Our area is best known for being the land of Dolcetto as it provides the perfect environment for growing this particular grape variety and the ideal conditions for producing wines of extraordinary complexity, structure and balance. However, most people are not aware of how difficult and capricious a grape it can be and how much dedication and patience are needed for its cultivation.
Nevertheless, we were born here, we grew up with this grape, and have always been taught to respect it and treat it with care and attention.
FROM SWEET GRAPES TO AN ALMOND-SCENTED WINE
It is a common misconception that Dolcetto is a sweet wine, yet it is only the grapes that give this sensation of sweetness, not the wine. The pleasing and balanced hint of almond perceived in the wine can be traced to the tannins contained in the pips, which are not as distinct as they are in Nebbiolo. In addition, the acidity of Dolcetto is pleasing and not quite as marked as it can be with Barbera. Dolcetto grapes, with their extremely delicate flavour, are simply delicious to eat. Not only when freshly picked, but when they have been dried as well. A popular local practice, in fact, involves leaving them to dry on woodpiles throughout the autumn until they turn into raisins in order to then eat them with a good local sheep’s cheese, or, as we call it “tuma”
DOLCETTO AND THE SOIL
Dolcetto is a variety that is cultivated all over southern Piedmont, along the pre-Apennine hills and it is impossible to grow elsewhere; all attempts so far have been in vain. The delicate nature of the grape is also characteristic of the vine, which means that it is extremely sensitive to the influences of soil and vineyard management, and to the various components that influence its flavour and perfumes, making it one of the varieties most affected by the combination of elements known as “terroir”. In fact, it is not by chance that there are 13 different Dolcetto appellations, each of which is capable of revealing its own characteristics through the grapes and through the resulting wine. Within the wine, veiled behind its straightforwardness, the more complex and intriguing traits of each area emerge as a loyal translation of the characteristics of the grapes.