Fine Piacentini Wines

Gutturnio Wine


The coat of arms of Ziano Piacentino

Gutturnio is the newest DOC introduced to the hilly vineyards south of Piacenza, in western Emilia-Romagna. It was raised from its status as a sub-zone of the Colli Piacentini in July 2010 after decades of campaigning by local winemakers.



The wine is blended from one of Italy’s classic red-grape varieties, Barbera, and the lesser-known Croatina. Croatina is known locally by the synonym Bonarda, a title it shares with two other Bonarda grape varieties from various spots in northern Italy and even one from Argentina. The two permitted varieties are split roughly 60:40 respectively in the blends to create a relatively soft, well-rounded red wine with cherry-like aromas.

There are superiore and riserva quality levels available to Gutturnio’s winemakers, and aclassico level restricted to higher-quality wines. Wines can also be made into a lighter, semi-sparkling frizzante style, typically using the Charmat method of sparkling wine production – although this is limited to the standard Gutturnio wines. To earn the mention superiore, a Gutturnio wine must reach an alcohol content of 12.5% alcohol by volume (ABV), while theriserva wines must reach a full 13% ABV and have been aged for 24 months prior to commercial release (including six months in oak barrel).

The area from which Gutturnio wines come is restricted to the commune of Ziano Piacentino and the hilly areas of 16 nearby communes.

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Ortrugo is a white Italian winegrape variety that is grown in the Piacenza hills of the Emilia-Romagna region of north central Italy. Here the grape is often blended with Malvasia in the DOC white wines of the area. According to wine expert Oz Clarke, the grape has moderate acidity with high alcohol potential and often contributes a deep yellow color to the wine. In some regions the grape is used in slightly sparklingfrizzante and fully sparkling spumante wines.[2]

DOC wines

Ortrugo is widely grown throughout the Colli Piacentini region in Emilia-Romagna.

Ortrugo is a permitted variety in the Denominazione di origine controllata wines of the Colli Piacentini DOC covering more than 3,600hectares (9,000 acres) in the hilly Piacenza region. Here the grape can be made a varietal wine providing it makes up at least 85% of the wine with other local white varieties permitted to fill in the remainder. Grapes destined for this DOC wine must be harvested to a yield no greater than 11 tonnes/hectare with the finished wine needing to attain a minimum alcohol level of at least 10.5% It can also account for 20-35% of the DOC white wine Monterosso Val d’Arda along with Trebbiano Romagnolo with Malvasia di Candia Aromatica accounting for 35-50% of the blend, Moscato Bianco filling in 10-30% and Bervedino and Sauvignon blanc permitted to be used up to a maximum of 20%. These grapes are limited to a harvest yield of 9 tonnes/ha with a minimum alcohol level of 11%.[3]

Ortrugo is used in a similar way in the DOC Val Nure wine at 20-35% of the blend with Malvasia accounting for 30-50% of the blend, Trebbiano at 20-35% ad other local white grape varieties permitted up to a 15%. Like Monterosso Val d’Arda the grapes must be harvested to yields no greater than 9 tonnes/ha with the finished wine needing a minimum alcohol level of 11%. For Trebbiano Val Trebbia Ortrugo will represent 35-50% of the blend with Malvasia and Moscato accounting for 10-30%, Trebbiano and Sauvignon blanc filling in 15-30% and other local white grape varieties permitted up to a maximum of 15%. This wine can also be made in a sparkling Spumante style. Grapes are limited to yields of 10 tonnes/ha with a minimum alcohol level of 11%.[3]


Over the years Ortrugo has been known under a variety of synonyms including Altrughe, Altrugo, Altrugo de Rovescala, Altrugo de Rovalesca, Artrugo, Barbasina, Barbesina, Barbesino, Barbesino bianco, Barbsin agglomerato, Barbsin bianco, Ortrugo de Rovescala, Trebbiano di Tortona, Vernasino bianco and Vernesina.[4]


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