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Dolcetto

Mentioned for the first time in an official ordinance of the municipality of Dogliani in 1593, Dolcetto is a Piedmontese red grape variety originating in Monferrato and widespread in the Langhe and Tortona areas, but also in the regions of Liguria and Lombardy. It produces a pleasantly tannic red wine ideal for meals, with contained freshness and a characteristic dry taste of cherries, flowers and bitter almonds, in spite of its name. Its name may in fact derive from the soft, fruity flavour of its grapes, or from the low hillsides locally known as 'duset', but what is certain is that the red wine obtained is always dry and drinkable, and often slightly bitterish. Dogliani, Ovada and Diano d'Alba DOCG, as well as Acqui, Alba and Asti DOC: depending on the area of production, it can assume different names and characteristics, but it always confirms itself as a great and inseparable companion on the table and in everyday life.

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Mentioned for the first time in an official ordinance of the municipality of Dogliani in 1593, Dolcetto is a Piedmontese red grape variety originating in Monferrato and widespread in the Langhe and Tortona areas, but also in the regions of Liguria and Lombardy. It produces a pleasantly tannic red wine ideal for meals, with contained freshness and a characteristic dry taste of cherries, flowers and bitter almonds, in spite of its name. Its name may in fact derive from the soft, fruity flavour of its grapes, or from the low hillsides locally known as 'duset', but what is certain is that the red wine obtained is always dry and drinkable, and often slightly bitterish. Dogliani, Ovada and Diano d'Alba DOCG, as well as Acqui, Alba and Asti DOC: depending on the area of production, it can assume different names and characteristics, but it always confirms itself as a great and inseparable companion on the table and in everyday life.

Ancient Traditions in the Typical Dolcetto Areas

Dolcetto is one of the most widespread vine varieties in Northern Italy, originating in Piedmont but also cultivated in parts of Liguria, under the name of Ormeasco, as well as in the Piacentino and Oltrepò Pavese areas. Before the devastation caused by phylloxera during the 19th century, it was perhaps the most widely grown vine in all these areas, but was gradually replaced by the more resistant, adaptable and productive Barbera vines. Today it remains one of the protagonists of Piedmontese viticulture, and a regional symbol of everyday life and genuine hospitality.

The origins of Dolcetto wine are probably from the Monferrato area, spreading later to neighbouring regions. However, the first historical evidence is preserved in an official order of the Historical Archives of Dogliani, where reference is made to vineyards called 'dozzetti'. The origin of this name derives, according to most, from the sweetness of the berries of this variety during the ripening phase, characterised by low acidity to the point that they were also served on the daily tables of farmers as food grapes. According to others, the etymology can be traced back to the dialect term 'duset', which indicates the low, gentle hills, i.e. the hilly 'humps' or 'dossi' in Italian.

Additional information on this grape, known locally as "duset" or "dosset", dates back to the 18th century and relates to the Monferrato area, the territory of Acqui and Alessandria. In the meantime, it seems to have spread successfully in the hilly area of Tortona, where it is still present today under the name of Nibiò, and also in Liguria, under the name of Ormeasco, from the name of one of the southernmost towns in the Cuneo area.

The entire southern area of the Langhe, which extends over a hilly terrain with the municipality of Dogliani at its centre, is considered one of the most suitable for the production of a Dolcetto DOCG, which is gaining great prestige throughout Italy and beyond. The reasons for this qualitative peak are due to the cool and breezy climate of the rolling hills that populate this area. The extraordinary agricultural wisdom of these lands has contributed to that, choosing the best exposed areas in which to plant the vineyards and very often using large barrels to age the fermented must. The President of the Italian Republic Luigi Einaudi, owner of an important winery in Dogliani, then contributed, after the Second World War, in an authoritative and significant way to the qualitative enhancement of this type of wine.

Another prestigious area for its production is the centre of Diano d'Alba, a small area in the heart of the Langhe, which is distinguished by a special DOCG production regulation. Outside this area it is possible to produce wine respecting the DOC d'Alba in the entire Langhe, while in Monferrato we find the DOC d'Asti. Going southwards, on the hills of Alto Monferrato, we find an important quality centre for Dolcetto DOC in Acquese and around the municipality of Ovada, where the Superiore type is recognised as DOCG for its long production tradition and for the levels of elegance that have been reached.



The Main Characteristics of this Typology

Its origins, diffusion, rural tradition and regional gastronomic culture give Dolcetto Piemonte a prominent role. Its incredible versatility, combined with an uncommon ease and immediacy of drinking, have contributed to its popularity on household tables.

The ripe grape is medium-large and elongated, with a dark purple colour. The berries are pruinose and quite thick, rich in polyphenols and tannins. The limited freshness of the juice that is obtained from it and the expressive scents of fresh fruit and red flowers have favoured its use in the production of young and light interpretations, which are not suitable for long ageing.

For this reason, the most typical and characteristic red wines made from this grape variety are light, delicate, drinkable and fruity, animated by lively and appetising tannins. They have a red colour that varies from purple to bright ruby and young, fresh aromas of ripening red fruit, cherries, red flowers and wild spices, with a subtle peppery note. The taste is always dry, light and satisfying, with a pleasantly bitter finish reminiscent of bitter almonds. In recent years, some producers have challenged these established characteristics by using longer macerations and ageing in wood, offering more evolved, structured and complex expressions that have revealed good ageing potential.

Callmewine is the right place to learn more about this type of wine with a long tradition: you can find Dolcetto wines for sale online in a wide selection of bottles suitable for every occasion. Choose and buy the expressions you prefer at the best price of the web on Callmewine, your online wine shop.