Exploring Piedmont

Exploring Piedmont

I recently attended a day in London dedicated to the Nebbiolo grape. there were around 200 producers and more than triple the number of attendees. The Piedmont region is mind boggling in its complexity, its topography and in general, the thrill factor of the place. 

Qualitatively outstanding and highly distinctive as a wine region whose principal city is Turin, Piedmont - literally, foot of the mountains - historically the areas' relative wealth, proximity to France and geographical has set it in good stead in terms of wine production, with over 75% of the wine area qualifying as DOC or DOCG.

Piedmont is all about elevation and slopes, with vines being planted from 150 to above 400 metres above sea level. 

The three main red varietals are of course dolcetto, barbera and the noble nebbiolo which gets all the best south facing slopes, the dolcetto the coolest and the barbera (and moscato, arneis etc) the slopes in between.  

For those of you that love Piedmont wines, this very short list of wines I have tasted and love, will hopefully inspire. For others, perhaps time to dip a toe and see what you think.

I read this recently from Luca de Marchi, a famous winemaker from the region:

"It's my personal opinion that nebbiolo is far better pinot noir. I consider it so good that in fact I don't consider it a grape. Nebbiolo is the only variety for which the description is 'ethereal'- because nebbiolo is a state of mind"