Have you ever been to Diano d’Alba?
It’s a small village – around 3,500 residents – in the Langhe region, 15 minutes by car from Alba.
Diano d’Alba is located 509 m above sea level and it has a panoramic viewpoint. You can admire the Alps, the amazing vineyards and the castles such as Grinzane Cavour, Serralunga d’Alba and Barolo.
It’s right here that there is an important production of Dolcetto wine. In fact, Diano d’Alba is one of the three DOCGs based on Dolcetto, the others are Dogliani and Ovada.
The potential viticulture for Diano d’Alba DOCG is 242 ha (based on data relased in 2017).
All local people have a particular attachment to this black grape variety.
That’s the impression that I formed during “Di Söri in Söri” last October – an enjoyable annual event with six stops where people can discover local food and wine.
More specifically, there were cold cuts from Langhe, Fassone tartare and pickled vegetables, tajarin with ragù, Piedmontese Fassona stew with carrots, mixed cheese, panna cotta and coffee.
All these yummy foods were combined with the best lineups of the wineries from Diano d’Alba, not only Dolcetto.
Such a great opportunity to “taste” the territory!
But back to talk in-depth about Diano d’Alba DOCG. I’ll give you all the info that you need to know.
Are you ready?
The story of Diano d’Alba
Planting of the Dolcetto grape began here around the 1960s.
1974, 3rd of May is an important day: Diano d’Alba achieves DOC recognition.
It’s the first Italian wine area that presents a map with the most suited sub-zones for growing the Dolcetto grape, they’re called Söri. It happened on 27 September 1986.
In 1999, Cantina Comunale was born. Nowadays, it’s composed of more than 40 members.
Consorzio Barolo Barbaresco Alba Langhe e Roero started to protect Diano d’Alba in 2010. The continuous and hard work was rewarded on 2 August 2010. Diano d’Alba achieved DOCG designation and Söri were identified as Menzioni Geografiche Aggiuntive (MGA).
The total annual production is over 1 million bottles.
The wine can be called either “Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba” or “Diano d’Alba”. It’s the same for the Superiore, so “Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba Superiore” or “Diano d’Alba Superiore”.
Now, let’s analyse together the key characteristics of the disciplinary regulations.
First of all, it’s required that 100% Dolcetto grapes are used for wine production.
They should be grown in the district of Diano d’Alba, under an altitude of 550 m above the sea level, with no north aspect.
The maximum yield is 80 q/ha.
Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba DOCG and Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba Superiore DOCG have to be aged for ten months.
The meaning of Söri is “luogo solatio” (sunny place). So it identifies the most suited sub-zones for the viticulture including its soil, aspect and microclimate.
In 1996 the association “I Söri di Diano” was born. Its aim was to improve the knowledge and the production of the wines from Diano d’Alba, promoting them in Italy and abroad.
Initially, there were 77 Söri recorded, now they are 76.
The 77th Söri is now a member of a neighbouring Söri, as both represent the same area.
Each Söri has a name and well-marked borders. The map is based on historic studies on their territorial vocation.
Food & Wine
Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba looks fresher and ready to drink, unlike the other two DOCGs that have different styles.
Its colour is a deep purple/ruby. Some distinctive aromas of blackberry, plum, black cherry and herbs can be detected. Tannins are soft and smooth. On the finish, there is a pleasant almond note.
People from Diano usually like to combine their Dolcetto with tartare or tajarin with ragù.
What’s your favourite Dolcetto from Diano d’Alba?
I’m very curious to know your favourite wine about. So leave me a comment, please.
Otherwise, if you’ve never tasted any Dolcetto di Diano D’Alba DOCG I invite you to organise a tour in Langhe and visit the small village. You will be welcomed.
There, you can taste all the wines at Cantina Comunale di Söri.
It’s much better than buying the bottles online and tasting them at your home. You can see for yourself the beauty of Langhe and taste a good dish of tajarin.
Diano d’Alba is quite close to my home, just 1 and a half hours by car, so we can spend a great time in Langhe. I’m waiting for you!
Many thanks to Fratelli Aimasso for the beautiful pics.