The first quote of Dolcetto, identified by Nada Patrone, dates back to 1593 (Comba, 1990). The quote precisely refers to “Dozzetti” and is related to the prohibition of harvesting hasten in the area of Dogliani, in the Piedmontese Langhe. So, if someone wanted to harvest Dolcetto, he should have asked an official permission. From this short hint, the early grape ripening of Dolcetto, harvested before most of the other grapes, can easily been presumed. Indeed, the local vernacular name (Duset or Dosset, becoming Dolcetto in Italian), precisely refers to the high sugar content and to the moderate acidity of the grapes, among the first traditional black to be harvested in Piedmont. Nuvolone (1798), in his famous “instruction” on grapevine cultivation in Piedmont, listed Dolcetto among the 16 black grapes of first quality. He also claimed Dolcetto giving a wine “resulting very sweet (i.e. soft)”, highly improving the one from other grapes like Zanello and Freisa. Count Gallesio (1817-39) appreciated Dolcetto either for vine fertility and adaptability to different cultural environments, either for its oenological outcomes. In his times Dolcetto was already much spread in southern Piedmont , from Saluce to the Apennines’ valleys, and in the Ligurian hinterland. Historical synonyms are Ormeasco, from the village of Ormea in the higher valle Arroscia, Uva di Monferrato in the area of Genoa, and Nebbiolo in south-eastern Piedmont. The last name, according to Gallesio, “was at the beginning a fraud of wine merchants, who intended improve Dolcetto’s wine reputation”.
Count Gallesio also gave the first Dolcetto’s ampelographic description, combined with the beautiful and alike bunch and leaf plate, painted by Bianca Milesi Mojon. A second, technical and detailed description was published by Dalmasso et al. (1962), who listed also other synonyms resulted later wrong, like Piedirosso, Refosco, Primitivo and Douce noire, the last one already rightly denied by Mas e Pulliat (1874-75).