Italy | Piemonte
Flanked to the north and west by the Alps and by the Ligurian Sea to the south, north-west Italy contains the wine regions of Piemonte, Valle d’Aosta, Liguria and Lombardy.
Piedmont is regarded as the most important wine region with production dominated by two black grapes (Nebbiolo and Barbera) and one white (Moscato). Nebbiolo’s two signature wines are the magnificently rich and smoky Barolo and the elegant yet equally powerful Barbaresco. The Barbera grape is softer in tannin than Nebbiolo but has a zingy acidity; it excels around Alba and Asti.
White Asti, made from the Moscato grape is one of Italy’s most popular fine wines; light and succulently sweet it is arguably the world’s greatest dessert-style sparkling wine.
Northeast of Piedmont is the Lombardy wine region famous for the sparkling DOCG Franciacorta wines made in the classic brut style and the soft smooth dry whites of Lugana, grown on the shores of Lake Garda.