Piedmont produces what most describe as Italy's best red wines. Within Piedmont, there are 38 DOC/G zones and 43 distinct types of wine. Several of the well-known DOCG wines come from Piedmont. Barolo DOCG is a rich and powerful wine made from the nebbiolo grape, and coming from the region of the same name. Barolo having four years of wood aging is specified as Riserva (five years in wood earns a Riserva Speciale designation). Barbaresco DOCG is also made from nebbiolo and named for the town and the area of the same name. Slightly smoother than Barolo, and less brash in its youth, it is another benchmark of big, rich Italian red wines. Gattinara DOCG is the third top-rated Piedmont wine. It is also made from Nebbiolo, and named for the small region in which it is made, but it is a lighter-style than the previous two. Barbera is the most widely planted grape in Piedmont, and wines are bottled by the name of the grape, and not an area. Barbera is fruity, tannic and high in acid. Another wine named for the varietal, not the region, is Dolcetto, another lighter-style red that the Piedmontese often enjoy with a first course. The best examples of this gamay-like wine are from Alba (near Barolo) and Asti.
On the bubbly side, Asti Spumante and Moscato d'Asti DOCG offer sparkling and Petillant/Frizzante wines made generally from muscat grapes and by charmat method. Grignolino, a light, fruity dry ros' wine is sometimes found in styles that are a bit "petillant" as well.
The noteworthy white wines produced in the area include Arneis and Gavi (Cortese).