Italy is one of the largest wine producing country in the world, it produces more wine in hectolitres than any other country in the world. The country is full of different regions, producing high quality wines. Most of the vineyards in Italy has a rich and diverse wine heritage.In the northwest corner of Italy, in the Po River Valley, there is located one of Italy’s most famous wine region Piedmont. Piedmont is well-known of its tannin rich red wines.
In addition to red wines, the region also produces white wines and sweet white sparkling wines like the Moscato d’Asti. Piedmont region is divided into five different board zones and all of those zones are known from different kinds of grape varieties and wines. Piedmont shares borders with France, Switzerland, and the coast of warm Mediterranean. Its climate is influenced 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 winters, during the harvest time in 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 better tasting.
Areas that not get that much sun and where the climate is cooler, produce lighter tasting, higher acid wines. As result of the different combinations of the environmental and climatic conditions, there are lots of differences between the wines of the sub-regions of Piedmont. 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 usually 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 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, red cherry 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 high quality red wines Barolo and Barbaresco, both of them classified with D.O.C.G.
Other notable red wine grapes from Piedmont are Barbera and Dolcetto.Wines made from Nebbiolo are more tannin than wines made from Barbera grape. The taste is also often more fruity and delicate.Dolcetto grapes are produced to make 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.