Gavi is a white wine appellation in the Piedmont region of Italy. Gavi is made 100% from Cortese grapes and is sometimes called Cortese di Gavi. It is named after the commune of Gavi in the center of the appellation, and wines from the commune itself can be labeled Gavi di Gavi. The Gavi appellation was given DOC status in 1975, and DOCG – the top of the Italian pyramid – in 1998. It is often considered the Piedmont’s premier white wine.
Cortese is native to the Piedmont and tends to make wines with delicate floral aromas and crisp flavors such as lime and pear, with high acidity. Gavi is usually made without the use of oak. It’s a delicate and easy drinking wine that is not meant for aging. Gavi is hugely popular in seafood restaurants in Genoa – its biggest customer. Fresh seafood is the classic pairing, although it also pairs nicely with fresh cheese, and it makes a great “patio sipper” as well.
Most Gavis are still wines, but the appellation rules also allow sparkling wines. Both the Traditional Method and the Cremat Method can be used to make Sparkling Gavi. Gavi sparklers have a large range of styles from light bubblies reminiscent of Prosecco, to complex Champagne-like wines.