The hilly region of Piemonte in north-western Italy produces some of Italy’s most powerful red wines, but it is also famous for the delicate sparkling wines of Asti, the ancient city in the Monferrato hills.
Piemonte translates as “foot of the mountain”, in this case the Alps, and the patchwork of appellations is determined primarily by altitude and aspect. The climate is continental, with cold winters and hot summers with cool nights, while the nearby Ligurian Sea provides a moderating influence. This interplay between Alpine conditions and warm sea air creates the mists that are an important feature of the growing season.
With its proximity to France and an openness to new winemaking technologies while honouring proven traditions, Piemonte maintains its edge as a progressive premium wine region.
The signature white grape in Piedmont is Moscato Bianco and Moscato d’Asti, with its gentle fizz and delicate sweetness, is its ultimate expression.
Moscato d’Asti is a small DOCG area south of the town of Asti with marly white soils well-suited to this variety. Its wines are low in alcohol and retain a level of sweetness that exploits the charms of the highly perfumed Moscato Bianco grape. The wines are best enjoyed while they are young and fresh.
The cuisine of Piemonte is equally celebrated; its specialties include chocolate, hazelnuts, cheeses, polenta, meats and the prized white truffles of Alba. The whole region, like much of Italy, has a rich historical record dating back thousands of years.