Ghemme, Cavenago, view on the Alps

Ghemme DOCG is located on the opposite bank of the Sesia River compared to Gattinara. Although Ghemme’s wines were historically overshadowed by their neighbor’s prominence, they too maintained a good reputation until the end of the nineteenth century, when the northern Nebbiolos were overwhelmed by their southern counterparts.

The appellation progressively declined until 1997, when Ghemme was granted DOCG classification. Since then, quality has progressively

Ghemme location

The Ghemme appellation is located north the the Italian region of Piedmont. The Sesia River divides the Alto-Piemonte into two halves. Ghemme is located in the Novara province.

Ghemme is manufactured in the cities of Ghemme and Romagnolo Sesia, both located on the east bank of the Sesia River in the province of Novara.

It is to be noted that the total vine area of Ghemme is quite small.

Ghemme soils and climate

The soils here are mostly formed by alluvial and glacial deposits.

Ghemme’s climate is warmer than the hot and humid Po plain to the south. The proximity to Lake Maggiore and Orta, a smaller lake, also helps to regulate the climate.

The hills benefit from the cool air descending from the Alps as well as the temperature changes that occur throughout the day. For these reasons, Nebbiolo wines from this region are higher in acidity than those from the south.

Ghemme DOCG requirements

Vineyards must be planted on hillsides at heights ranging from 220 to 400 meters above sea level.

Ghemme requires at least 85% Nebbiolo (when Gattinara imposes a 90% minimum). Up to 15% Vespolina and/or Uva Rara are the two other grape varieties that can be used in the blend.

Wines must be matured for at least 34 months, including at least 18 months spent in oak.

Ghemme Riserva wines must be matured at least 46 months, including a minimum of 24 months in wood.

It is to be noted that the Nebbiolo grape variety is called Spanna in northern Piedmont (see ‘Other Nebbiolo biotypes‘ for other varietals).

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