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The Colli Piacentini

The Colli Piacentini, in a strict sense, are the four valleys - Val Tidone, Val d'Arda, Val Trebbia, and Val Nure - behind Piacenza.

It's an extremely rich territory, both in terms of ampelography and enological traditions, which extends over slightly less than 6,800 hectares (98% of which on hillsides at altitudes between 150 and 450 m a.s.l.).

 

The Colli Piacentini

Among the best-known wines are Gutturnio, Prince of Piacenza's wines (it accounts for almost 25% of the total production), and Malvasia (23% of the production). Gutturnio, one of the first Italian wines to achieve DOC status, is a blend of Barbera (55-70%) and Croatina, the local term for Bonarda (from 30 to 45%).

 

It is traditionally a sparkling wine, but is also produced in still versions, and though it is generally drunk young but can also age well (Gutturnio Riserva). Its identity - which is strongly territorial - derives from the different, complementary personalities of the varietals. Indeed, while Barbera is sensitive to rain, is not tannic, and is acidic, Croatina is thick-skinned, has abundant tannins and polyphenols, and ripens - unlike Barbera - late.

 

Together, they produce a nicely structured, deeply colored, full flavored and balanced wine.

Gutturnio's counterpart is Malvasia. Malvasia di Candia is blessed with an extraordinarily rich, complex bouquet, with, depending upon how it is fermented, citrus, fruit, floral, herbal, honey, spice, or mineral accents.

 

The most recent production style, which has emphasized the value of rich, still Malvasia, became popular in the 1990s, when producers realized that it was best to plant Malvasia vineyards in poor (clayey) soils, and aggressively thin the grape bunches. Today Malvasia yields one of the most distinctive wines of the Region, and one of the most intensely perfumed in all of Italy.

Last modified Dec 27, 2013

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