Author: Sarah Martin
Dating back to the days of the Roman Empire, the Nebbiolo grape is one of the primary grapes harvested in the vineyards of the Piedmont region of Italy. Records show that it was used in making the wines enjoyed by those at the Castle of Rovoli in the 13th century. Currently, it is one of the main grapes used in the production of Barbaresco and Barolo wines, yet it makes up about 3% of all wines produced in the Piedmont area.
Nebbiolo is considered one of the best varieties of fine Italian wines, along with Dolcetto and Tempranillo. It is dark and has a more tannic flavor than most other wines, but it is long-lasting and prized by wine collectors and connoisseurs. The Italian wineries that produce this wine are very protective of the grapes, and the vines and very few cuttings have made their way to other parts of the world.
The only other region outside the Piedmont where these grapes are widely grown is that of the Lombardy region of Lake Como at the foot of the Northern Alps. The grapes are planted though, in other parts of the world, the wines produced do not match Italy’s same high quality.
The reason that Nebbiolo is not a widely grown grape is that it requires a lot of attention. Climate and soil are significant, and even when the right combination of these is present, there can still be a wide variety in the grapes, affecting the type of wine they produce. A wide range of tannic quality, taste, and flavor from the wines made from grapes grown in the exact general location.
Nebbiolo grapes ripen later in the year than other varieties and need to have a lot of exposure to the sun. They will not grow as well in sandy soil as they will in cancerous. The skins of this grape are very tough, which does make them very hardy and able to resist mold and pests.
The first leaves start to appear on the vines in April, but it not until June that they begin to bloom. Therefore, the grapes are not harvested until late October. The fog that develops in the valleys is perfect for the growth of the grapes because it provides the vines with much of the moisture that they need.
There are several different flavors of Nebbiolo wine that depend on the barrels used for aging the wine. Some of the wines have an herbal flavor and aroma of truffles and earth. Wines aged in oak barrels have a fruity aroma and taste of smoke, oak, toast, and vanilla. When allowed to age in the bottle, you will have a spicy aroma and flavor of leather, licorice, and anise. Cherry, violets, and roses are typical scents you will get from these wines.
As a rule, Nebbiolo wines are dark red wines and have a high level of alcohol. They are bitter but have a rich aftertaste. These wines go well with strong-flavored meats and stews and strong cheeses that may overpower the taste of other lighter wines. They must be allowed to age for many years before they are suitable for drinking because of the high tannic quality of the young wine.
About the author:
Sarah Martin is a freelance marketing writer based out of San Diego, CA. She specializes in international travel, cuisine, and fine Italian wine varietals, such as Nebbiolo and Dolcetto. For a wide selection of delicious varietals, please visit https://www.wineaccess.com.