The DOCG “Gavi” or “Cortese di Gavi” refers to 4 types of white wine – Still, Sparkling, Spumante and Riserva – that have the following characteristics:
The colour is more or less pale straw yellow with greenish reflections;It has an elegant and delicate bouquet, with hints of fresh fruit and white flowers, with notes of citrus and bitter almonds, which is enriched with age by mineral scents and complexity;Taste dry, full, pleasantly fresh and harmonious, of great elegance and finesse.
As for the types of Riserva, it is no longer just the scents of the fruit, but also the breadth of the aroma and the fuller, richer taste; a long-lasting white wine that retains its freshness but is ennobled by tertiary aromas that allow it to hold its own against the greats of the world.
Grande Bianco Piemontese is the result of a territory that is deeply permeated by its geographical formation and microclimate
It is the encounter between the sea wind blowing from the Ligurian Sea and the snow of the Apennines that makes this corner of Piedmont special. The cold winters and warm, breezy summers, the altitude of the slopes and the exposure, the marly, calcareous and clayey soils give life to the Grande Bianco Piemontese. These are the characteristics of a land that we find in every glass of Gavi.
Why a Great White in Piedmont?
The area had been a Genoese outpost for centuries, first a defensive and commercial location, then a place of pleasure and holiday. The centrality of the Fort of Gavi, an imposing bulwark on the most important road between the plain and the sea, had given way, in the seventeenth century, to the splendid summer residences of the greatest families of Genoa, from the Giustiniani to the Lomellini. The Ligurian aristocracy elected the Cortese vine as the grape of the court and spread its cultivation. The first specialised plantings of Cortese were planted from 1856 on the estates owned by the Marquis Cambiaso, La Centuriona and La Toledana di Gavi. Within a few decades, Gavi became synonymous with dry white wine. The presence of a great white wine in Piedmont, a region of extraordinary quality for its red wines, is therefore revealing of the deep bond that the land of Gavi has always had with the cuisine of the lords of Genoa based on fish, lean meats and vegetables that goes perfectly with Cortese, the "noble" native grape variety, which here actually finds its highest expression.
The original the name
Gavi is an area of hills and mountains, but where you can actually smell the scents of the Mediterranean, which arrive with the sea breezes; it is an agricultural land with vineyards that mingle with woods and unspoiled natural landscapes; it is a courteous and noble land, like the stories and legends kept in the villages and castles. The best known is that of Princess Gavia. In 528, the girl fleeing from the wrath of her father, Clodomiro, King of France, who denied her love for a young page , came to these hills, where she found refuge from the French troops, thanks to the intercession of the Pope. In her honour, the inhabitants dedicated her name to the village. Legend has it that the beautiful and "courteous" young woman also inspired the name of the grape variety that gives rise to Gavi. Whether Cortese derives this appellative from the entourage of the Genoese nobility or from the virtue of the princess Gavia, there is no doubt that "Cortese di Gavi" today identifies a great Italian wine excellence that is a model of quality in the vineyard and research in the cellar.
The extreme southern corner of Piedmont is a physical and geological frontier where the great plain and the mountains, alluvial soils and outcrops of remote ages meet. From a geological point of view, the Gavi land is divided into three bands, which influence the characteristics of the wine and of the landscape.
The red soils originated from the ironing out of the gravels mixed with clay of ancient alluvial deposits. They are located north of Gavi, towards Tassarolo and Novi Ligure. Here, the hills are more gentle and the vineyards alternate with oak and locust woods.
The central strip which emerges on a line that joins Serravalle Scrivia to Gavi and San Cristoforo, sees an alternation of marl and sandstone. These are the lands of Monterotondo and the vineyards at the foot of the beautiful forest of Mount Mesima.
The southern part, which becomes steeper due to the approach of the Apennine reliefs, is composed of white clayey marls, the marine origin of which is obvious, partly due to the presence of numerous fossils. The territory is part of the “tertiary basin of Piedmont” which includes various stratigraphic formations of the Oligo-Mio-Pliocene series. Specifically, the characterising formations are the “Marne Serravalliane”, soils, which are particularly suited to the Cortese vineyard because they are able to exalt its qualities.
Gavi & Typical Products
History links the Raviolo family of Gavi to the origin of this stuffed pasta, the recipe of which is currently jealously protected by an Order of Knights which, for over 40 years, has been engaged with its promotion The ravioli from Gavi is traditionally prepared with beef and pork, eggs, cheese, borage and escarole. It has a thin and tasty pastry and can be tasted mainly in 3 ways: “al tocco“, the local meat sauce, in a bowl with wine and “a culo nudo“, which is just skimmed, without condiments.
The tradition for fresh pasta, which has ancient origins in this area, also brings to the table taglierini and lasagnette also called “stringoni” and “corzetti“, dressed, depending on the season, with game, mushrooms, tomato or pesto.
The simple and tasty cuisine of this “bordering” land is also reflected in the preparation of farinate and focacce – “stirate” in the morning or with potatoes in the afternoon – and the “testa in cassetta“ (“head in a box”), a sausage made from pig’s head, tongue, muscle and heart, already a Slow Food presidium.
Lastly, in the desserts: the Gavi macaroons, made with almonds, sugar, egg white and honey. The patent of this delicacy dates back to 1780.
Famous in Italy and abroad, it is artisan chocolate of the area, of which the municipality of Novi Ligure is the most important witness.
Gavi & DOP
The Consortium promotes and valorizes the piedmontese gastronomic excellences through tastings and starred chef’s recipes.