Wine & Piemonte

Red wines: Barbera - Nebbiolo - Dolcetto - Freisa d'Asti - Grignolino d'Asti - Monferrato - Malvasia - Brachetto
White wines: Asti Spumante - Moscato d'Asti - Cortese - Gavi - Roero

Piedmont is regarded as one of Italy's best wine regions. Due to the local conditions in terms of terrain, soil and temperature they make some great wines here. Of the red wines the Barolo and Barbaresco wines are world renowned as powerful red wines you can store for several years. However you can also find excellent red wines here with a very good value for money. The best known of these is the Barbera. The Barbera is available as Barbera Monferrato (a light red sparkling wine) and Barbera d'Asti Doc (the ‘still’ version) as well as Barbera d'Asti Superiore Doc and Docg (after a period in wooden barrels).

In addition the region also has Dolcetto wine (a somewhat lighter red wine), the Bonarda wine (a light red sparkling wine), Nebbiolo wine (a heavy red wine, made from the same grape as the Barolo and Barbaresco), Ruché wine (a rare red wine from Monferrato near Castagnole) and Brachetto d'Acqui wine (a sparkling light sweet red dessert wine (5% alcohol), the red counterpart to the Moscato d'Asti)).

As far as white wines are concerned, Piedmont and in particular the area around Asti is famous for the sweet sparkling muscato wines, such as Asti Spumante and Moscato d'Asti.

Below you can find more extensive information on the affordable wines with a price – for excellent wines – from € 6 to € 8 per bottle.


Red wines

The Barbera-grape


As previously mentioned, there are several variations of wines based on the Barbera grape. The Barbera grape is used almost exclusively in the Piedmont region. The Barbera del Monferrato is the sparkling version of this wine, the wine is light on the palate and drunk young. The wine can be best served cool (14-16°C).

The still version of the Barbera grape is the Barbera d'Asti. This is own of the best kept secrets of this region as the Barbera makes good to excellent wines but is hardly found outside this region. A bonus of that fact is that the price-quality ratio on the Barbera wines is also exceptional. The Barbera grape makes a strong, dark and intense wine. Usually the wine has an alcohol content of around 13%, in good years it can even reach 14,5%. The Barbera d'Asti is known as Barbera d'Asti Doc and as Barbera d'Asti Superiore Doc (after a period in wooden barrels), and since 2007 there even is a Barbera d'Asti Docg, for the great Barbera’s. The wine can best be drunk at 16-18°C.

In addition to the Barbera d'Asti there is also a Barbera d'Alba, cultivated in the same area as the Barolo’s and Barbaresco's. Therefore, they get the less favourable locations (which remain reserved for the 'big' wines) and often cannot match the quality of the Barbera d’Asti wines.



The Nebbiolo grape is a much cultivated and historic grape in Piemonte. The grape is named as ‘nibiol’ in a 1st century A.D. text by Columella. In 1268 the Bolognese Pier de’Crescenza remarks about the wide distribution of the grape during his travels through Piemonte. The name Nebbiolo (nebbia = fog/mist) is said to originate from the fact that the grape is harvested late in the season ‘after the first Autumn mist’.

In the Langhe region the Nebbiolo is renowned as the grape for the Barolo and Barbaresco wines. In the region around Vercelli the Nebbiolo grape is also cultivated but called Spanna where it is the basis of the Gattinara en Il Ghemme wines. In the Val d’Aosta the grape is named Picutener or Picotendre and found in two wines, the l’Arnad Monjovet and il Donnez. Near the Swiss border they also grow the Nebbiolo grape where it is named Chiavennasca and is the basis of the Valtellina wines.

