Cortese is most widely associated with the DOCG wine Cortese di Gavi produced in the Gavi region of Alessandria. There are significant plantings of the grape throughout southeastern Piedmont including the DOC wine producing areas of Colli Tortonesi and Cortese dell’Alto Monferrato located a few miles to the west of Gavi and of Monferrato Casalese Cortese which extends to the Basso Monferrato north of the Tanaro. Despite the proximity to Gavi, Cortese experiences a significantly difficult time of the grapes fully ripening in Tortona and Monferrato. Piemonte Cortese DOC can be made in the Province of Cuneo to the west, and Alessandria and Asti.
Outside of Piedmont the grape can be found in significant quantities in the Oltrepò Pavese, part of the Province of Pavia in Lombardy which borders the Province of Alessandria. Further east, Garda Cortese DOC is produced in the hills near Lake Garda (provinces of Brescia and Mantova in Lombardy, and the province of Verona in the Veneto). The grape may also be used as part of the blend for the Bianco di Custoza DOC, also near Lake Garda in the Province of Verona. As of 2000, there were 7,800 acres (3,200 ha) of Cortese planted throughout Italy.