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al producers have a longer maceration, creating a more robust wine. Other producers make a more modern- style wine, using more new oak and striving to retain more berry fruit, which results in a wine that is drink- able sooner, but is also able to improve with age.

BARBARESCO Barolo’s younger cousin, Barbaresco, is also produced from 100 percent Nebbiolo grapes, grown on the hills surrounding the town of Barbaresco. Barbaresco is located 25 miles northeast of Barolo. Te maceration and aging is less than Barolo, creating a lighter style of wine. Barbaresco must be aged two years, one year in oak or chestnut casks. Like Barolo wines, Barbaresco must have a minimum of 12.5 percent alcohol.

BARBERA Italy’s most widely planted and adaptable grape, Bar- bera excels in Asti and the Alba regions of Piedmont.

Straightforward and easy drinking, this wine typifies the Italian ideology that wine is meant to be con- sumed with meals, and with a minimum of fuss and bother. Red fruits dominate this light-bodied wine. Most wines take the name of the village or province in which the grapes were grown as a suffix to the wine’s name, for example, Barbera d’Asti, Barbera del Mon- ferrato and Barbera d’Alba. When labeled as simply “Barbera,” the wine may be from anywhere.

GAVI Gavi, considered the finest still DOCG white wine of the Piedmont, comes from the southern hillside vineyards around the town of Gavi and is made from the Cortese grape. Loved by such historical figures as Charles V and Napoleon Bonaparte, and considered the standard “Bianco” (white) for Italians, Gavi offers great fruit flavors with hints of steeliness, and is ex- ceptionally dry. It’s a great alternative to Pinot Grigio.

Northeast Italy

TRENTINO-ALTO ADIGE Tis is Italy’s most northern region. It is so mountain- ous that only 15 percent of the land, the part that forms the valley of the Adige, can be cultivated. Historically, the southern part of the region, Trentino, around the city of Trento, has always been Italian, while the north- ern part, the Alto Adige, was once part of the Austro- Hungarian Empire. In fact, German is still spoken and used for many of the wine names in some areas.

ALTO ADIGE Tis zone covers most of the northern portion of Italy’s Trentino-Alto Adige region. Alto Adige is located in northeastern Italy, bordered by Lombardy on the west, Veneto on the east and Austria to the north. Many of the vineyards are planted on steep hillsides because the Alps drop down toward the Adige River and its tributary, the Isarco. Alto Adige, which is also known as South Tyrol or Südtirol, is officially bilingual, with a German-speaking majority that still has strong ties to Austria (which ceded this area to Italy in 1918). Tis prestigious re- gion is known for producing some of the best Pinot Grigio in Italy.

Ripe red wine Grapes in Trentino-Alto Adige. Photo by sassyphotos/

24 | | Winter 2016 |

VENETO With the Alpine mountain ranges domi- nating a third of the area, and foothills leading to flat rice fields at the base, Veneto is the most geographically di- verse of the Italian growing regions. Te area around Verona, with its temperate climate and hilly surroundings, is be- lieved to have cultivated grapes since the Bronze Age. From zesty and dry white

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