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Piemont with the regional capital of Torino is the largest wine-growing region in Italy, with a total area of more than 25.000 square kilometres. The vineyard area totals 57.487 hectares, putting it „only” in sixth place in this regard. The beginnings of wine production go back to the Celtic Taurina tribe, from which the capital derives its name, and to the Ligurians. While the Romans knew of Piemontese wines (for example from Gattinara), the elder Pliny (23-79 AD) does not mention a single wine from this region in his listing of the best wines of antiquity. The wines from here became known only in medieval times, when troubadours praised ist excellent quality. Piemont was under French rule and influence for many centuries, which is also reflected in its wines. The western section of the former Mark Ivrea became the Mark Turin in the 11th century, and this came under the rule of Savoy through marriage. The name ”Piemont was used for the first time in the 13th century (French pié de monte = at the foot of the mountains). Indeed, most of the vineyards are located at the foot of the Alps and Apennines, on both sides of the wide upper Po valley. In 1815 Piemont was annexed by the kongdom of Sardinia, and together with this it joined the united kingdom of Italy in 1861. A large portion of the vineyards is located in hilly terrain on sunny slopes, for which the locals use the term Sori. DThe most important wine-growing regions are Asti, Carema, Canavese, Caluso, the Vercelli and Novara hills, as well as the sites considered to bet he best, the hills of Monferrato and Langhe near Alba. There are more than a hundred permitted grape varieties (indeed there were almost 400 varieties according to a census in the 19th century), many of these are indigenous, and quite a few of them are of French origin. The leading red variety is Barbera, with around 50% of the vineyard area, which is the basic ingredient for many of the everyday wines. The other important red varieties are Bonarda, Brachetto, Cortese, Dolcetto, Freisa, Grignolino, Nebbiolo and Malvasia. The leading white varieties are Arneis; Cortese, Erbaluce and Moscato Bianco. International varieties such as Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir are gaining in importance. Apart from Tuscany, Piemont supplies most of the top-quality wines in Italy, and there is a constant rivalry as to which deserves to be the leading wine-growing region. Red wines account for more than 75% of the total production, and the fame of these wines is based mainly on the two exceptional wines made from the Nebbiolo grape, Barbaresco and Barolo. There was a French influence here, too, as the initiator of these two wines was the French oenologist Louis Oudart. In recent times, three of the most important figures have been the famous winemakers Angelo Gaja, Giacosa Bruno and Giacomo Bologna on his Braida estate. Piemont plays a leading role in Italy in several respects. The region has the largest number of DOC zones in Italy more than 50 which account for around a quarter of the wine production. However, most of the DOC wines are white. Piemont also has undisputably the largest number of DOCG wines, namely 10. In addition, this is the region in which the greatest volume of sparkling wines is produced. The region is also the source of vermouth for Italy and the whole world, this is where vermouth was „invented”. The DOC zones are: * Albugnano * Alta Langa * Asti - also Asti Spumante (DOCG) * Barbaresco (DOCG) * Barbera d´Alba * Barbera d´Asti * Barbera del Monferrato * Barolo (DOCG) * Boca * Brachetto d´Acqui (DOCG) * Bramaterra * Canavese * Carema * Collina Torinese * Colline Novaresi * Colline Saluzzesi * Colli Tortonesi * Cortese dell´Alto Monferrato * Coste della Sesia * Dolcetto d´Acqui * Dolcetto d´Alba * Dolcetto d´Asti * Dolcetto delle Langhe Monregalesi * Dolcetto di Diano d´Alba * Dolcetto di Dogliani * Dolcetto di Dogliani SuperioreDolcetto di Dogliani (DOCG) * Dolcetto di Ovada * Erbaluce di Caluso * Fara * Freisa d´Asti * Freisa di Chieri * Gabiano * Gattinara (DOCG) * Gavi - also Cortese di Gavi or Gavi di Gavi (DOCG) * Ghemme (DOCG) * Grignolino d´Asti * Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese * Langhe * Loazzolo * Lessona * Malvasia di Casorzo d´Asti * Malvasia di Castelnuovo Don Bosco * Monferrato * Moscato d´Asti (DOCG) * Nebbiolo d´Alba * Piemonte * Pinerolese * Roero (DOCG) * Rubino di Cantavenna * Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato * Sizzano * Valsusa * Verduno Pelaverga