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Flashcards in C27 - Northern Italy Deck (135):
1

Describe the key geographical features of Northern Italy

The vineyard regions are in the foothills of the Alps and on the extensive plain of the River Po

2

What is the overall climate of Northern Italy?

Moderate, with dry, short summers

Alps form a rain barrier

Moderating influences provided by bodies of water such as local rivers (like the Po) and glacial lakes (such as Garda)

3

What is the effect of proximity to the sea in Italy

These areas can have higher rainfall and be more at risk of fungal disease

4

Describe how Northern Italian vineyards were traditionally planted

High yielding vines at low densities With Pergola trellising systems

5

Describe a Pergola trellis

The vine canopy is trained high with the fruit hanging down below a horizontal canopy of leaves

6

What are the principal reasons for Pergola training?

To protect the grapes from sunburn To allow for better circulation, minimising the risk of rot

7

For what kinds of wines are Pergolas still used in Northern Italy?

High acidity and low sugar levels (e.g. for sparkling wine grapes) For dried grapes which need to be free from damage and disease

8

What is the most common training system in Northern Italy?

High density plantings using VSP

9

Where is Alto Adige?

Centred around the town of Bolzano in the foothills of the Alps Italy's most northerly wine region

10

Describe vineyard plantings in Alto Adige

Planted on terraces on the south-east and south-west facing valley sides of the River Adige

11

Describe the climate in Alto Adige

Moderate climate Short, dry summers Low rainfall during the growing season Most vineyards experience high diurnal range due to altitude

12

What does the high average vineyard altitude make the vineyards of Alto Adige ideal for?

Production of aromatic whites and elegant, light-bodied reds

13

What is the most notable white wine of Alto Adige?

Pinot Grigio

14

Describe Pinot Grigio wines from Alto Adige

Dry Light to medium body High acid Citrus and green fruit flavours

15

What are the next most important white grapes of Alto Adige after Pinot Grigio?

Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc

16

Which red grape dominates production in Alto Adige?

Schiava

17

Describe wines of Alto Adige made from Schiava

Light and fruity

Low to medium tannins

Flavours of raspberries and plums

18

How are almost all wines labelled in Alto Adige?

Alto Adige DOC

19

Where in Italy is Trentino?

Directly to the south of Alto Adige

20

Describe the geography of Trentino, particularly in relation to Alto Adige

The valley is wider here than further north

21

Where within the valley, are Trentino's vineyards planted?

On the valley floor as well as on the slopes on both sides of the valley

22

What is the climate of Trentino?

Moderate climate Dry summer and low rainfall (similar to Alto Adige) Slightly warmer than Alto Adige

23

Why is Trentino slightly warmer than Alto Adige?

More southerly latitude Vineyards at lower altitude Mountains to the west of the valley which protect from the cooling influence of Lake Garda

24

What are Trentino's two main varieties?

Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio

25

Describe the wines made from the valley floor of Trentino

Medium body Medium acidity Ripe stone fruit flavours

26

What are wines like which were made from grapes grown at higher altitudes in Trentino?

More similar to whites made in Alto Adige

27

What are the two most planted black grapes of Trentino?

Merlot and Teroldego

28

Where within Trentino are Merlot and Teroldego usually planted?

Mid-slopes and valley floor

29

Describe wines made from Teroldego in Trentino

Medium to full body Deep colour Medium to high tannin High acidity Aromas of black fruit Usually matured in oak

30

How are most wines labelled in Trentino?

Trentino DOC

31

Where in Italy is Friuli-Venezia Giulia?

In the north's eastern corner

32

Describe the most northerly vineyards in Friuli-Venezia Giulia

They are located in the foothills of the Alps

33

What is the climate of Friuli-Venezia Giulia?

Moderate continental

Cooled by cold air from the mountains

On the flat plain near the Adriatic, the climate is warm maritime

34

Are many grape varieties are planted in Friuli?

Yes

35

What overall style is produced in Friuli?

