North-West Italy - Varieties, denominations and winemaking - Barbera

3 important questions on North-West Italy - Varieties, denominations and winemaking - Barbera

Barbera covers 3x more vineyard than Nebbiolo, what are the differences?

  • Most grown variety in Piemonte
  • Also in other areas in Italy
  • Area Monferrato for Asti and Alba towns
  • Best quality from Asti and subzone DOCG Nizza
  • Less sensitive
  • High in acidity but low in tannins
  • Can be of high quality (best sites reserved for Nebbiolo)

What are the characteristics of Barbera?

  • Black variety
  • Early budding (spring frost)
  • Vigorous
  • Disease resistant
  • High yields
  • High in acidity, low in tannins
  • Early drinking wines; ruby colour, black pepper, now new oak, medium tannins/alcohol.

In which DOC(G)s will you find the Barbera grape variety?

  • Barbera d'Alba (max 15% nebbiolo)
  • Barbera d'Asti:
    • min 4 months ageing
    • min 90% barbera
    • min 11,5% abv
    • Superiore: 12,5% abv, 1 year ageing (6 in oak), ageing potential 10-20 years
  • DOCG Nizza (min 18 months ageing, 6 in oak)
  • DOC Piemonte

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