The great Italian wine par excellence is obtained exclusively from Nebbiolo grapes.

It originates from the heart of the Langa hills, a few kilometers from the city of Alba, in an area consisting of 11 municipalities characterized by suggestive hilly landscapes, chiseled by the expert hand of mankind and guarded by imposing Medieval castles. What has since become a world-acclaimed wine is named after none other than Barolo castle.

product background

Production area

La Morra, Monforte, Serralunga d’Alba (with its military fortress towering amidst the hills), Castiglio Falletto (the round tower belongs to what is still a privately owned manor), Novello and Grinzane Cavour are all central municipalities of the Barolo area. Parts of Verduno, Diano d’Alba, Cherasco and Roddi (with its castle currently under restoration) are also included in the area.

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History

Barolo was created thanks to the determination of Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour, and Giulia Colbert Falletti, the last marchioness of Barolo. This exceptionally rich and harmonious wine was first produced in the mid nineteenth century and rose to become the ambassador of Savoy Piedmont in all European courts.

Together with Barbaresco it experienced all the promotional milestones of the 20th century, from the “Pro-Barolo” association to the foundation of the Consortium for the obtainment of Doc and Docg and the introduction of the Control Plan for Certification requested by the European Union in 2005. The last important initiative to benefit Barolo was its delimitation and formalization in the Menzioni Geografiche Aggiuntive (additional geographic mentions) product specification in 2009, two years after Barbaresco.

This does not constitute an interpretation of the prestigiousness of “Crus” (which takes place elsewhere), rather it serves the purpose of regulating the countless names of localities used in the label. With the fundamental help of Municipalities, the Consortium overcame numerous situations of uncertainty and controversy to establish a milestone for any future evolutions. Structure is what makes Barolo so important: it expresses a complex and enveloping bouquet, capable of developing over time without losing its alluring organoleptic characteristics.

Barolo DOCG Barolo DOCG Barolo DOCG

Characteristics

The “king of wines, the wine of kings” emerged from the close ties between the intrinsic qualities of wine and noble 19th century tastes. It is full and intense ruby red in color, with an aroma that is both fruity and spicy. Its aroma and flavor carry notes which are redolent of small red fruits, cherries in spirit and preserve, along with hints of wilted rose and violet, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg, vanilla and sometimes even liquorice, cocoa, tobacco and leather. It must age for at least 3 years, one and a half of which in oakwood, and at least 5 years to be labeled “Reserve”.

As with Barbaresco, some are more traditional and some are more international, with different use of small barriques. Differences are waning as production gravitates towards a sober balance. Slight differences still make Barolo a concert of superior quality voices.

Already pleasant after 4-6 years, it culminates after 10 years of aging and remains excellent even after 20 or more years. Obviously this all depends on the vintage, which can be perfect or unlucky, as was notoriously the case in 1977, when the decision was made not to produce Barolo, or 2002, when rain and hail put serious pressure on the experience of wine makers.

There are numerous opportunities for savoring Barolo in its native land: the “Strada del Barolo” is a route lining several producers; Botteghe Comunali in Serralunga, Diano d’Alba, Castiglion Falletto; the Municipal Cellar of La Morra, the Grinzane Cavour Winehouse (with its central panorama of the area) and the Barolo Winehouse which will soon be home to a Wine Museum of immense value. Other locations, including private properties, are dotted throughout the Municipalities; vineyards are also increasingly welcoming visitors. This is why the Piemonte On Wine service has been created, described in the Local Networks chapter.

 

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
Barolo* Nebbiolo 8000 5440 38 months, of which 18 in wood 1st January of fourth year after harvest 12.5% vol.
Barolo Riserva* 8000 5440

62 months, of which 18 in wood

1st January of sixth year after harvest

*Flavoring is permitted in accordance with statutory regulations to obtain the Barolo Chinato denomination, as long as Barolo wine is used as the base, without the addition of musts or wines with the right to said appellation.
*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%.

Contact details

Consorzio di Tutela Barolo Barbaresco Alba Langhe e Dogliani

Corso Enotria, 2/C Ampelion – 12051 Alba (CN)

Tel. +39 0173 441074

website: www.langhevini.it

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