So, when did Italian wine start to sizzle? ...Some think around the 1990's for one thing it was one of the best vintages of the last century. But, it was more than that, it was the changes the winemakers had been making in the cellar and vineyards. That's not to say that amazing wine was not made before the 1990's. But, this is when some atribute Italy, making it's mark into modern winemaking. The post-World War ll farmer entreprenuer gave way to a son or daughter, often fresh out of enology school who transformed the property into a modern winery.
In terms of geogrphy, Italy can;t help but produce good wine in great variety, if slopes and sunshine, and temperature climate are the essentials. Italy's vast amont of grape variety and regions can make even the most informed of wine geeks tremble. So, lets focus on one region.
I think there is not enought written or spoken about this regionI It is hot and sexy! full of heratage and some of the most amazing wine in the world.Certainly one of my favorites. Piedmonte lies in the Northewest of Itlay. The Piemontese food and wines are as inseperable as those of Burgundy. They are strong, rich and individual like Italy her self.
Piedmonte littarelly means (at the foot of the mountains) in this case we mean the Alps. These spectacular mountains all but incircle this hilly region. Almost all vineyards are on slopes and face in a slightly different aspect and altitude. Giving each vine it's own personality. Dotted with in these vineyards are planted Peach trees and hazel that produce the local chocolate which Piedmonte is famous for Nutella. If you've never had a Nutella crepe or just plane Nutella, please run out and get some!
What makes this region so facinating? Well it is home to one of Itlays Noble grapes Nebbiolo. This haunting grape has no rivals as the finest grape of northern Itlay. It makes mellow fragrant wines and depending on what village it calls home it takes on it's own personality. Of course the most famous Nebbiolo reciedes in the towns of Barolo and Barbaresco. The name Nebbiolo comes from the mist (Nebbia in Italian) that forms during harvest. Most of the rest of Piedmonte's wines are named after the grape from which they are produced and then add the district name.
Ok, so, let's break this down a little. Barolo and Barbaresco known respectably as the King and Queen of Piedmonte are produced from Nebbiolo. These two towns have an annual average production of about ten thousand bottles. Not alot! So guess what happens to the price. Bingo $$$$. Thier is also Nebbiolo grown in the Langhe (lingua) meaninng tongue it's a long shaped area in the northwest region. Here the price of the wine is more affordable.I mentioned before most of the other wines use the name of the grape on the lable and attach the name of the town from which it lives. Why? Italins are very proud people and want everyone to know where the wine comes from. Not to mention this helps to understand what you are getting in the bottle.We have three main red grapes in Piedmonte. Barbera thought to be native to Piedmonte this is the most planted and durable grape of the region. Dolcetto ( little sweet one) reffering to it's ripe taste.
These are the key towns of the area. Alba, Asti, Barolo, Barberasco, Gavi, Aqui, Lange
Fruit based desserts
Braghetto d Aqui