The origins of this aristocratic wine delve back into legends of various origins: some say the Gauls came to Italy because they were attracted by the excellent quality wine of Barbaritium, whereas others believe the name Barbaresco alludes to the barbarian populations which caused the fall of the Roman Empire.
In ancient times, the place where the hamlet of Barbaresco now stands was covered by an impenetrable forest which enabled the Ligurians to elude the Ancient Roman cavalry. Beyond the borders of its dominion, the Ancient Romans named this land barbarica silva, giving rise to the ancient toponym Barbaritium which evolved into what is now known as Barbaresco.
Prof. Domizio Cavazza, the first president of the Royal Oenological School of Alba, was one of the first to describe this wine (already renowned for some time) in the same period as when Cavour, the marchioness Falletto and the Savoys first referred to Nebbiolo grown by the other part of the city of Alba as Barolo, namely in the mid nineteenth century. Since then it has always progressed hand in hand with its brother Barolo: demand for rules for its safeguarding culminated in the establishment of a Consortium in 1934. It went on to become one of Italy’s first Doc wines in 1966, achieving Docg status in 1980 (controlled and warranted designations of origin, with numerical verification of bottles and State Printing Office and Mint label affixed to the neck of the bottle).