is a Piedmont native wine grape with white berries, probably from the area around Tortona, Novara and Alessandria, already cultivated during the XVIII century. Today it is most widespread in the province of Alessandria, especially in the hills around Novi Ligure and Gavi, partly in the Oltrepò Pavese and to a lesser degree around Verona.
The characteristics of the Cortese variety are a medium-sized leaf, pentagonal, five-lobed, at times seven-lobed, of a dark green color with lighter veins. The bunch is medium-large, in the shape of a conical pyramid, winged and loose. Berries are medium-large, elliptical with thin waxy skin, and of a yellow-golden color. Veraison is more marked after exposure to the sun.
When Cortese is harvested early, it yields wine with good acidity, not very structured and to be savored young. The best and more mature bunches, however, can yield a more complex and elegant wine. Cortese produces a straw-yellow wine with green nuances, fine fruity scents, at time with tinges of apricot and citrus, white flowers a herbs. Its flavor is fresh and full bodied, soft and structured.
Il Gavi DOCG
Cortese is best in Gavi Docg, produced in the following 11 townships: Bosio, Capriata d’Orba, Carrosio, Francavilla Bisio, Gavi, Novi Ligure, Parodi Ligure, Pasturana, San Cristoforo, Serravalle Scrivia and Tassarolo. Generally Gavi Docg goes well with all kinds of fish dishes, vegetable risottoes and medium-aged cheese.
Gavi or Cortese di Gavi still
Gavi or Cortese di Gavi semi-sparkling
Gavi or Cortese di Gavi sparkling
Gavi or Cortese di Gavi reserve
Gavi or Cortese di Gavi reserve, classical method sparkling wine
Best served at 6-8°C as a drink and at 12°C with a meal.
Gavi: La Raia and Biodynamic Methods | Read more
At the heart of Gavi, at a height of about 400 meters over astonishing hills, we find a farm called Raia. This farm is a Demeter certified, biodynamic company which produces Gavi and Barbera, cultivates ancient cereals and breeds Fassone cattle. Raia’s land is over 180 hectares between vineyards, arable, cattle ground and chestnut woods populated by wild species, all handled with a biodynamic philosophy from the start. The native Gavi and Barbera vines root in a soil rich in clay and limestone. Their density is of 4500 vines per hectare and their age varies between 9-70 years old. Gavi and Pisé are made from the older vines, while Barbera is made from vines with full south exposure and high-drainage soil.