Cultivation of vines on these hills dates back centuries, to Pre-roman times with the arrival of the Celts, who settled here in the 5th century BC and introduced the earliest forms of vine growing, learned through their contact with the Etruscans.
From the 2nd century BC, the Romans began advancing north and the cultivation of vines, deeply rooted in their culture, naturally followed and spread throughout Europe. Evidence of this can be found in artefacts exhibited at the Gabetti Archeological Museum at Dogliani, which include numerous amphorae, used to store wine.
According to some, the name Dogliani derives from the Latin “Dolium Jani”, which makes reference to the legend claiming that the god Janus journeyed to the Dogliani hills to try the wine there: in fact, the Commune’s coat of arms features a lion holding a “doglia”, a sort of ancient wine carafe.
Studies of the Early Middle Ages conducted by Professor Dalmasso confirm the presence of Dolcetto vines on these hills in the year 1000. Historical documents also attest to a healthy wine trade here as of the 11th century.
And in a document from 1369, during the period of independent Communes, the Marquise of Saluzzo conceded to Dogliani’s citizens the rights to their family possessions, exempted from taxation and military obligations, on condition that they paid duty on their wine.
August 1593 is the date of a document in the archives of Dogliani in which Dolcetto vines are mentioned for the first time, in an ordinance issued by the Municipality of Dogliani regulating the grape harvest to keep the fruit from being picked too early. It was, in fact, absolutely prohibited to pick berries that were not fully ripe; at risk was the extremely severe penalty of having the entire harvest confiscated.
– “Ordini per le vindimie. Niuno ardischi, al di qua della festa di San Mateo (21. September) vindimiar le uve, et se qualcheduno per necessità o altra causa dovrà vindimiar qualche dozzetti o altre uve dovrà prender licenza dal deputato, sotto pena della perdita delle uve…” –
At the beginning of the last century, an ampelotherapy center at Dogliani made use of the therapeutic properties of the grape during the harvest. Rich in iron, magnesium and potassium, Dolcetto grapes were often the basis for various curative treatments up to 1950.
The Dolcetto di Dogliani DOC (“Denominazione di Origine Controllata” – denomination of controlled origin, or controlled place name) was awarded with the presidential decree of 26.06.1974, which acknowledges the claimed autonomy from Dolcetto di Alba.
The Bottega del Vino, an association of local producers, was founded.
A Ministerial decree issued on 06.07.2005, awarded DOCG (“Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita” – controlled and guaranteed place name) status to Dolcetto di Dogliani Superior and Dolcetto di Dogliani.
The ministerial decree of November 30, 2011 introduced one DOCG appellation for both Dogliani and Dogliani Superiore wine types.