But the Nebbiolo is best known for the light and elegant Barbaresco and the powerful and concentrated Barolo wines, the queen and king of the Italian red wines. The Barbaresco is only made in four towns surrounding the town of Barbaresco in the hills by the river Tanaro. For the title ‘Superiore’ the Barbaresco the wine must be stored for at least two years of which one in oak barrels and at least four years for the title ‘Riserva’. The Barolo region covers 11 towns around La Morra and has a minimum alcohol content of 13%. The Barolo is stored for at least three years of which at least two years in oak or chestnut barrels. Both wines are served in large wine glasses at a temperature of 18-20°C. The tourist office of the town La Morra has a map of a walk is through the Barolo wine region. 

The Nebbiolo is also drunk as a younger wine where it is not stored in oak barrels and is therefore more affordable. Even so it makes an excellent wine, with a strong flavour and an intense bouquet, but also quite a lot of tannins. The wine can be best drunk at 18°C.



This designation is used for them more adventurous wines, which do not (want to) pass the strict rules for the other wines mentioned above. The winegrower has mixed them with other grapes to achieve a different taste and character. For example by mixing the Barbera grape with Merlot or Cabernet grapes.


The Dolcetto grape contains relatively few tannins and therefore is ready to be drunk after a few months of maturing. Dolcetto wine can be drunk relatively cool (around 17°C). There are several areas where the Dolcetto grape is grown, as you see Dolcetto d'Alba, - d'Acqui, - di Dogliani and di Ovado. The Dolcetto di Dogliani has the best name of these areas.

Malvasia di Casorzo

Malvasia di Casorzo is a sweet still wine only. The grapes for this wine are grown in the area of Casorzo. The wine is – with 5% alcohol and the sweet taste – a real dessertwine. Because it's made from red grapes the taste is rather special. To find this wine you can visit the Cantina Sociale of Casorzo. You should drink this wine rather cool (14-16 ° C).

Grignolino d’Asti

The Grignolino grape is a little lighter and still quite tasteful red wine. It usually has a little less alcohol than the Barbera wines, so it’s a bit lighter to drink. When making the wine they may add a bit of Freisa grapes. The wine can be best served cool (14-16°C).



Freisa d’Asti

The Freisa grape has a long history and is mentioned in historical texts from the 7th century. This grape is very resistant to temperature changes and disease. For this reason the grape was much cultivated. The Freisa d'Asti has various forms, as a still dry or as a sweet sparkling wine. The wine can be best served cool (14-16°C). .


Brachetto d’Acqui

The Brachetto grape is used for a sparkling sweet red dessert wine cultivated in the region around Acqui Terme. This creates a unusual wine in regard to the white sweet and sparkly wines. The wine has an alcohol content of 5%-6%. The Brachetto is available in both Doc and Docg variety. The wine can best be served cool (14-16°C).

White wines

Asti Spumante en Moscato d’Asti

Asti is world famous for the ‘Asti’ sweet and sparkly dessert wines. The ‘Asti Spumante’ and the Moscato d'Asti are the names for these wines made from the Moscato grape. The Moscato grape has been cultivated in this region for ages and since the late 19th century has been ‘rediscovered’ and thanks to the champanoise method been made into the Asti Spumante that we know today.
The Asti Spumante is the somewhat stronger version of the dessert wine with up to 12% alcohol content. The Moscato d'Asti wine has a softer character and lighter bouquet with a lower alcohol content, at a maximum of 6.5%.
Both wines can be found as a Doc and Docg wines. The wine should be served cool (14-16°C).


Cortese dell’Alto Monferrato

The Cortese is a white wine, with a relatively young Doc (since '92). The wine is made from a variety of white grapes, with the exception of the more aromatic ones. The wine is easy to drink, light and fresh. This can be a bit misleading as the alcohol content is quite high, usually around 12%. The wine should be served cool (14-16°C).


This wine comes from the Alto Monferrato, named after the town of Gavi. The wine is made from the Cortese grape, of which the cultivation has already been registered at the end of the 18th century. The wine is fairly dry, has a light bouquet and a fresh taste. The wine should be served cool (14-16°C).



The Roero Arneis is a yellow coloured and aromatic wine, with an intense and fresh taste. The alcohol content is around 12-13%. The wine should be served cool (14-16°C).