Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Piemonte, qualitatively outstanding and highly distinctive wine region in north-west italy whose principal city is Turin (see map under italy). This subalpine part (its name means ‘at the foot of the mountains’) of the former kingdom of Savoy was the driving force behind Italian reunification in the 19th century and led the initial phases of Italy’s industrial revolution. Its geographical position both isolated and protected it during the period of Habsburg, Bourbon, and papal domination which marked Italian life between 1550 and 1860, while its proximity, both geographical and cultural, to France (the kingdom’s court and nobility were Francophone until well into the 19th century) gave it both an openness to the new ideas of the European enlightenment and relative prosperity—in stark contrast to the poverty of much of the rest of the peninsula. In 2010, total annual wine production averaged over 3 million hl/79 million gal, with over 75% doc or docg.