In Italian, Piedmont literally means “at the foot of the mountains”. This major Italian winemaking region is known for its hills and the Po River.
The Burgundy of Italy
A large region in the Northwest, Piedmont borders France and is considered the twin of Burgundy. As such, its land is dedicated to viticulture, with some of the most famous Italian wines coming from this area: Barolo and Barbera, Nebbiolo and Barbaresco, Dolcetto and Moscato d’Asti.
Piedmont, like Lombardy, is traversed by the Po River, which springs up in the Po Valley. The Po is Italy’s longest river and largest valley. Moving across the land like a major artery, the Po creates a nighttime fog that helps vines grow. Nebbiolo gets its name from the Italian word for fog, “nebbia”.
Another winemaking area of Piedmont is Le Langhe, which means “hills” in local dialect. A typical Piedmont landscape conjures up images of foggy hilltops covered with grapevines lying amongst medieval hamlets and castles, with the snow-covered peaks of the Alps hovering in the background.
Piedmont is home to another world-famous specialty, the truffle. White or black, they are sublime.