Gavi is the signature white wine of the Cortese di Gavi region in the province of Alessandria in southeast Piedmont. It has a documented history going back to the 1600's. So it has a pedigree. Piedmont in northwest Italy is the finest wine production region of the country. Gavi is the finest white of Piedmont.
Like all Italian whites, Gavi is seafood wine. It is sourced forty miles from the Mediterranean coast. That forty mile buffer distance is covered by the province of Liguria where a fruitier style white wine is made. The Cortese grape of Gavi fame is also grown with less renown in other regions of Piedmont and can be purchased at a better price than Gavi. But it's a different wine. The Gavi is fruitier and its makeup is said to reflect the Ligurian influence.
Cortese is an indigenous grape of the Gavi region and is the sole variety allowed in the wine. Gavi is a town also and it is ground zero for the 4,000+ acres where the wine is sourced. If a wine is sourced entirely within the Gavi township it may be labeled Gavi di Gavi.
The Cortese di Gavi wine appellation earned its DOC (Denominacione di Origine Controllata) legal status in 1974. In 1998 it received the highest legal wine classification, the DOCG. The G is significant. It means everything about the production and quality of the wine is guaranteed. The wine must be 100% Cortese with yield limits and ripeness guarantees. The wine must be made using traditional methods before each bottle is affixed with a numbered paper seal to prevent counterfeiting.
This wine is bone dry in character. It is crisp and flinty on the palate with fresh acidity. The Cortese grape thrives in the mineral rich soils of the region accounting for much of the description above. Gavi has a floral bouquet accented by delicate lemon. Fruit flavors include green apple and honeydew with almonds on the finish.