The Gavi, or Cortese di Gavi, DOCG is situated in the southern part of Piedmont, in north-western Italy. Its name derives from the town of Gavi, which is at the centre of the production zone, and the indigenous white grape variety from which it is made. Due to its close proximity with Liguria, its winemaking and gastronomic traditions are more Ligurian than Piemontese, which could explain the light and fruity style of this white wine.
Despite being more closely linked in style with its neighboring region’s wines, Gavi is still considered Piedmont’s white jewel in the crown. It gained DOCG status in 1998 and its vineyards are mainly found in the hills of 13 communes in the province of Alessandria (of which the most prominent are Gavi, Novi Ligure, Serravalle Scrivia and Arquata Scrivia).
Gavi was Italy’s first white wine to gain international repute and is still considered one of the top-ranking Italian whites today. Made exclusively from the Cortese grape, a variety which has a heritage dating back to the 1600s, this is a wine that reflects its terroir. It is noted for its bone-dry character and crisp, flinty and fresh acidity, coming from the mineral-rich soils of the area. The bouquet is particularly floral, offering delicate aromas reminiscent of white flowers, lemons, green apples and honeydew. It is a well-balanced wine, distinctly fruit driven with underlying hints of almonds on the finish. It may not display great potential alcohol but it is certainly an age-worthy wine. A foaming spumante version is also made and some producers' wines will undergo barrel maturation. Gavi is generally considered an excellent partner to seafood.
Those wines that state Gavi di Gavi on their label can do so only if their fruit comes from vineyards in the township of Gavi.