Cortese is a white grape variety from the Piedmont region of Italy. It’s the primary grape of the world famous DOC and DOCG wines, which are considered the highest destination of quality under the Italian law. The grape’s flavours are generally light and it’s of moderate acidity.
History of Cortese
One of the earliest planted grapes of Italy, the documentation of Cortese dates all the way back to the late 17th century, stating that many vineyards of Montaldeo were planted with Vermentino and Cortese exclusively.
Later on, in 1870, the famous ampelographers of the time Carlo Leardi and P.P. DeMaria noted that Cortese was extremely widespread across Piedmont where the grape was praised for its ability to produce high quality wines alongside large crop yields.
Cortese Wine Regions
Today, the grape is mostly associated with the DOCG wine called Cortese di Gavi, which is produced in the Gavi region of Alessandria province of Piedmont. Cortese is planted mostly throughout southeastern Piedmont. The most notable regions also include the DOC winemaking areas of Cortese dell’Alto Monferrato and Colli Tortonesi.
Outside of Piedmont, Cortese can be found in the province of Pavia, Brescia, Mantova and Verona.
Cortese wines, and especially those from the DOCG Gavi pair incredibly well with seafood. The wine is medium-bodied and acidic, with notes of green and lime. The wine is also known for its potential to be aggressively acidic, but the oak barrel and malolactic fermentation winemaking processes do a great job tempering that.
If you'd like to try a bottle of this excellent white wine, buy Cortese at the ZYN liquor store in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, or shop online for all your wine, beer and spirits at ZYN.ca!