Rich, ripe white and red wines

36

What are the most prevalent varieties in Friuli?

Pinot Grigio and Merlot

37

Describe Pinot Grigio in Friuli

Some of the richest in Italy Medium to full-bodied Juicy peach and tropical fruit flavours

38

What is the most planted black variety in Friuli?

Merlot

39

Describe wines made from Merlot in Friuli

Medium body Medium acidity Medium tannins Ripe red fruit flavours Hint of spice from oak

40

Give a third widely grown grape from Friuli

How do the wines taste?

Friulano

White grape

Medium body

Wines with medium to high acidity

Aromas of pear, red apples and herbs

41

Describe wines from the plain of Friuli How are they labelled?

Labelled Friuli Grave DOC White and made in a simple fruity style

42

What are the two major sub-regions of Friuli located in the hills? What style do they create?

Collio DOC

Colli Orientali DOC

Premium, more concentrated white wines

43

Of Collio and Colli Orientali, which is also noted for its red wines?

Colli Orientali DOC

44

Which Northern Italian wine region is also one of its largest?

Veneto

45

Describe the location of Veneto

Extends from the southern end of Lake Garda in the west, to Venice in the east From the foothills of the Alps in the north, to the flat plains of the Po in the south

46

What is the climate like in Veneto?

Warm Moderate rainfall Cooling influence from altitude (so high diurnal range) and to the west of the region, from Lake Garda

47

What other weather phenomena are prevalent in Veneto?

The flat plain is affected by moist air and fog from the Po

48

What is the viticultural result of the extra humidity brought by the moist air and fog in Veneto?

More spraying is needed to combat disease and rot

49

What kind of wines are made from grapes on the flat fertile plain in Veneto?

Inexpensive, high-volume wines

50

Which grapes are most commonly grown on the flat plains of Veneto?

International: Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Merlot Local: Corvina, Garganega and Trebbiano

51

Why are the wines of Veneto's plains usually simple and fruity?

As a result of the high yields

52

How are the simple wines of Veneto's plains labelled?

Veneto IGT

53

Which DOC is spread across Veneto and Friuli?

Prosecco DOC

54

Where is Soave?

East of Verona

55

Into how many distinct parts is Soave split?

Two

56

Describe the two distinct parts of Soave

Foothills to the north A flat plain in the south, near the River Po

57

Describe the soils of Northern Soave

Limestone and clay with some volcanic rocks

58

Describe the characteristics of grapes from the foothills of Soave

Full flavour ripeness, but high acidity

59

How do northern Soave's grapes achieve full ripeness, but manage to retain their acidity?

The soils are naturally cool - this combined with the influence of altitude slows down ripening, resulting in retention of acidity, as well as good ripeness

60

Can Soave wines age well?

Yes; the better example from the foothills in the north

61

Describe the soils in the plains of Soave

Sandy and alluvial soils that aid ripening

62

Describe wines from the plains of Soave

Fruitier, with medium acidity

Early drinking

63

What are the varieties of Soave?

Garganega Small amounts of other white varieties can make up the blend

64

Describe the general profile of wines from Soave

Medium body

Medium to high acidity

Aromas of pears, red apple and stone fruit

Sometimes aromas of white pepper

No typical aromas/flavours of new oak

In age worthy examples; aromas of almonds and honey

65

How are wines of Soave labelled?

Soave DOC Soave Classico DOC (from the foothills)

66

Where is Valpolicella?

North-west of Verona

67

Describe the topography of Valpolicella

Similar to that of Soave

68

What are the soils like in Valpolicella? What effect does that have on ripening/grapes?

The foothills of the north have limestone, clay and volcanic soils - this slows down ripening, so the grapes have more acidity The soils in the flatter south are gravel and sand - warmer, so the grapes are fruitier with less acidity

69

What is the main grape in Valpolicella?

Corvina

70

To which region in Corvina native?

