Cortese is a white Italian wine grape variety predominantly grown in the southeastern regions of Piedmont in the provinces of Alessandria and Asti. It is the primary grape of the Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) wines of Cortese dell'Alto Monferrato and Colli Tortonesi as well as the Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) wine of Cortese di Gavi. Significant plantings of Cortese can also be found in the Lombardy region of Oltrepò Pavese and in the DOC white blends of the Veneto wine region of Bianco di Custoza.
Cortese has a long history in Italian viticulture with written documentation naming the grape among the plantings in a Piedmontese vineyard as early as 1659. The grape's moderate acidity and light flavors has made it a favorite for the restaurants in nearby Genoa as a wine pairing with the local seafood caught off the Ligurian coast.
Cortese grown outside of its native region is unheard of, which is why we applaud the Lost Valley Winery in Victoria for planting the world's only Cortese vines outside of Europe! We should reward Alex White and Co. for bringing this to Australia.