Colli Piacentini is a DOC of the Emilia-Romagna wine region in northern Italy. Created in July 1967 and revised numerous times since (on average every five years), the title covers both red and white wines in varietal and blended forms. These are created from an extensive portfolio of grape varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir), Barbera and Bonarda for reds, and Chardonnay, Malvasia di Candia, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio and Pignoletto for whites.
There are four sottozone (sub-zones) whose names appear on bottles of Colli Piacentini wine: Monterosso Val d'Arda, Trebbianino Val Trebbia, Val Nure and Vigoleno. With the notable exception of Vigoleno, which is reserved uniquely for sweet Vin Santo wines, these all apply to both still wines and sparkling spumante and frizzante wines.
Gutturnio, one of Emilia-Romagna's most famous wine names, was a sottozone until July 2010 – when it finally reached the levels of respect its makers had lobbied for over several decades. Gutturnio is now a DOC in its own right.
The Colli Piacentini which give the DOC its title are the hills to the south of Piacenza, Emilia-Romagna's most westerly city. The hills here are the foothills of the northern Apennines, which run northwest to southeast through Emilia-Romagna, providing a patchwork of terroirs among their peaks and valleys. To mix metaphors, the Apennines form a kind of spine for Italy's boot, and their northern end runs through the center of Emilia-Romagna. Following the range south-east from Piacenza, across the top of the Italian peninsula, there are a number of hillside DOCs. First come the Colli di Parma and Colli di Scandiano e Canossa, then the Colli Bolognesi around Bologna, and ultimately the Colli di Rimini, right on the Adriatic coast 120 miles (190km) away. The importance of the Apennines to Emilia-Romagna's winemaking and vineyards is hard to overstate.
The landscape here is particularly impressive; the Val Trebbia (Trebbia river valley) was once described by Ernest Hemingway as the most beautiful valley in the world.