The treat o ormeasco is a black grape variety indigenous to northern Italy and in particular to the bordering regions of Piedmont and Liguria. The origin of the name seems to derive from the lower acidity of the ripe grapes, which makes it particularly suitable for making ready-to-drink wines. The dolcetto vine variety is cultivated mainly in the Langhe, in the area of Ovada and in that of Dogliani.

Synonyms and clones

  • Synonymsormeasco (only official). Ancients: bignona, bignonina, dolsin, dolsin raro, dosset, dolzino, dolzin, uva del Monferrato, uva di Ovada, uva di Roccagrimalda.

Dolcetto or Ormeasco: characteristics

... of the plant

  • Appearanceleaf medium-small, pentagonal, pentalobed, wider than long, with very open V-shaped petiolar sinus, glabrous upper page and light green lower page with slight arachnoid tomentum. Petiole medium.
  • Maturationsecond half of September. Bunch medium-large, very long pyramidal, winged (with 1 or 2 wings) and averagely spreading. Grape medium, round, but not constant in shape or size. Peel fine, very pruinose and blue-black in colour. Pulp very sweet and tasty simple flavour with colourless juice.
  • Productivitygood and regular in the areas where it settles better, good but irregular everywhere else.
  • Vigourmoderate to medium.
  • Resistance to adversityvery resistant to adverse weather conditions. Sensitive, however, to cryptogamic diseases and moths.
Dolcetto or Ormeasco leaf

... of wine produced

  • Visual examinationdeep ruby red.
  • Olfactory examinationintense, more fruity than floral.
  • Taste-olfactory examinationfresh, warm, slightly tannic, quite soft, very structured and with a long fruity finish.

Cultivation zones

  • Italysuitable and recommended areas: Piedmont and Valle D'Aosta; suitable areas: Abruzzo, Emilia-Romagna, Liguria, Lombardy, Sardinia, Umbria.
  • World(in order of quantity): Italy; United States (CaliforniaLodi AVA, Mendocino County, Napa Valley AVA, Russian River Valley AVA, Santa Barbara County, Santa Cruz Mountains AVA; Oregon: Southern Oregon AVA, Umpqua Valley AVA); Australia (here are some of the oldest Dolcetto vines in the world, planted in 1860 and still in production); Argentina (Mendoza); New Zealand (North Island: Matakana).

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Dolcetto or Ormeasco: Italian DOCG and DOC wines where it is allowed

  • DOCGDogliani, Dolcetto di Diano d'Alba or Diano d'Alba, Dolcetto di Ovada Superiore or Ovada.
  • DOCColli Tortonesi, Dolcetto d'Acqui, Dolcetto d'Alba, Dolcetto d'Asti, Dolcetto di Ovada, Tigullio-Portofino Gulf or Portofino, Langhe, Monferrato, Piedmont, Pinerolese, Pornassio or Ormeasco di Pornassio, Val Polcevera, Valsusa.
Dolcetto Ormeasco bunch

Conclusion

Dolcetto is certainly a grape variety capable of giving great red wines that are immediately enjoyable even for a winelover with a non-expert palate. The 'sweetness' of its juice, in fact, can be found in the wine, which is immediately soft and enveloping, with aromas of pleasantly ripe red fruits. Moreover, as often happens, the name of the vine betrays a characteristic that is 'universally recognised' in its land of origin or greater vocation. Suffice it to think of the neighbouring Nebbiolo with the berries so covered in bloom that they seem 'cloudy'.

Sources:

© Ministry of Agricultural Food and Forestry Policies, National Catalogue of Vine Varieties.

© Bassi C., Sommelier: the illustrated manual, Cammeo DiVino, Monte Isola, 2022, pp. 146 -147

© Piemonte Land (cover photo)

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