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If we could spend an entire day at one Piedmont estate, it would have to be Cavallotto. Perched onthe slopes of Castiglione Falletto, it overlooks the lush Barolo landscape and houses a botanicalgarden featuring rare species of plants and trees. Though the idyllic surroundings are reason enough to linger, the wines that they produce from their 23 hectares of organically grown vines (the first in the region to follow organic methods), are most definitely another.Alfio and Giuseppe Cavallotto rely on a ‘hands off ' approach using mostly large Botti which allowthe wines to breathe and develop naturally without additional oak extraction. The results areexquisite and their offerings make up some of the most elegant, complex Italian wines on our list.Tasting with Alfio on our last trip enhanced our enthusiasm for this wonderful estate even further- a feat that we did not think possible.
Piedmont is located in the north western corner of Italy. Though several grape varieties are prominent such as Dolcetto, Barbera and Moscato, it is Nebbiolo that reigns supreme. It produces wines that are not particularly deep in colour, yet they are perfumed, powerful and can age for many years. Due to the ethereal nature of the Nebbiolo grape and the numerous single vineyard wines, many compare top examples to grand cru Burgundies of the Côte de Nuits.Mountainous, its vineyards are cut into the hillsides forming terraces reminiscent of the Mosel Valley in Germany and the northern Rhone Valley in France. The two most notable appellations are Barolo and Barbaresco.