Barbaresco is one of the most famous wines in Italy and in the world: together with Barolo it is the main red of the Langhe made of Nebbiolo grapes.

Elegance is the trademark of Barbaresco. It is a noble and austere red, especially in its Riserva version, boasting a remarkable longevity. Single vineyards have been identified over the last few years, veritable crus which bring Barbaresco to life with unique organoleptic properties.

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Production area

The production area includes the entire lands of the Municipalities Barbaresco, Treiso, Neive and part of the Alba Municipality.

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History

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).

Barbaresco DOCG Barbaresco DOCG Barbaresco DOCG

Characteristics

Barbaresco is obtained exclusively from Nebbiolo and presents itself with an intense, bright color ranging from crimson to ruby red, and a stimulating bouquet of aromas that are fruity yet ethereal, redolent of raspberry and red fruit preserve, geranium and violet, as well as green pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, hay, wood, toasted hazelnut, vanilla and even aniseed. It must age for at least two years, one of which in oakwood, and four years to be labeled “Reserve”.

It achieves its finest between 5 and 10 years but it can also be very long-lived. Both traditional and other products characterized by a more international interpretation are present on the market, aged in small barriques. The production area includes the entire lands of the Municipalities Barbaresco, Treiso, Neive and part of the Alba Municipality. It is made by small wine producers, prestigious cooperatives and world-renowned companies of excellence. Most wines bearing this denomination are available for tasting at the Regional Winehouse in Barbaresco.

Throughout the year the Winehouse organizes promotional gastronomic events; the phone number and email can be found on the Local Networks page of this publication. In collaboration with the Winehouse and the Cuneo province, the Consortium has delimited the borders of areas which use additional geographic mentions (Menzioni geografiche Aggiuntive). The term “Cru” may also be used, although not entirely accurate insofar as it originates from different historic-economic situations.

Mentions do not express a ranking of prestige, rather they provide further information on origin which in some cases refers to the best hill positions, or simply the names of Farmsteads, Vineyards and Localities. They provide extensive and meticulous information which is available to the public in print or on the consortium’s website.

 

TYPE GRAPE VARIETY (AMPLEOGRAPHIC BASE) MAXIMUM PERMITTED OUTPUT MINIMUM AGEING RELEASE FOR CONSUMPTION MINIMUM ALCOHOL CONTENT (min. alcoholic strength by volume)
Grape yield kg/ha Wine yield l/ha
Barbaresco* Nebbiolo 8000 5440 26 months, of which 9 in wood 1st January of third year after harvest 12% vol.
Barbaresco Riserva* 8000 5440 50 months, of which 9 in wood 1st January of fifth year after harvest

*The addition of additional geographic mention (subarea) is possible as long as it is included in the specification; in addition to the subarea, mentioning the vineyard and yield per hectare it is reduced to 7200 Kg and min. natural alcohol increases by 0.5%.

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