The Brachetto varietal grape is a delightfully aromatic varietal most commonly associated with Italy's beautiful northern region of Piedmont, home to a stunning range of grapevines and some of the country's finest wines. Brachetto is a mild red wine grape, and is used to make both still and sparkling light bodied red wines, prized for its highly aromatic qualities and the delicate summery flavors it holds. Most commonly, Brachetto wines feature pretty notes of strawberries, with a freshness typical of other Piedmont wines. The thin skins of the grapes mean the wine is low in tannins and creates a silky smoothness to the wines made from them. In recent years, wineries in many New World countries have started experimenting with this grape varietal, in order to make the most of its unique and highly drinkable features.
Situated in the north-western part of Italy, the region of Piedmont is known worldwide and is highly respected for the quality of the wines produced there. Many of the most successful sub-regions in Piedmont produce many of the world's finest red wines, such as those made from the excellent Nebbiolo grape varietal in areas such as Barolo and Barbaresco. However, the historic wineries which typify this region use a relatively wide variety of grapes, including Dolcetto and Barbera for their red wines, which are typically aged and have a delightful velvety character. Piedmont isn't all about beautifully complex red wines, though, as it is also famed for high quality, elegant sparkling wines, notably the Asti wines made with the white Moscato grape. The region benefits from a range of terroirs which are often well expressed in the sparkling wines, and a wonderfully consistent climate ideal for vineyard cultivation.
It isn't difficult to understand why Italy is famed not just for the quality of its wines, but also for the vast variety and range of characteristics found in the wines there. The terrain of the country varies wildly, from the lush rolling green hills and valley of Tuscany, to the sun drenched rocky coasts of Sicily, the mountainous and alpine regions of the north, and the marshy lowlands of the east. Italy really does have a little bit of everything. Combine this huge range of landscapes with an almost perfect climate for grape cultivation, and you have a country seemingly designed for viticultural excellence. The results speak for themselves, and it is clear to see that wine has become an inseparable part of Italian culture as a result of its abundance and brilliance. Each village, city and region has a local wine perfectly matched with the cuisine of the area, and not an evening passes without the vast majority of Italian families raising a glass of locally sourced wine with pride and pleasure.