Description 1 of 2


Name of varietal: Dolcetto
Common synonyms: Beaina, Bignola, Bignonina, Cassolo, Dolcetta, Dolsin, Douce Noir, Nibio, Orneasco, Uva d’Acqui, Uva del Monferrato, Uva di Ovada, Uva di Roccagrimalda
Parentage of the grape: Indigenous to Piedmont, Italy
History of the grape: The name means “little sweet one” in Italian. Dolcetto, along with Barbera and Nebbiolo is one of the prized grapes of the Piedmont region in Italy, with evidence that it has been growing there for many centuries. It had been traditionally produced as a light (both in color and weight) table wine. More recently the trend is for bolder versions made from grapes that have been given a longer hang time to amplify their power and ageworthiness, but this also results in raising its alcohol levels. For this reason, Dolcetto can now be found in the traditional light style as well as big concentrated styles. Wines labeled “Superiore” are often a good tip that these are older, bigger, but often more structured wines. 
Characteristics of the grape: traditional styles are light purple in color with low tannins, light cherry, raspberry, jammy, with hints of spice. The modern styles are much darker in color with heavier body, blackberry, dark cherry, black currant, prunes, licorice, coffee, dark chocolate.
Regions where the grape is currently important: There are several official Italian Dolcetto designations which are named for the growing area: Dolcetto d’Acqui, Dolcetto d’Alba, Dolcetto d’Asti, Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba, Dolcetto di Dogliani, Dolcetto d’Ovada and Dolcetto delle Langhe Monregalesi. In other parts of the world: California, Oregon, Australia. 
Type or types of wines the grape produces: light-bodied, young wines, fuller dry red wines
– Description from Amanda Schuster

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Description 2 of 2

Dolcetto originates in the Piedmont region of Italy, where it is overshadowed by the more powerful and concentrated Nebbiolo and even Barbera. In California there are less than 100 acres under vine, typically grown by expatriate Italians. The grape produces deeply-pigmented wines, thick with fruit character, high in natural acidity and having only mild tannins. Dolcetto is best consumed young, as its youthful fruit character fades quicker than its acidity.

Our dear ' little sweet one '. How
we adore those puffy rosy cheeks
full of blackberries and plums.
You’ve arrived in America. I hope
that your ‘ Cal-Italian ’ guardians
manage to keep your sour side in
check and never let you get too
mature, as it is your youthful
charm that we so love. – Description from Appellation America (view original content)

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