Gattinara is a fine red wine from the Vercelli area, produced in Gattinara from almost 100% Nebbiolo grapes. Although Nebbiolo serves as the base of several Piedmontese wines, in Gattinara it conveys unique characteristics that make this one of Piedmont's wines 'par excellence'.
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The history of Gattinara wine began in the 2nd century BC, when the Romans brought vine cultivation to the area. It is said that the name of the wine (and the area) has a legendary origin. In fact, it derives from Catuli Ara, the altar of Catulus, which was erected on the site in which the proconsul Quintus Lutatius Catulus sacrificed to the gods the spoils of the war against the Cimbri, fought in the 101st century BC. Viticulture was established in the area over time, and there are recorded sources which document the widespread dissemination of vines in the area of Gattinara back to the times of Charlemagne. Between the 15th and 16th century, winemaking activity in the area thrived also thanks to the work of a very important figure, Mercurino Arborio, Marchese di Gattinara. Mercurino Arborio’s political and diplomatic career culminated in 1518, when Emperor Charles V appointed him as Advisor and Grand Chancellor of the Kingdoms of Spain and the Empire. One year before his death, in 1529, he was made Cardinal by Pope Clement VII. But Mercurino Arborio was also a wine connoisseur, and he produced it on his land. During his long career, he promoted Gattinara wine to the main European courts, including that of Spain. In fact, it is said that the Nebbiolo variety is known locally as Spanna because it was brought from Spain by Mercurino Arborio. In actual fact, it probably derives from the length of the Nebbiolo grape cluster, around 20 centimetres, namely a hand’s width or “spanna”, but legend has it that Arborio’s name is linked to the history of this wine. The history of Gattinara wine continued vigorously until 1908, when the Cantina Sociale di Gattinara was created, one of the first in Italy that is still active today. Gattinara received DOC designation in July 1967, while the DOCG Gattinara was established in 1990. Gattinara was one of the first Italian wines to obtain DOC designation, preceded among the wines of Piedmont only by Barolo and Barbaresco


As per the designation, Gattinara DOCG may only be produced in the territory of the municipality of Gattinara, on the foothills of Monte Rosa. There are around 100 hectares of vineyards, distributed in a hillside basin behind the town, from which around 4600 hectolitres of Gattinara wine are produced each year. Considering the low number, Gattinara’s fame is even more significant. The low quantity, in this case, is synonymous with excellent quality. Nebbiolo, in the area of Gattinara, is grown using a Guyot training system, and the low yields of this method traditionally favour quality and ageing. The protocol for Gattinara DOCG requires the wine to be aged for three years, including at least one year in wooden barrels. Its ABV cannot be below 12.5%. The tasting profile of Gattinara makes it a unique and esteemed wine. The colour is intense, garnet red, and the bouquet is reminiscent of violet and red berry fruit, with notes of plum, liquorice, ink and graphite, which become more intense with ageing. On the palate, it is soft and round, with a characteristic bitterish aftertaste, while remaining dry and harmonious. 


In the Riserva version, Gattinara expresses even more of its unique characteristics. According to the protocol, Gattinara Riserva DOCG must be aged for at least four years, two of which in barrels, and it must have an ABV no less than 13%. The colour of this wine is ruby red with garnet reflections. On the nose it is intense, striking and fine, with floral notes of rose and violet. On the palate, the minerality of this wine dominates, with a characteristic dry, harmonious and pleasantly tannic flavour. Gattinara Riserva is not generally produced every year, but only in the best vintages, a feature that helps to increase its quality and prestige. 


Gattinara is a prestigious wine and, as such, it is the ideal option for impressing your guests on aspecial occasion, such as Christmas dinner. It is also perfect for surprising your other half during a romantic dinner. But what should be paired with this extremely elegant wine? In the standard version, the full-bodied and powerful Gattinara DOCG is perfect for accompanying complex flavoursome meat dishes, and also game (roe deer and hare), rich food such as a stew, and extra mature cheeses. In the Riserva version, Gattinara is a great partner for dishes consisting of roasted or grilled meat, braised meat and premium poultry. Gattinara Riserva DOCG is also ideal as a wine for sipping leisurely. If you do not want to get it wrong, Gattinara, both the standard and Riserva version, will always be ideal for accompanying risotto al Gattinara, which uses this wine as its main ingredient.