The Dedalus Wine Guide to Piedmont

The Dedalus Wine Guide to Piedmont

Nov 15, 2023Sadie Williams

Few Italian wine regions produce wines as righteously rarefied as Piedmont. Learn about the landscape, the grapes, and the regions you’ve got to know.

Read more, or shop our collection of wines from Piedmont.

Landscape and Climate

To the west of Turin and Asti, the Alps wrap around hilly vineyards like a massive, snowcapped dragon settling down for a long nap.  The climate is cool and foggy, and the sunny hillsides are prized by winemakers looking to give their grapes every advantage.

The Major Grapes

In Piedmont, Nebbiolo reigns supreme. Nebbiolo is a high acid, high tannin black grape that makes robust yet ethereal wines. A glass of Nebbiolo might surprise you. It will look almost translucent, like a great Pinot Noir, and smell like cherry, raspberry, roses, and earth. But once you take a sip you’ll taste its raw power — the grippy tannins and deceptively full body.

Stick around long enough and you’ll find that Piedmont, like the rest of Italy, is home to an abundance of indigenous grapes. There’s the more common Barbera, another black grape variety, and Cortese, a green grape, as well as lesser-known varieties like Grignolino, Pelaverga, and more.

The Regions to Know

Barolo DOCG

Not for nothing, Barolo is known as the King of Wines. The region is located southwest of the city of Alba in the Apennines. Here, Nebbiolo shines in structured wines that can age for a lifetime. You'll also find what's called modern Barolo that can be enjoyed earlier.

Barbaresco DOCG

If you’re looking for a more approachable take on Nebbiolo, Barbaresco is a good choice. Located to the north of the city of Alba, in the Langhe area, Barbaresco is less tannic and more immediately welcoming than Barolo thanks to a warmer, drier climate than its neighbor.

Langhe DOC

The Langhe region has more loose regulations than Barolo and Barbaresco which allows them to produce a greater variety of wines. We particularly love Langhe Nebbiolo, which can be like Barolo and Barbaresco but for a fraction of the price.

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