes in more tannic examples.
Cortese is a white grape variety that is most famous for its role in the crisp, lime-scented wines of Gavi. The variety is known for its high acidity and freshness. Apple, peach, and honeydew flavors are commonly associated with Cortese wine, with lime, almond, and light herbal or grassy aromas.
Arneis, in the local dialect means “little rascal,” because of its difficult cultivation, and used to be called Nebbiolo Bianco due to the prized nature of the grape (they share no relation). It used to be planted near precious Nebbiolo vines to attract birds to its sweet scent, and away from the Nebbiolo. Arneis wines are delicately straw green with aromas of white flowers, chamomile tea, white peach, and apricot, with flavors of citrus, ripe pear, and sweet almond. Typically light, cresh, and crisp.
One of the most widely planted native grapes in Italy, classic characteristics of Barbera include low tannins, high acidity and very concentrated color, which makes it good for blending. Generally Barberas have grape-forward aromas with red fruit, underbush and delicate spice on the palate, with a very dry finish.
Brachetto is an aromatic red grape that can generate both still and sparkling wines. Aromatic and light-bodied with lovely tart aromas and flavors of sour red cherry, red berry, and cherry pie.. Perfect with desserts.
The Piedmont region is situated between the Alps to the north side and Apennines to the south, where there is the most high-quality wine production of the region. In Piedmont about 65% of production is for red wine and the rest for white wine divided for the most in DOC and DOCG designation. The traditional Piedmont cuisine is known for being elegant, flavorful and rich, so Piedmont ' s wines are a great pair with umami food, rich fatty food in particular, seasoned cheeses and more and more.