By Paul Caputo

Piedmont is one of Italy’s primary wine producing regions, home to world famous red wines such as Barolo and Barbaresco. Yet there is far more to this diverse region than traditional wine reports generally cover. With a plethora of DOCG wines and plenty more DOCs, wine lovers could immerse themselves in Piedmont for a lifetime without exhausting the curiosities that can be found here.

Situated in the northeast of Italy, just north of coast hugging Liguria and just south of the Alps, Piedmont’s undulating hills, long sunny growing seasons and mountain breezes provide ideal conditions for the maturation of local varieties such as Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, Cortese and Arneis.

The sheer wealth of wine growing zones is overwhelming at first and arguably for this reason, many remain completely ignored. Another defense of the limited coverage these denominations receive is that prominent grape varieties such as Barbera and Dolcetto make up the bulk of reds. Deeper inspection reveals many similarities.

Appellations of Piedmont

Alba DOC

Alba DOC is a little used appellation allowing for the production of red wines from a minimum of 70% Nebbiolo blended with a minimum of 15% Barbera. Production is still low however and most eligible producers prefer to label under more established appellations.

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Albugnano DOC

Albugnano is a very small appellation high up in the hills north of the city of Asti in Piedmont. It covers just the village of Albugnano and four others where at this higher altitude, Nebbiolo ripens well to produce both a red and rosé version.

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Alta Langa DOCG

The race is on. Alta Langa is one of the up and coming areas of Piedmont with many producing expanding their vineyard holdings here. Already a DOCG, it is home to wines from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and is highly rated for its potential to produce high quality sparkling wines.

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Asti DOCG is a long established appellation for the production of still and sparkling wines from the Moscato grape. They are generally sweet although there are some dry examples.

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