Barbera Wine Information

Ruby color Barbera  Barbera is actually a dark-skinned red grape variety located in numerous Italian wine regions, which includes its native Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, Campania, Puglia as well as the island regions, Sardinia and Sicily. At the turn of the century it was the nation's third most commonly planted red wine grape, after Sangiovese and Montepulciano. Barbera grapes are used in both blended wines and varietals - with the latter becoming increasingly prevalent as Italy continues to raise its varietal labeling.

In general, when people discuss a Barbera wine they are usually talking about one of the three DOCG wines produced in the Piedmont region in Italy: Barbera d' Alba, Barbera d' Asti or Barbera del Monferrato. These wines are primarily produced from the Barbera grape. The Barbera grape has traveled extensively in the past two hundred years, ending up in Argentina, Australia and California, probably following Italian migration patterns. It has readily adapted to these new environments, and is now {responsible for|accountable for} the production of extremely high quality wines in each of these nations.

Barbera History

Barbera is believed to have originated within the hills of Monferrato in central Piemonte, Italy in the 13th century, having been mentioned in documents from the cathedral of Casale Monferrato (1246-1277), which detail leasing agreements of vineyards planted with Barbera vines. In the 19th and 20th century, with a huge increase in immigration, waves of Italian immigrants transported Barbera with them to their new countries, where the vines took root in places like Australia, Argentina and California within the United states.

In 1985, the Piedmont region was rocked by scandal. Barbera producers were illegally adding methanol to their wines, this resulted in the deaths of over 30 people and caused many more to lose their sight. The bad press and publicity saw a steady decline in Barbera sales and plantings in Italy.

Barbera Regions

Barbera is to be found mostly in Italy especially in the region of Piedmont though it is also to be found in Central and Southern Italy. There are significant plantings in California especially in the Central and Napa Valleys and it is also to be found in Argentina, Brazil, Dalmatia, Uruaguay and Australia.

In Australia, there are not significant amounts of Barbera grapes planted, though it has been grown in the Mudgee region of New South Wales for approximately 25 years. More recently it has been planted in the King Valley and the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.

Barbera Tasting Notes

bunch of Barbera Grapes The juice produced from Barbera grapes has a fantastic deep ruby color, and typically contains high levels of tannins and acid.They tend to be medium bodied, with a fruity, floral nose. Flavors of raspberry, black current and spice are commonly found with these wines. While the wine produced is usually drunk early it will also mature with age. Barbera is used in Italy to create dry red wines as well as sweet and sparkling reds. Similar techniques of wine making are used in all the regions in Italy in which it is cultivated and as a result of this there is a consistant style and taste. Wines produced using these grapes pair well with Italian foods such as pizza or pasta with a tomato based sauce.