The vine varieties typical from Piedmont
Different grapes, different soils, different wines
Piedmont is historically a very important wine area and internationally recognized for the many types of soils and cultivated varieties. Geologically, here we find marl alternate to limestone and sand , even if the total surface of this land occupies few square kilometers.
The grape varieties that we grow give very different fruits depending on the soil from which they come. So, the combination between the typical caracteristics of each variety with those of the terroir give us really unique wines.
Strong, productive, with its deep red color, barbera is the most widespread grape variety in Piedmont, both for surface and for the territory. Its grapes are known for their compact design, while in autumn its leaves turn red. The wines made from Barbera presents a pleasant freshness in the mouth, due to the acidity typical of this grape. Depending on the soil where it is cultivated, barbera can give wines with excellent structure, also suitable for wooden aging.
Nebbiolo is starting point for the most important wines of Piedmont and the world: Barolo and Barbaresco.
The name “Nebbiolo” has different origins and meanings: according to some people, as the harvest of Nebbiolo usually is planned in October, when the fog might embrace the grape-pickers, it takes the name from “nebbia” that means “fog” in Italian; according to other people, as the grapes are covered with “pruina”, a substance that makes the skin of the berry similar to a barry covered by haze, again “Nebbiolo” comes from the “foggy berries” idea.
Its grapes give very structured wines suitable for long aging, but according to the soil, the result in the wine can be very different.
Native vine from Southern Piedmont, Dolcetto is characterized by sweet fruits that give a dry, fresh and easydrinking wine.
Depending on the area and on the vinification, it can also be strong and full-bodied, even suitable for a medium-long wooden refining.
The vine normally produces a large number of clusters, so the winemakers tend to cut them off to increase ripeness and quality of the left ones.
This variety fears the rain near harvest-time and requires a lot of care to ensure a good result.
In autumn its leaves turn to a red-orange colour that fills the hills with warm tones.
The Grignolino variety is part of the ancient Piedmontese grape varieties, and it is mostly grown in the area between Asti and Casale Monferrato. However, it is quite common to find even some Grignolino vineyards in the province of Cuneo and in the Oltrepò Pavese area.
It is often difficult to cultivate it, but it gives an original wine that welcomes the enthusiasm of many winelovers.
Bonarda expresses itself at its best when grown in clay soils. The grapes from the hills of Monferrato around Alessandria arrive at San Silvestro and are used for the production of a slightly sparkling Bonarda wine. The simple structure allows us to get a very easy-to-drink wine, which also satisfies the palates of sparkling wines’ lovers..
The name of this variety probably comes from the adjective “Buono” that means “good”, because the Bonarda grape is also an excellent table grape.
Brachetto is an indigenous aromatic variety of Piedmont. Its cultivation is mainly concentrated on the hills surrounding Acqui Terme. It got consideration and recognition from winemakers and consumers only in the 90’s as a red sweet wine.
The rose scent is really his hallmark. It is also good for sparkling wines produced with the Charmat method.
The Cortese is a white grape variety typical in the Alessandria area, especially on the hills surrounding the town of Gavi.
This variety is not very robust and requires good climatic conditions in order ti ripe properly. In Alessandria area, it has found all the needed conditions to be very productive and also give excellent results.
There aren’t specific historical documents proving an ancient origin of Arneis variety. The first references date back, in fact, to 1800.
Its area of origin and its perfect terroir is the Roero area, with its hills that rise on the left of the Tanaro river , land of feuds, marquisates and important castles.
The Arneis here finds the light, sandy soils that it prefers, with a good exposure to the South-east and South-west. Also, the temperature range and rare spring frosts influence the good yield of this variety in this area.
One of the most important Moscato vine sub-varietis is Moscato Bianco, which has found its highest expression in Piedmont and in particular onMonferrato hills.
Its white grape is considered aromatic and is therefore used for the production of sweet wines, thanks to the sweetness developed during the ripening of the grapes.
It is also very suitable for passito and sparkling wine, as well as a base to fortified wines.
This vine has probably Ligurian origins, but due to its strength and resistance to diseases (such as powdery mildew), it soon became the “favored grapes” of winemakers in Piedmont.
Its branches have a natural erect growing that simplifies the work in the vineyard. Even the clusters know how to distributed themeselves on the vine, ensuring good ripeness at harvest time.
Favorita is mainly cultivated in the sandy Roero area, where it also stands out for its good productivity.
Semi-aromatic variety cultivated in the past and re-discovered in the 90s by the producers from Novello.
This is a less complex white variety compared to other from this area, but this is not a disadvantage.
That’s the reason for its re-birth: start its cultivation again, trying to improve the growing and vinification techniques. This is the philosophy of Nas-cëtta from Novello, different from Nas-cëtta cultivated in other areas: thevinification is 100% Nas-cëtta and it can also count on a good ageing potential.
The ripe cluster is easily recognizable: it has a golden color and has somerust-colored dots.
This variety is well widespread throughout the world, it is suitable for the different soils and returns a white wine able to express the diversities related to the production area, the type of cultivation, the wine-making technique and the refining.
According to the champenoise method used for sparkling wines, we use this variety to produce the Alta Langa D.O.C.G.
This variety is considered as the French brother of our Nebbiolo. Now spread internationally, it gives very different results depending on the type of soil where it is cultivated.
It is vinified both red and white and it is also used as a base for sparkling wines.