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Essential Guide to Piedmont Wine (with Maps)


wine folly


Why learn about Piedmont?

Piedmont vs. Piemonte

If you want to speak as the Italians do, say “Piemonte” (pee-ay-MON-tay).

If you’re trying to get a deeper understanding of Italian wine, Piedmont is one of the most useful wine regions to get to know. One reason for this is that Piedmont introduces us to a completely new set of wine grapes to taste and understand. It’s also one of the two most famous regions in Italy for wine (the other is Tuscany). Piedmont is in the Po River Valley and it’s home to ⅓ of the population of Italy.

When people think of Piedmont, they imagine Barolo and Barbaresco, two famous areas producing age-worthy Nebbiolo wines. In truth, Barolo and Barbaresco only account for 3% of Piedmont’s production, there’s quite a bit more to uncover. So let’s get started with Piedmont wine.

Piedmont Wine Guide

Monferrato with the Alps in the Distance in the Piedmont wine region
Monferrato in the Apennines with the Alps in the distance. photo by Stefano Pertusati

Piedmont is cupped by the Alps to the North and it looks like something out of a scene in Game of Thrones. To the South you’ll find the Apennines – less stunning – which are more like a set lumpy hills. Despite their modest stature, the Apennine hills are where you’ll find most of the quality wine production in Piedmont.

Why is wine better from the hills in Piedmont? There are two major features affecting the weather in Piedmont: the ice cold Alps and the warm Mediterranean. The tug-of-war (a.k.a. Diurnal) temperature variation makes the whole area fill up with fog in the morning that slowly burns off during the day. This means the land higher up on the hills gets more sun. More sun = happy grapes = good wine. There are good wines to be found north of the Apennines in the foothills of the Alps. But since this area (around Gattinara) is much cooler, expect much lighter tasting, higher acidity wines.

Let’s take a look at the wines of Piedmont:

Piedmont Wine Basics
piedmont-wine-statistics-2009
If you want to experience the diversity of Piedmont wine try these:


Piedmont Wine Region Map

Piedmont Wine Map by Wine Folly

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