Piedmont is one of the top wine regions in the world, but in terms of quantity it ranks behind other Italian regions. This is due to the fact that the first priority is quality - wine growing is more strictly regulated than in other parts of Italy.
The vineyards are with few exceptions small - big estates hardly exist. In the wine growing area of South Piedmont the wine business is mainly a family affair.
Choosing wine in Piedmont is not easy: there are many varieties, of which some are known only locally. However, there are dozens of public and private enoteche (wine exhibition centres) and botteghe del vino (wineries) which invite visitors to taste and learn about Piedmontese wine.
Some enoteche are sited in castles and palazzi and other historically interesting buildings. Often an enoteca is attached to a wine-making museum and a restaurant where you can enjoy a fine meal to accompany the wine.
Botteghe del vino are usually more modest and in most cases run by the vineyard owners.
In Casa degli Orsi there are one or two beautiful books that provide masses of information and insights into Piedmont wines.