Gavi DOCG white wine was awarded its DOC status in 1973, and upgraded to DOCG in 1998. However, this short-sounding history hides the extensive cultivation of the Cortese grape, which Gavi is exclusively made from, that has been occurring in this area since the 1600’s.
This long history has allowed the producers of Gavi to hone in on the ideal locations for planting Cortese, thus giving this wine an excellent reputation as one of the top-ranking Italian white wines produced today.
DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita)
DOCG this is the highest classification for Italian wines, denoting controlled (controllata) production and guaranteed (garantita) quality. Strict rules govern the production of DOCG wines, including the permitted grape varieties, yield limits, grape ripeness, winemaking procedures and maturation for bottles and barrels of wine. Every DOCG wine is subject to official tasting procedures with bottles that must have a numbered government seal across the neck to protect against counterfeits.
Located in the southeastern corner of the Piedmont region, many consider Gavi to be the white counterpart of Barolo. Fresh and vibrant but with a complexity that matches the seafood with which it is often served, Gavi DOCG is a refined choice.
Since 1993 the Consorzio Tutela del Gavi has been hard at work making sure that Gavi wines are upheld to the highest standards of quality before being released.
They have also completed numerous projects to ensure that the region is at the forefront of viticulture and production, to include clonal selections, vineyard and soil mapping, and aerial photography of altitudes and hill gradients.
To be sure the production area of the wine is not limited to its namesake.
In fact, the production territory includes the municipalities of Gavi, Tassarolo, Serravalle Scrivia, Novi Ligure, Francavilla, Pasturana, Parodi Ligure, Bosio, Carrosio, Capriata d’Orba, and San Cristoforo, all within the Piemonte (Piedmont) region.
Here are a few of my favorite producers of Gavi DOCG:
La Scolca winery has been producing Gavi since 1919, and is one of the oldest producers in the region. They are family owned and operated, currently run by Giorgio Soldati and his daughter, Chiara. Soldati, the surname, means soldier, and through their 100 years of operation, the family has soldiered on…never following trends, but simply creating Gavi of unparalleled quality, and they have cultivated an international following because of it. They host sommelier guided tours at the winery to showcase their unique vineyard specific bottlings of Gavi DOCG, with numerous cuvees and even sparkling Gavi DOCG for guests to enjoy.
If you are traveling from Turin to Genoa and want to get a flavor of the local wines, consider stopping at Villa Sparina Resort and Winery. This agriturismo has a hotel, restaurant, and winemaking operation, but the Gavi they produce is the real draw. A uniquely shaped gold colored bottle, based off an ancient bottle found during an excavation on a portion of the estate, is only the start. With vineyards dating back to 1945, the wines at Villa Sparina are crafted with care: hand harvested, vinified separately, and fermented in state-of-the-art stainless-steel tanks, you will not be disappointed with your stop.
Very few, if any, wineries in the world can list a thousand-year old estate as a part of their property, but Broglia winery in Gavi is one of them. The 65 hectare La Meirana property, purchased by Bruno Broglia in 1972 (one year before Gavi became a DOC) has been mentioned in records dating back to 972 AD, and is today considered a forerunner in quality Gavi production. While Bruno Broglia passed away in 1983, his sons have taken the helm at the head of the winery, which produces multiple Gavi DOCG wines of high quality and value.
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