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Flashcards in Northern Italy Deck (60)
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Where is Piedmont and what is its climate?

Piedmont is in the northwest corner of Italy.  

Its climate is moderate Continental.


What are the primary black/red grapes used in Piedmont?

  • Nebbiolo
  • Barbera (most planted)
  • Dolcetto


What are the 2 most important red DOCGs of Piedmont?

  1. Barolo DOCG
  2. Barbaresco DOCG


What is the only red grape allowed in Barolo and Barbaresco?



What is the aging requirement for Barolo?


  • 3 years of aging, 18 months of which have to be in oak

NOTE: while the textbook states "3 years" as Barolo's aging requirement the exact minimum aging requirement is 38 months, not 36.  See here and here for verification.



What is the aging requirement for Barbaresco?


  • 2 years, 9 months of which must be in oak

NOTE: while the textbook states "2 years" of minimum aging for Barbaresco, the actual minimum aging requirement is 26 months, not 24.  See here and here for verification.


If a bottle of Barolo has just "Barolo" on it, where can the grapes come from that go into that wine?


The grapes can come from any of the several villages that make up the Barolo DOCG.


If the grapes for a Barolo come from just one village or just one vineyard, what appears on the label?

You'll see Barolo + name of village (e.g. Serralunga d'Alba, La Morra) or Barolo + name of cru (e.g. Villero, Francia).



Is Nebbiolo an early or late ripener?

Nebbiolo is a late ripener.

Note the pale color (Nebbiolo is thin skinned but packed with tannins and acidity):


What is the first red grape to ripen in Piedmont?


Note the purple color:


What is the white grape in Gavi DOCG?

100% Cortese


Which mountains create a rain shadow in Piedmont, protecting the region from northern winds?

The Alps


What are the weather threats in Piedmont?

  • summertime hail
  • fog, which can lead to underripe grapes or rot


What are the 2 primary white grapes in Piedmont?

  • Moscato (most planted)
  • Cortese


Are there any IGPs or IGTs in Piedmont?

No, Piedmont has only DOCs and DOCGs.


What is the altitude range for vineyards in Barolo?

Which direction do the most important vineyards in Barolo face?


Most vineyards in Barolo face south.


What is the altitude range for vineyards in Barbaresco?


Lower altitude means Nebbiolo ripens earlier in Barbaresco, making Barbaresco usually a bit fruitier than traditional Barolo.


Which DOCG can be on a wine if the Cortese grapes only come from the village of Gavi itself?

Gavi di Gavi DOCG

Light body, high acid, citrus, pear/apple aromas


Barbera d'Alba is a DO__.

Barbera d'Asti is a DO__.

Barbera d'Alba DOC

Barbera d'Asti DOCG


Which Dolcetto DOC is generally viewed as the one making better Dolcetto?

Dolcetto d'Alba DOC


Veneto lies on what sea?

The Adriatic

Venice is in the eastern part of the Veneto.


What lake is on Veneto's western border?

How does this lake influence the winegrowing area around it?

Lake Garda

Breezes off the lake cool down vineyards in the western portion of the Veneto.


What is the main red grape in Valpolicella DOC and Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG?


It has a profile of sour cherry and high acidity.


Grapes grown on the valley floor in Valpolicella use which DOC?

Grapes grown in the foothills of Valpolicella use which DOC?

Valley floor: Valpolicella DOC

Foothills: Valpolicella Classico DOC


What are the soils of Valpolicella DOC?

What are the soils of Valpolicella Classico DOC?

Which is more fertile?

Valpolicella DOC – gravel and sand (more fertile)

Valpolicella Classico DOC – limestone, clay, and volcanic



Valpolicella Classico DOC and Soave Classico DOC, both located in their respective foothills, have similar soils.

What are those soils? 

Limestone, clay, and volcanic rock


What are the 2 styles of red wines in Veneto made using the passito process?

  1. Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG
  2. Recioto della Valpolicella DOCG


When a winemaker knows they're going to use the passito process, when do they harvest the grapes and when do they start fermenting them?

Harvested early to retain high acidity

Ferment the grapes after they've dried indoors, which takes months, so fermentation doesn't start until mid-winter.


How is Valpolicella Ripasso made?

Fresh, just-fermented Valpolicella DOC wine is poured over drained but unpressed skins left over from Amarone or Recioto production; both are racked into a different container where a secondary alcoholic fermentation occurs giving the Valpolicella Ripasso more structure and richness.


Recioto della Valpolicella is made with fresh, semi-dried, or fully dried grapes?

Recioto della Valpolicella is made with semi-dried grapes, which are dried on straw mats prior to fermentation.

There is still so much sugar in these semi-dried grapes that fermentation stops naturally.


