Nebbiolo: It’s all about Tannin and Acidity. Tar and Roses. Barolo and Barbaresco. Right?

This tends to be the received wisdom on Nebbiolo, the noble grape of Piemonte. But it’s not quite the whole story.

Nebbiolo is grown throughout northwest Italy, not just in the hills of the Langhe, where the famed DOCGs of Barolo and Barbaresco lie. Gattinara, Bramaterra, Lessona, Boca, Fara, Ghemme, Sizzano – each of these seven DOCs situated well north of the Langhe possesses a unique terroir capable of producing great wines from Nebbiolo, known locally as Spanna.

If you’re going to remember one of these appellations, remember Gattinara. At one time, the wines of Gattinara were more prized than Barolo and Barbaresco. Awarded DOCG status in 1990, this is a mountainous region with volcanic, iron-rich soils where most vineyards face south to collect as much daylight as possible. Given the sub-alpine location, Gattinara often presents a cooler-climate expression of Nebbiolo, emphasizing the delicate and elegant side of the grape.

Travaglini is practically synonymous with Gattinara. Started in 1920s by Clemente Travaglini, the estate remains in the family today. Throughout the years, Travaglini has established itself as the largest and the most esteemed producer of traditional, limited-production wines in the region.

And about the distinctive Travaglini bottle: the trademark curves are designed to catch the sediment during pouring. Ingenious!

If you’re seeking the nobility of Nebbiolo, but without the sticker shock that comes with most Barolo and Barbaresco, then you will most definitely want to check out the wines of Travaglini.

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