Grape Of The Week: Nebbiolo
One of Italy’s most quintessential grapes, Nebbiolo is an ancient grape, whose name means ‘little foggy one,’ a reflection of the fog that surrounds the mountains in its home region. With thick skin that makes it ideal for aging, Nebbiolo produces rich, medium-bodied wines, with dry tannins and balanced acidity giving it a lovely structure. Notes of cherry, rose, leather, anise, and clay tantalize the palate, making Nebbiolo the perfect accompaniment with butternut squash ravioli, cream-based dishes, and roasted lamb.
With Piedmont accounting for a little over 50 percent of the hectares dedicated to Nebbiolo in Italy, Barolo and Barbaresco are the most well-known Nebbiolo-based wines. A pale garnet in color, Barolos tend to be fuller-bodied and fruity, with common descriptor notes of tar and roses. Barolos are aged for a total of three years, with 18 months spent in oak barrels, and can vary in notes based on their soil type: limestone or sandstone. On the other hand, Barbaresco wines are aged for 26 months, with nine months spent in the barrel. Grown in limestone soil, Barbaresco wines are less earthy and tannic, offering more red fruit notes. An Italian gem, Nebbiolo is also produced in various other wine countries like the United States, Chile, Argentina, South Africa and New Zealand.
Ready to explore? Here are some of our fave Nebbiolo wines: