Piemonte, thanks to one grape in particular, has long been considered as one of the most premium, high quality wine regions in the old world. In the very north-west corner of Italy, at the foothills of the Alps, it enjoys a warm continental summer but a much colder winter with low rainfall. The mountains help create the famous fog which helps ripen the Nebbiolo of Barolo and Barbaresco. These two powerful, perfumed and tannic wines head up the reds in the region (which outnumber whites by 2:1) and are made for long aging. Whites, including the sweet sparkling Moscato d’Asti are floral, and aromatic. Prices can be astronomical and are framed by a vineyard classification system very similar to that of Burgundy.
Azienda Ghiomo, established in the early C19th, takes its name from the Ghiomo farmhouse - formerly a monastery - in Guarene, in the heart of the Roero just 3 kms from Alba. Here the 10 hectare, 40,000 bottle-a-year winery is run and managed by viticulturist Giuseppino. The vineyards lie at the foot of the Roero hills and enjoy similar characteristics, terroir and altitude to those of La Morra, in the heart of Barolo. The soils are rich in grey marl, clay, and a little sand, which enables Giuseppino to make expressive wines with great texture and precision. Here, across his 5 vineyards: Croera, Fussot, Granda, Lavai, Rivet he grows only the three key native Piemonte varieties; Nebbiolo, Barbera, and Arneis. In 1999 he turned a corner in his winemaking and decided to stop trying to make the wines he wanted but instead the wines which best expressed the land he has.