Veneto

71

Describe a typical profile of the Corvina grape

Thin skin Moderate colour Low to medium tannins High acidity

72

How do winemakers increase the colour and tannins in Corvina-based wines?

Local grapes can be added to the blends

73

How may wines be labelled when grapes are used from the entire region of Valpolicella?

Valpolicella DOC

74

Where must Valpolicella be from when labelled with 'Classico'?

The foothills of the region

75

Describe wines labelled Valpolicella (Classico) DOC

Simple and fruity

Light tannins

Red cherry flavours

Rarely oaked

Made to drink immediately

76

What is the purpose of the passito method?

To increase structure, flavour concentration, and in the case of red wines, colour

77

Briefly describe the passito method

Grapes picked early, while still high in acidity

Dried indoors, concentrating sugars and flavours

Not fermented until winter

78

What are the two types of Passito wine in Valpolicella?

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG Recioto della Valpolicella DOCG

79

Describe wines labelled Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG

Dry or off-dry Full-bodied High alcohol Medium to high tannins Intensely concentrated red berry and spice flavours Usually aged in large oak casks

80

What is the main difference in the way Recioto della Valpolicella wines are made (as opposed to Amarone)

Made from grapes that are so sweet, the fermentation stops naturally

81

Describe Recioto della Valpolicella wines

Sweet

Full body

High alcohol

Medium to high tannins

Intense red fruit flavours

82

Which other region of Northern Italy also makes the sweet Recioto wine style? What is it called?

Soave Recioto di Soave DOCG

83

What is the ripasso method?

Grape skins from a fermenting Amarone are drained off the skins shortly before fermentation finishes Skins remain unpressed and are added to a vat of Valpolicella that has finished fermentation Newly introduced yeasts ferment the remaining sugar on the Amarone grape skins New grape skins give more colour, flavour and tannins to the wine they have been added to

84

How may the Valpolicella wines be labelled which have undergone the ripasso method?

Valpolicella Ripasso DOC

85

Describe the flavour profile of Valpolicella Ripasso DOC

Medium to full-bodied

Medium to high tannins

Flavours of stewed red cherries and plums

86

Where is Piemonte in Italy?

In the northwest corner

87

What is the climate like in Piemonte?

Moderate continental Long, cold winters Summers subject to thunderstorms, hail and fog Mountains to the north protect the region from rain and winds Moderating influences from Po River and Lake Maggiore

88

What is Piemonte's most notable geographical feature?

Its foothills, ranging from 150 to 600 metres

89

What do the foothills of Piemonte provide viticulturally?

Different aspects and altitudes

90

What are Piemonte's most notable grapes? (black and white)

Black: Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto White: Cortese and Moscato

91

Where in Piemonte are its most famous wine making areas?

South of Turin, around the towns of Asti and Alba

92

What are the most prestigious wine regions of Piemonte?

Barolo DOCG and Barbaresco DOCG

93

What are Piemonte's IGT/IGP wines?

There are none - all are DOC or DOCG

94

Describe Barolo as an area

It's a horseshoe shaped valley, spanning several villages Made up of steep, south-facing slopes (300m - 500m)

95

What grapes make up Barolo DOCG?

Only Nebbiolo

96

What are the key features of the Nebbiolo grape?

Black grape High acidity High tannins Little colour

97

Describe Nebbiolo's key viticultural characteristic in Barolo

The grapes ripen slowly at the altitudes in Barolo

98

What are the flavours/characteristics of Barolo DOCG?

Full body High acidity High tannins Sour cherries, herbs and sometimes dried flowers Ability to develop in bottle

99

How are Barolo wines blended?

Often made from grapes sourced from different villages

100

When may a village name appear on a Barolo label? Give an example

When grapes are sourced from only that village Barolo Serralunga d'Alba DOCG

101

Where do the best Barolo come from? Give an example

Named villages or crus Barolo Cannubi DOCG

102

Which other grapes are grown within Barolo? How are they labelled?

Dolcetto and Barbera Alba DOC

103

How long must Barolo DOCG be aged before release?

