A variety of wine grape which grows well in the north of the country and which produces crisp, light wines. Although this variety is extremely ancient, documentary evidence of its existence goes back only several centuries. The first fairly detailed account of the Cortese variety is provided by the ampelography of Piedmontese grapes compiled by Count Nuvolone, deputy director of the Agrarian Society of Turin, in 1798. The Count wrote that the Cortese variety "has rather elongated clusters and somewhat large grapes. When they are ripe, they become yellow and are good to eat. They make good wine and in substantial quantity. And it keeps well.'' Other sources have cited production since the end of the 19th century in various parts of the region, including "old Piedmont.'' And the variety has been widely praised for its purity as well as its output. Today, cultivation of Cortese, which is highly resistant, is especially intensive in the area bounded by the Bormida and Scrivia rivers in the province of Alessandria. Its grapes yield the most important of Piedmont's dry white wines.