The Barbera Grape Variety

Barbera is a historic grape variety from Piemonte (Italy) and the most extensively cultivated. There is no indication of where the grape originated; however, the hills of Monferrato are often regarded as its native home. Although there are texts that reportedly relate to the Barbera grape variety dating back to the early 16th century, the first reliable mention of Barbera is from the 18th century. Some say that Barbera’s lack of affinity with other Piemontese grape varieties, as well as the absence of earlier historical documents, suggest that it originated elsewhere. There is currently no scientific response to this question.

Barbera gained popularity following the phylloxera crisis, when producers were focused on productivity and flexibility, which are essential characteristics of this grape variety. However, it has additional benefits as well. For example, it is a late-ripening grape variety that keeps a surprising amount of acidity even when completely ripe. This grape variety is known for its strong acidity, deep color, brilliant red cherry fruit tastes, and minimal tannins.

Traditional Barbera made wines produced in Piemonte are straightforward, refreshing, and fruity. They are particularly food-friendly and rivals with Dolcetto as Piemonte’s most popular everyday wine.

However, since the 1980s, the Barbera has undergone a dramatic shift. Lower yields, picked fruit that is completely ripe (or perhaps overripe), and the use of modest new oak barrels have transformed this rather ordinary wine into a magnificent wine with some aging potential.

Barbera has a remarkable affinity with oak, particularly new oak barriques. The wood adds tannins that Barbera lacks naturally, reduces its intense acidity, and improves the wine’s overall structure and balance. The flavors and scents of toast and vanilla associated with oak aging complement the grape variety’s predominant qualities. It also makes the wines rounder, softer, and more complex, as well as allow them to be aged in the bottle for a period of time.

However, it is to be noted that Barbera has less ageing potential than Nebbiolo.

Naturally, some wine estates continue to choose the traditional huge neutral oak casks, while others prefer stainless steel. Some even use a combination of aging methods. All of these possibilities produce a diverse spectrum of styles.

Follow me on my Social Media

Wine is a gourmet treasure, do not abuse alcohol!

None of this content has been sponsored

I did not receive any gifts or free samples that could be related to this article