Most Dolcetto is found in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy, where many of the top estates produce Dolcetto on less favored sites as an “early to market wine” to generate some income for the winery while the Nebbiolo and Barbera are being matured. It is particularly associated with the towns of Dogliani and Diano d’Alba in the province of Cuneo, although the greatest volumes come from around Alba and Ovada. The grape is also found in Liguria under the name Ormeasco, and in the Oltrepò Pavese where it is called Nebbiolo or Nibièu.
All but one of the 100% Dolcetto DOCs have two levels, the “standard” version typically requiring a minimum 11.5% ABV, the Superiore 12.5%. They are Dolcetto di Dogliani (DOCG since 2005), Dolcetto d’Acqui, Dolcetto d’Alba, Dolcetto d’Asti, Dolcetto delle Langhe Monregalesi, Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba, Dolcetto d’Ovada and Langhe Dolcetto (no Superiore). Riviera Ligure di Ponente Ormeasco requires >95% Dolcetto/Ormeasco; Colli Tortonesi Dolcetto, Monferrato Dolcetto and Pineronese Dolcetto a minimum of 85%, and Valsusa a minimum of 60%. Golfo Del Tigullio requires 20-70%, while Lago di Corbara and Rosso Orvietano can contain up to 20% Dolcetto.