LIGHT AND CASTLESThe landscape of Gavi is steeped in a very special light. It’s the light of the Cortese grape variety, whose “blonde plumage” and golden grapes give rise to Gavi DOCG, the area’s most exquisite wine. But it’s also the particular ambience which here, more than anywhere else, feels the benign influence of the sea.
The Gavi area has historically been more Ligurian than Piedmontese. Pro¬of of this is the imposing castle of Gavi: originally Roman, and turned by the Genoese in the late 16th-and early 17th -century into a fortress to defend the roads leading from the seaports to the Po Valley.
Like all “in-between” lands, Gavi has retained its somewhat wild, untamed nature. The nearby Val Curo¬ne and Capanne di Marcarolo Nature Park, for instance, are natural areas of Apennine beauty, somewhere between hill and mountain, sea and hinterland. But the scenery of the Oltregiogo - as this region was once called - is dominated by castles, the remains of dozens of feudal settlements which each took its share of the abundant natural resources: woods, streams, vineyards and fields to be culti¬vated. The soils are alluvial in character, a mixture of clay, gravel, sandstone and white marl, which give Gavi its fresh mi¬neral notes.