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The white grape variety originates from Italy. Synonyms are Bianchetta, Bianchetta d'Alba, Bianchetta di Alba, Bianchetto, Bianchetto Albese, Bianchetto d'Alba, Bianchetto di Verzuolo and Nebbiolo Bianco (but there is no genetic relationship to the red variety Nebbiolo). The name means "little difficult one" and in the Piedmontese dialect refers to a person with a grumpy, unreliable and irascible character (however, this has no connection with the characteristics of Arneis). The variety was possibly mentioned as early as 1432 under the name Ranaysii in the province of Torino in Piedmont. However, it was only named Arneis in 1877 by the ampelographer Giuseppe di Rovasenda (1824-1913). In the past, it was mainly used to make sweet passito or as a softening blend for dark Nebbiolo red wines, which also explains the synonym Nebbiolo Bianco. The medium-maturing, low-yielding vine is resistant to downy mildew, but susceptible to powdery mildew. It produces exotically fragrant, full-bodied white wines with aromas of white flowers, apple, pear and hazelnut. It is also known as "Barolo Bianco".

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