Three, of which 18 months must be in oak

104

Describe the development of the role of oak in Barolo

It was traditionally aged in large oak barrels to soften harsh tannins Today, improvements in vineyard management and gentler methods of extraction mean that may producers choose to age their wines for less time

105

How may Barolo be aged?

In small barrels (sometimes new oak) or in larger casks, depending on intended style

106

What's the role of bottle ageing in Barolo wines?

All Barolo wines benefit from further bottle ageing

107

What does bottle ageing achieve with Barolo wines?

Continues to soften tannins Adds further complexity, giving aromas of truffles, tar and leather

108

For which grape is Barbaresco renowned?

Nebbiolo

109

Describe the geography of Barbaresco

It has south-facing slopes at lower altitudes than those of Barolo (200 to 400 metres)

A river flows nearby

110

What is the result of the lower altitudes and nearby river in Barbaresco?

Nebbiolo ripens earlier than Barolo Wines are fruitier and less perfumed

111

What are the characteristics of Barbaresco DOCG?

Similar tannin and acidity to Barolo

Fruitier and less aromatic than Barolo

Ageworthy

112

What is the role of ageing in Barbaresco DOCG?

Must be aged for two years before release, with nine months in oak

113

Why are there fewer mentions of villages on the labels of Barbaresco?

Because it's a smaller area than Barolo

114

How can one identify a higher quality of Barbaresco DOCG?

It will be from a single named vineyard or cru

115

How are the majority of appellations named in the wider region of Asti and Alba?

After a grape variety, followed by their nearest town

116

What is the most widely planted variety in Asti and Alba?

Barbera

117

What are the two main wines produced by Barbera?

Barbera d'Alba DOC Barbera d'Asti DOCG

118

Of Asti/Alba's popular Barbera wines, which is considered to be the higher quality?

Barbera d'Asti DOCG

119

Describe Barbera wines of Asti/Alba

Late ripening

Medium to deep colour

Low to medium tannins

High acidity

Aromas of red cherries, plums and sometimes black pepper

120

What two styles is Barbera usually made into?

Youthful and fruity, with no oak influence

Barrel-aged with spicy flavours

121

What is arguably the second most widely planted variety of the Asti/Alba area of Piemonte?

Dolcetto

122

What is a key viticultural characteristic of Dolcetto in Piemonte? What does it mean?

It's earlier ripening than Nebbiolo and Barbera

It can be planted in cooler sites

123

Which Dolcetto wine tends to produce many of the finest wines?

Dolcetto d'Alba DOC

124

Describe wines of Dolcetto d'Alba DOC

Deep, often purple colour

Medium to high tannins

Medium acidity

Aromas of black plums, red cherries and dried herbs

125

How are Barbera and Dolcetto suited to ageing?

They can both be drunk young, but the best examples can age for several years

126

Besides Barbera and Dolcetto, which red grape is also planted in the Asti and Alba areas of Piemonte?

Nebbiolo

127

Besides Dolcetto and Barbera, what else is Asti known for?

Sparkling wines made from Moscato

128

Where is the region of Gavi?

In south-eastern Piemonte

129

Describe the terrain where Gavi's wine grapes are grown and what effect this has on the resultant wines

In hills The altitude combined with sea breezes, results in long, slow ripening of the grapes

130

What is the grape used for Gavi wines?

Cortese

131

How may Gavi wines be labelled?

Gavi DOCG Cortese di Gavi DOCG Gavi di Gavi DOCG (if grapes are from the town of Gavi itself)

132

Describe the wines of Gavi

Pale Light-bodied High acidity Aromas/flavours of citrus, green apples and pears

133

How are Gavi wines usually vinified?

Protectively, with cool fermentation in stainless steel

134

How do some producers add complexity to their Gavi wines?

Fermentation in old oak Lees stirring

135

Describe age worthiness for Gavi wines

Usually ready to drink on release Wines from best producers can age well in bottle