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Introducing Nizza DOCG, Italy

Introducing Nizza DOCG, Italy
Alessandro Masnaghetti, Vineyard Map Designer and Gianni Bertolino, Tenuta Olim Bauda

Learning by Sipping

What I did not know about Nizza DOCG before I attended the Master Class in Manhattan would fill at least one book (more likely two).

First of all – where is it? Nizza Monferrato is located in the Asti territory between the hills of Asti, Alba, Alessandria and Acqui Terme, and recognized as part of a UNESCO World Heritage.  History suggests that Nizza Monferrato was founded in 1225 after the destruction of some castles in the area of Alessandria. The Abbey of San Giovanni in Lanero, close to the rive Belbo, became the town center.

After years of turbulence and destruction, the town was renewed and restored thanks to the House of Savoy (17th-18th centuries), becoming known for its silk production. It was also important for its militia and awarded the Silver Medal for Military Valor when it resisted Fascism (WWII).

The Nizza zone is lower in elevation than the Barbera vineyards in Alba and experiences a warmer growing season. Nizza Monferrato includes 18 municipalities for a total of 160 ha. Currently there are 43 producers in the Nizza DOCG wine producers association.

Why Nizza? Nizza is the name of the stream that flows through the area offering a short, appealing designation from an unmovable geographic reference that was easy to remember….and it did not already exist for wine, making story-telling about the land, wine and producers much easier.

Nizza vines require sun and therefore occupy the space on the slopes that face southeast to west, excluding the valleys. The production zone (Tertiary Piedmont Basin), is a hilly region that came from the rising of the seabed during the Tertiary epoch. The soils are calcareous, medium depth, and characterized by sandy-clay marls and stratified sandstone. The Barbera grape is the most planted red grape in Italy’s Piedmont region

Nizza Leadership. The main players in getting the DOCG designation for Nizza are Giulano Noe, a celebrated consulting enologist and Michel Chiarlo, a pioneer winemaker in the region and the first president of the Associazione Produttori. Chiarlo started his own winery in 1956 and was among the first to introduce malolactic fermentation for Barbera (1974). READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT WINES.TRAVEL.

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About the author

Dr. Elinor Garely - special to eTN and editor in chief, wines.travel