Journey to the hills where Gavi Docg is born
LANDS OF GAVI
The moment you reach the hills of Gavi, the light changes. The sky becomes clearer, the hills shine with a crystalline green and the wind from the sea is clearly perceptible in the air.
We are in the southernmost part of Monferrato, in the province of Alessandria, the one, so to speak, that reaches the Ligurian Apennines, in the direction of Genoa. The influence of the coast is present both in the atmosphere and in the history of the places. We are in the "Oltregiogo", the hilly possessions "beyond the Apennines" that belonged to Genoa at least until the nineteenth century.
The Genoese dotted the territory with castles with massive and rounded towers, the most famous and imposing example of which is the Fort that dominates the town of Gavi, the regional capital, rebuilt in 1540 on a pre-existing medieval manor. The direct domination of Genoa also favored the birth of an important economy linked to forestry: the wooded heritage of this area was essential for the production of timber suitable for the construction of ships.
Finally, the most cultivated grape variety in the area, a close relative of Vermentino, also seems to have spread from Liguria: it is the noble Cortese, which in the "Terre del Gavi" acquires unique characteristics and gives rise to Gavi Docg, an oenological excellence of the area.
The Terre di Gavi were for centuries under the dominion of the Genoese,
that perhaps Cortese grapes, close relatives of Vermentino, imported here.
LA DENOMINAZIONE GAVI
The Gavi appellation, white wine from Cortese grapes in purity, includes only 11 municipalities in the province of Alessandria, including, roughly, between Novi Ligure (to the north) and Bosio (to the south). The shape of the territory of the appellation is unique, it resembles a bunch of grapes with a very elongated tip.
The Terre di Gavi can be divided into three main bands.
The northern belt includes the municipalities of Capriata d'Orba, Francavilla Bisio, Pasturana, Tassarolo, Novi Ligure and Serravalle Scrivia. It is the lowest elevation, with gentle hills that rise from the Alexandrian plain in a large plateau. The lands are clayey and red in color.
The central strip includes the towns of Gavi, San Cristoforo and Parodi Ligure. It features alluvial soils, a mix of clays, sands and silt. It is an intensely planted area, crossed by the River Lemme which creates a wide valley.
Finally, the southern fascine is the closest to the Apennines: here the soils are white, hard and tuff, poor in organic matter, the vineyards are dominated by woods and the climate becomes colder and drier. This area is the highest and most spectacular in the area, with very steep hills surmounted by millenary woods within which Apennine rocks emerge and crystalline springs flow, loved by swimmers looking for uncrowded "beaches".
The town of Gavi and its Fort
THE GAVI DOCG OF DUCHESSA LIA
Duchessa Lia's Gavi Docg is a wine capable of perfectly summarizing the landscape and geological variety of its territory. It is a bright and elegant white that derives its good structure from clayey soils, those with a richer organic substance. Yet, it manages to express itself in very delicate and floral aromas, children of the hard tuff rock, in which the Cortese roots dig tiny tunnels to supply themselves with the microelements necessary for their development. From this interesting "meeting of soils" an exceptional wine is born, a very pleasant white wine, yet noble in its bearing, played on finesse and on a floral bouquet that makes it the ideal companion for dishes based on fish, fried, crudités, soups, salads, white meats and vegetable-based first courses.