The gorgeous Northern Italian province of Piedmont (Piemonte, in Italian) is rich with all sorts of thrills – both in panorama and in cuisines. The lakes and Alpine peaks create unsurpassable beauty – wonderful backdrops for enjoying ultimate food and wines. Piemonte produces the largest number of prize-winning wines such as Barbera, Barolo, Barbaresco, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Grignolino, Malvasia and Asti Spumante. Within the province, there are 45 DOC areas, as well as 12 DOCG ones. It actually produces more DOC and DOCG wines by volume than any other Italian wine region! DOC stands for Dominiazione di Origine Controllato (controlled designation of origin), while DOCG stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (controlled designation of origin guaranteed). These designations are given to those food products that are produced within a specified region using defined methods and that satisfy a defined quality standard. Italian wines and cheeses are usually those items given these special designations. The DOCG designation is one step above the DOC in that they have been analyzed and tasted by government-licensed personnel. Not a bad government job by any means!
Piemontese wineries are usually small family estates consisting of relatively small parcels of land. Both Barbera and Nebbiolo are the main grape varietes grown in the province. These grapes form the base to the exquisite red wines produced here. These strong reds form a perfect complement to the rich and hearty cuisine of this mountainous province like fondue, stuffed vegetables, and white truffle delicacies.
Some whites are also produced, among the most notable being Asti Spumante. This sweet dessert wine is made from the Moscato grape and is perfect with the rich pastries and fine chocolates of Piemonte. All in all, this region has wonderful food and the perfect wine to accompany the flavors!
Within Piemonte, the DOCG regions are: Asti, Barbaresco, Barbera d’Asti, Barbera del Monferrato Superiore, Barolo, Acqui, Dogliani, Ovada, Gattinara, Gavi, Ghemme, and Roero.
In subsequent posts, I will delve into a few of these regions to highlight the wines produced as well as the food and scenery of this gorgeous corner of Italy. In the meantime, pick up a good bottle of DOC wine from Piemonte and don your favorite outfit…and enjoy 🙂 Cin…Cin…