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Piedmont P

iedmont (“foot of the mountain”) is located in northwestern Italy in the shadow of Eu- rope’s greatest mountains, the Alps. Te

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 nine of Italy’s 35 DOCG appellations. Te 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 Bar- bera and Dolcetto thrown in to round out the of- ferings. Te River Po divides Piedmont into two distinct

parts. South of the Po and southeast of the city of Tu- rin are the towns of Asti and Alba, as well as the hills of Monferrato and the Langhe. Tis area accounts for most of Piedmont’s wine production, with many overlapping DOC zones, as well as the area’s most il- lustrious DOCG wines, Barolo and Barbaresco.

BAROLO Barolo and Barbaresco are two of Italy’s most famous red wines; full-flavored, robust wines that benefit from aging. Aromas of violets, chocolate and prunes are typical of both wines. If Barbaresco is a middle- weight wine, think of Barolo as the heavyweight champ of Italian wines. Known as the “king of wines, the wine of kings,”

Barolo is possibly Italy’s greatest red wine. It is pro- duced from 100 percent Nebbiolo grapes grown on the hills surrounding the town of Barolo. Barolo must have a minimum of 12.5 percent alcohol and be aged a minimum of three years, with two of those years in either oak or chestnut casks. Te wood contributes to the smoky, woody flavors of the wines, making them pair well with medium- to full-bodied meat and pasta dishes. Barolo that has been aged five years may be labeled “Riserva.” Maceration (leaving the skins of the grapes in contact with the pressed juice) lasts anywhere from 10 to 40 days, leading to diverse styles. Tradition- | Winter 2016 |

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