Piedmont (“foot of the mountain”) is located in northwestern Italy in the shadow of Europe’s greatest mountains, the Alps. Piedmont is hemmed in by the Alps on three sides—north, west and south. Although only 100 miles from the Mediterranean Sea, the Alps prevent Piedmont from being influenced in any way by Mediterranean weather. With elevations up to 2,000 feet, this area often receives snow two months out of the year. Conversely, the summer heat is intense, followed by a traditionally cooler autumn. In fact, the Piedmont region of Italy is similar to the eastern United States with its four distinct seasons.
In terms of region and acreage, this is the largest DOC zone and home to seven of the Italy’s 25 DOCG appellations. The light and fruit-forward white wines of Asti and Gavi are produced here, but the area is primarily known for the big, tannic reds of Barolo, Barbaresco and Gattinara with just enough of the lighter Barbera and Dolcetto thrown in to round out the offerings.
The River Po divides Piedmont into two distinct parts. South of the Po and southeast of the city of Turin are the towns of Asti and Alba as well as the hills of Monferrato and the Langhe. This area accounts for most of Piedmont’s wine production, with many overlapping DOC zones as well as the area’s most illustrious DOCG wines, Barolo and Barbaresco.
Try Wines of the Italian Piedmont Region