The territory around the town of Gavi extends near the border between Liguria and Piemonte and links its millenary history to the city-state of Genoa, and it is still profoundly influenced by the neighbouring Liguria region. It is a predominantly hilly area where the combination of the Ligurian Sea breeze and the cooler winds blowing down from the Apennines make this corner of Piedmont unique of its kind. The climate is nearly Mediterranean and warmer than the neighbouring Langhe sub-region.
The strenght of La Smilla's production is the Cortese di Gavi or simply Gavi. Considered to be the white counterpart of Barolo, the Gavi, also known as the Great White of Piedmont, comes from an area with unique geological and environmental features. The Gavi DOCG appelation includes eleven municipalities in the Province of Alessandria including the town of Gavi that is located almost in the centre. The soils in the Gavi zone are limestone-rich clays, generally whiter and chalkier than the similarly limestone-rich soils of the Langhe sub-region. This translates into the typical chalky mineral taste of the Gavi which recalls the style of some whites from Burgundy such as the Chablis.
Located 20 km south the town of Gavi at 280 metres above sea level, near the Ligurian Apennines, La Smilla's vineyards are perfectly placed to produce exquisite Cortese grapes. Danilo Guido and his wine-making history is strictly linkedwith the history and traditions of the nearby Liguria region. He manages his vineyards planted on steep hills in a traditional way with limited use of machinery. The cellar is located in the centre of the village of Bosio and has maintained the characteristics of the past: the underground section of the cellar still houses some characteristic old concrete square-shaped barrels, while in the more modern section steel vats and French oak barrels can be found.