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Italian wine and grape guide : Barbera

Barbera

The Barbera is a red grape variety widely found in Piedmont, Lombardy and in various other regions, mainly central Italy, and its cultivation has widely expanded over the years, making barbera the most planted varietal in Piedmont and together with the Sangiovese, the mostly planted in Italy. Barbera is an easy grape to grow, and outside Piedmont, it is often used in blends due to its high level of acidity.

Initially, the Barbera was considered an average grape, it was the everyday wine in Piedmont, always considered inferior to Nebbiolo wines, but over time, thanks to forward thinking wine makers and the use of wood ageing, its reputation has grown and has become appreciated, producing excellent wines. The Barbera grape is used in many wines, the most important, and made only with Barbera grape, are the Barbera D’Alba, from grapes grown in vineyards located in and around the town of Alba, and Barbera D’Asti, from Asti, each one with different characteristics due to their different terroir.

Barbera d’Alba enjoys a better reputation, however, there are producers that with the use of wood, have showed that Barbera D’Asti can produce great wines.