Alto Piemonte – please try harder


One of Italy's most sought-after wine regions is, tantalisingly, yet to reach its full potential. 

April saw the presentation of the latest vintages from Alto Piemonte in Novara, a pretty town surrounded by eerily quiet rice fields and abandoned factories. The economic hardship this region has faced since the Second World War was only briefly interrupted by industrialisation from the late 1950s on, diverting labourers from the fields to the burgeoning car industry in Turin and Milan. The rice fields, for which Novara is known, are large scale and nowadays labour extensive, with many left neglected. Demand for organically grown rice...