These wines must be studied and tasted in an unhurried setting, such as when listening to an account of their history and particular characteristics told by the winemaker. DOC and DOCG reds from Piedmont include a notable variety of high-quality wines, the fruit of a wise balance between tradition and experimentation. To discover the most productive area, let’s begin in the provinces of Cuneo and Asti, moving along the two banks of the Tanaro River, a region of charming panoramas: on the left bank we see Nebbiolo and Barbera vines, while on the right, in the Langhe zone, we find Nebbiolo, Ruché, Barbera, Dolcetto and Grignolino. A rich viticultural treasure is represented by the splendid landscapes of the “Vineyard Landscape of Langhe Roero and Monferrato”, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here we find the red grapes that produce the aristocratic Barolo and Barbaresco, as well as Roero, Nizza and the varieties of Dolcetto and Barbera. Arriving in the village of Verduno, we encounter the Verduno Pelaverga wine, which is quite common in this area as well in that between Roddi and La Morra.
Moving into Upper Piedmont, we find the wine-growing region crossed by the Sesia River. A true mecca of wine lovers, this area is characterized by sun-drenched slopes teeming with vines which extend into the provinces of Vercelli, Novara e Verbano Cusio Ossola. Here Nebbiolo is king; it is the most widespread native grape, from which are produced the excellent “northern Nebbiolos”: the DOCG varieties Gattinara and Ghemme, and the DOC Boca, Bramaterra, Colline Novaresi, Coste della Sesia, Fara, Lessona, Sizzano and Valli Ossolane. Continuing our wine tour between the provinces of Turin and Biella, we make an obligatory stop to savor a glass of Canavese Rosso and of the munificent Carema. The province of Turin further boasts the varieties of Freisa, Barbera, Bonarda and Dolcetto, guaranteed to enhance the tastes and aromas of Piedmontese culinary specialties. Located a short distance from the “subalpine capital,” the Susa Valley surprises wine lovers with rare and ancient native varieties in an area known for its biodiversity: here we find such grapes as Avanà and Becuet, from which is made ValSusa DOC.