Recioto della Valpolicella wines are dry, semi-sweet, or sweet?

Recioto della Valpolicella wines are semi-sweet to sweet.

They're also high in alcohol, high in tannins, and full bodied.


Which sparkling wine DOC in Veneto is shared with Friuli?

Prosecco DOC

Prosecco DOC puts out >2,000,000 hl of wine annually.


What 2 influences help cool down the warm climate of Veneto?

  1. Cool breezes from Lake Garda
  2. Diurnal shifts that affect vineyards planted in the foothills of The Alps


The flat plains in southern Veneto, where a lot of inexpensive wine is made, are affected by what?

Moisture and fog coming from the Pò River, which increases disease pressure and therefore the need for spraying.


The vineyards on the flat land near the Pò River are planted mostly to which grapes?

Under which IGT are these grapes usually bottled?

These high-yielding grapes go into inexpensive wines usually bottled under Veneto IGT.


  • Pinot Grigio
  • Chardonnay
  • Garganega
  • Trebbiano


  • Merlot
  • Corvina


Many wines that have been labeled as Veneto IGT are now using this newer DOC.

In what year was this newer DOC launched?

  • delle Venezie;
  • 2017.


Describe the 2 distinct areas of Soave.

1. Northern foothills

  • soils are limestone, clay, and some volcanic rock
  • grapes ripen slowly due to altitude
  • resulting wines have higher acid and can age

2. Southern flat plain

  • soils are sandy and alluvial
  • grapes ripen faster
  • resulting wines are fruitier and are meant to be drunk young


What is the main grape used in Soave and Soave Classico?


You don't need to know this for the exam, but the other grapes permitted in Soave and Soave Classico are Trebbiano di Soave and Chardonnay.


Grapes grown in the foothills in Soave can use which DOC?

Soave Classico DOC


Amarone della Valpolicella: is it dry, off-dry, or sweet?

Amarone della Valpolicella can be dry or off-dry.


What is Italy's northernmost region?

Alto Adige


How are the majority of wines from Trentino-Alto Adige labelled: by grape varietal, by fantasy name, or by zone?

By grape varietal


What are the main white grapes of Alto Adige?

And the main white grapes of Trentino?

Alto Adige

  • Pinot Grigio
  • Gewurztraminer
  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Bianco


  • Pinot Grigio
  • Chardonnay



What are the main red grapes of Alto Adige?

And the main red grapes of Trentino?

Alto Adige

  • Schiava


  • Merlot
  • Teroldego


Are there any DOCGs in Trentino-Alto Adige?

No.  Only DOCs in Trentino-Alto Adige.


What is the climate of Trentino and Alto Adige?

Moderate climate, with cold winters and short summers with low rainfall.


What 2 bodies of water provide moderating influences to Trentino-Alto Adige?

  1. Lake Garda
  2. River Adige


Trentino-Alto Adige is in the foothills of which mountain range?

The Alps

Alto Adige experiences a big diurnal shift due to its being high in altitude.



Where are vineyards planted in Alto Adige and what aspect do they have?

Vineyards in Alto Adige are planted on terraces on both sides of the River Adige facing southeast and southwest.


Vineyards in Trentino are planted where: on the valley floor, on slopes, or both?

Vineyards in Trentino are planted both on the valley floor and on slopes, though these slopes are lower in altitude than they are in Alto Adige.


Trentino is north or south of Alto Adige?

Trentino is south of Alto Adige.

It has a slightly warmer climate than Alto Adige.


What factors make Trentino slightly warmer than Alto Adige?

  1. More southerly latitude;
  2. Vineyards at lower altitudes;
  3. Mountains to the west protect it from cooling  breezes off Lake Garda.


The northeastern region of Friuli abuts which countries?

  • Austria to the north
  • Slovenia to the east


Friuli receives airflow from which two sources?

  • The Alps
  • The Adriatic


What is the climate of northern Friuli?

What is the climate of southern Friuli?

Northern: moderate Continental

Southern: warm Maritime


What is the most prevalent white grape in Friuli?

Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigios from Friuli are medium to full bodied, richly textured, and stone fruited.


What is Friuli's most prevalent red grape?



Besides Pinot Grigio, what is another important white grape in Friuli?



What are the 3 most important DOCs in Friuli?

  1. Friuli Grave (largest)
  2. Colli Orientali
  3. Collio (smallest)


VSP training is quite common in northern Italy, but Pergola trellising can be found there.

What is Pergola trellising and what are its advantages?

Canopy trained high with fruit hanging below


  • provides shade, slows ripening/protects from sunburn
  • improves air flow, decreasing rot
  • good for grapes that need high acid/low sugar, e.g. grapes for sparkling wine
  • good for grapes that need to be dried after harvest, e.g. passito wines