Italy - Piedmonte
The North West region of Piedmonte is Italy’s pre-eminent area, making top wines such as Barolo and Gavi and showcasing grape varietals such as Cortese, Barbera, Dolcetto and Nebbiolo.
Piedmont region stretches to the foothills of the Alps forming its border with France and Switzerland. Ruling out the mountainous terrain, the Po Valley takes up a large area of available land-leaving only 30% of the region suitable for vineyard plantings. While Turin is the capital, Alba and Asti are at the heart of the region’s wine industry.The valley and the mountains do contribute to the regions noted fog cover which helps in the ripening of the Nebbiolo grape (which gets its name from nebbia meaning “fog”).
Piedmont and Bordeaux are very close in latitude with similar summer temperatures but Piedmont has a colder winter and significantly lower rainfall due to the rain shadow effect of the Alps. Vineyards are typically planted on hillsides altitudes between 150-400 m. The warmer south facing slopes are mainly used for Nebbiolo or Barbera while the cooler sites are planted with Dolcetto or Cortese.