Piedmont Wine Region

Piedmont wine region in Italy is one of the famous regions in the world renowned for growing grapes. It is a vast mountainous region bordering two countries, France and Switzerland, with its capital located at Turin. It boasts of being one of largest regions in Italy coming second to Sicily. It has several forest regions, which provide adequate rainfall to grow the grapes. The forests also play a major role in supporting the existence of many rivers and springs in the region, for example the river Po, which also doubles as the longest river in Italy (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development & Source OECD 2009).

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Piedmont was home to the Taurini tribes (from where the capital got its name - Turin) before it was brought under Italy. Piedmont has a major significance in the history of Italy since it once served as the capital of Italy. It experienced many wars before it became wholly owned by Italy. Piedmont people are farmers from the ancient times and as well grow other fruits apart from grapes. They also rear livestock, especially sheep.

Piedmont wines (Piemonte wines - as commonly referred) are arguably one of the most famous wines in the world. The most common wines found in the region include Barbera, Barberesco, Barolo and Dolcetto (Asselle & Yarvin 2005).

There are a variety of grapes used to produce the wines in the Piedmont, which include Nebbiolo, Mascato, Dolceto and Barbera. The Piedmont region has both the cooler and warmer climates, which makes growing different types of grapes feasible. For instance the warmer regions are used to grow the Nebbiolo grapes while the cooler parts are used to grow the Mascato and Dolceto grapes. The region experiences moderate rainfall that sustains the growth of grapes despite its position on the leeward of the Alps. The grapes are grown on the altitude of less than 450 meters above sea level. This region also receives different types of precipitation, for example fog, which is advantageous in ripening of grapes.

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There are a variety of soils found in different regions of Piedmont. These soils are characterized by different grapes grown. For instance in the Barolo region, where the Nebbiolo is grown, its soils are mainly clay soils whereas some parts have increased magnesium and manganese. There are other regions also which have sandy soils which have some composition of iron and limestone.

The grapes are grown during the period of moderate sunshine since grapes require adequate sunshine to produce well. The grapes are grown during the periods when they can be harvested in drier seasons since rainfalls are harmful during harvesting. The farmers have adopted modern techniques in controlling pests and diseases by spraying them with insecticides. Fungal diseases have been reduced by planting grapes that are resistant to fungal diseases. Grapes are planted in well-cultivated farms and thorough weeding and pruning is done to ensure high production of grapes. Many vineyards are well-managed with quality farmers and companies (Merriam-Webster, Inc. 2007).

There has been a lot of research carried on by scientists around this region to increase quality and quantity of grapes.

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There are a variety of vinification techniques used in wine-making in Piedmont, however, many wine-makers still preserve the old methods, but incorporated with modern techniques to ensure production of high quality wines. The grapes are carefully selected before they are taken to the winery to ferment (Facaros & Pauls 2005). The wines undergo fermentation together with the skins before the juice is extracted. The juice is then left in darkness for some days to mature. Different types of grape produce different flavors and alcohol percentages.

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