The hills extending from Novara and Vercelli westward toward the Alps, which are dominated at the point of juncture by Monte Rosa, represent a Piedmontese wine-producing area of special interest. The area accounts for many of the region's most prestigious DOC wines. However, each type is made in relatively limited quantities. The nature of the terrain makes the district an excellent habitat for Nebbiolo, an extremely important variety with a personality that is quintessentially Piedmontese. And it is the source of many truly outstanding red wines.

Gattinara, which received its DOC in 1967, is uncontestably one of the most famous of the group. It is probable that the wine's name is derived from "Catuli Ara" or the Altar of Catullus. For it seems that the town of Gattinara was built on the site where the Proconsul Catullus dedicated the spoils won from the Cimbrian Gauls during a war in the area in 101 BC. Recent archaeological discoveries show that wine has been produced in the district since the time of the Romans. And that antiquity is further confirmed in a document in the archives of the Archdiocese of Vercelli attesting to the cultivation of vines on the hills around the town at least since the reign of Charlemagne.

The wine must have been good since the Marquess of Gattinara, chancellor of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and a lover of the wine of his birthplace, presented it to the royal court of Spain. The wine of Gattinara is, in fact, linked with the name of that famous diplomat, who was an enthusiastic connoisseur and indefatigable taster and who helped to establish its reputation by supplying it to those with whom he was negotiating.

Max. 7500 kg of grapes are allowed per hectare.

The production area is strictly within the Commune of Gattinara.
  • Grapes: Blend of grapes: Min. 90% Nebbiolo (locally known as Spanna), max 10% Vespolina and/or Bonarra.
  • Colour: Deep and intense garnet red colour.
  • Bouquet: Violets and spices like cinnamon.
  • Flavour: full-bodied with good structure. Elegant and balanced with persistent taste.
  • Aging: Minimum 3 years of which 1 in oak barrels (Riserva 4 years, min 2 in oak)
  • Alcohol: Minimum 12% (12,5% Riserva), often 13-14%
  • Best served with: Meat dishes and aged cheese
  • Serving temperature: 18-20 C opening the bottle in advance.