When you think of Italian wine, you likely think of the classic reds of Tuscany or of the whites of the Veneto. But there’s a third region that’s just as well known throughout the wine world, though less well known in the United States: the Piedmont region.
Piedmont wine region is set between the Alps and the Apennines in northwestern Italy. In Italian, ‘Piemonte’ means ‘at the foot of the mountains’. It’s a very picturesque hilly region, surrounded on three sides by the mountains of the Alps and shares a border with France and had its share of influence from French wine culture especially from the wine culture of Burgundy. The cuisine of this region is a really nice marriage of hearty country food.
Piedmont is home to some of the best Italian wines among these world-renowned Barolo wine. In terms of wine production, Piedmont is a powerhouse and it’s the largest producer of PDO level wine in Italy.
The most important grapes in Piedmont is Nebbiolo which is the great noble grape of this region though it’s not the most planted grape in the region. It’s a very tannic grape, very long-lived with a lot of bright red fruit and good acidity. Key reds of Piedmont are Barolo, Barbaresco, Dolcetto, and Barbera.
Barolo is well-known as the greatest wine of Italy. Barbaresco and Barolo are relatively expensive wines while Barbera, which is the most planted grape in Piedmont, and Dolcetto are the sort of table wines of this region.
Furthermore, Barolo is the heart of Piedmont and its wine is made entirely from the Nebbiolo grape. This variety is very difficult to produce because the grape needs warm temperature during the day and cool temperature at nights. Nebbiolo is often compared to Pinot Noir. Just like Pinot Noir it’s going to produce wines that are light in color although Nebbiolo produces more of a bricky and orange kind of tinge. It’s a late-ripening grape variety which means that there’s always a risk in the autumn. Autumn rains are going to dilute the grapes less concentration and it’s very influenced by the terroir.