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Piedmont, Italy and Beni di Batasiolo: High in Quality and Rich in Family Values

by  Jeanine Lewis on August 31, 2012
Piedmont, Italy and Beni di Batasiolo: High in Quality and Rich in Family Values

Italy is much more than the famous region of Tuscany. Without taking away from its charm and grace, there are many regions of Italy that are also rich with indigenous culture.

The Piedmont region, neighboring France and Switzerland, is in the northwest corner of Italy. The literal meaning of “Piedmonte” is “at the foot of the mountains.” Piedmont is surrounded by the great Alps and its capital city, Turin, hosted the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.

In light of the colder climates, the grape varietals are quite different from their southern Italian counterparts. Piedmont wine growers are world-renowned for their barbera, moscato bianco, nebbiolo and dolcetto grape varietals.  Whether you are a white or red wine lover, this region gives you the best of both. For instance, the natural acidity of the nebbiolo grape is due to complexity of the soil mixture which is comprosed of marl and clay. Great wines such as Barolo, Barbaresco, Moscato d’ Asti, and sparkling Asti come from these indigenous grapes.

German philosopher Nietzsche once called Piedmont, “a city after my own heart, a princely residence with aristocratic calm preserved in everything.” In more modern times, Piedmont continues its tradition with excellent attention to detail and passion for high-quality products. Barolo, a wine named after its region, became one of the first Italian wines to receive the Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin (DOCG) status, which is an Italian quality assurance label for food products, especially wines and various cheeses.

DOCG is one of the highest classifications because the wines are tasted and evaluated by government-licensed experts before being distributed. All DOCG wine bottles contain a special seal and number from the Italian government across the cap or the cork to ensure the level of quality. This stamp of approval is what wine enthusiasts look for in a great Italian bottle.

Other classifications include DOC which indicates that the wine was made in specified, government defined zones according to particular regulations designed to preserve the wine's character. Table wines are classified as Indicazione di Geografica Tipica or IGT and wines that are less regarded but still made in Italy are under the Vino Da Tavola or VdT classification.

Imagine my excitement when after seeing such a seal on a bottle I was asked to try by the Dogliani family. The family has a long-standing history in the Piedmont region producing under the label Beni di Batasiolo. In 1882, they became established winegrowers in Langhe.  Langhe is a hilly area to the south and east of the river Tanaro in the province of Cuneo in Piedmont. Since being established, the family has acquired more than 120 acres of land for their vast vineyard. Being one of the oldest and largest wine growers in Piedmont, the Doglianis also added an onsite 5-star resort to their accomplishments. Beni di Batasiolo is a name synonymous with high quality wines. I was fortunate to try their Moscato d’Asti from the moscato bianco grape variety. I paired it with fresh in season strawberries and it was just perfection on a hot summer’s day.  The bouquet included ripe fruit like peaches, plums, and apricots. The strawberries cut the sweetness down and brought out the natural flavor to the wine.

“Beni di Batasiolo exports five million bottles yearly and twenty thousand of those are moscato” says Ricardo March, U.S. and Canada director of sales for Beni di Batasiolo. Their wine business has grown significantly since their humble beginnings before the turn of the 1900 century. “I have been with the family-owned company for 12 years. Five brothers and four sisters own and run Beni di Batasiolo. They certainly make me feel like family,” March shares. Beni di Batasiolo owns different vineyards which enables them to grow many grape varietals. 

Piedmont has been affectionately called "Tuscany without the tourists" and has a rich history of agricultural excellence and peaceful ambiance. Less than two hours north of Milan, Piedmont is worth the visit. If you are looking to experience something new, Piedmont and the Doglianis will welcome you with Italian charm, great wine, unforgettable food and luxury accommodations for the avid traveler and wine enthusiast in you.

For more about Beni di Batasiolo and where the wines are sold in the U. S., visit http://www.batasiolo.com.

Jeanine Lewis

Jeanine Lewis

Jeanine Lewis is a renaissance freelance writer. As an alumna of University of Washington, she has been published in a variety of subject matters. full bio

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