The name Piedmont means literally “at the foot of the mountain,” a reference to the fact that the region is bordered to the northwest and west by the towering Apennine Alps. Although today we think of Piedmont as a producer of Italy’s most coveted and collectible wines it wasn’t until the post-war era that the region emerged as a wine powerhouse. There are a
number of reasons why Piedmont, and in particular the Langhe Hills where Nebbiolo is grown for Barolo and Barbaresco, are ideal for fine wine production: Alpine currents help to cool the grapes during summer and maritime influence — from both the nearby Mediterranean and the Tanaro river which snakes through the area — helps to mitigate the cold
during winter, for example. But the most important element is arguably the ancient seabed soils and their calcareous character that make Piedmont one of the best growing sites in Italy.
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