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Barbaresco

DOCG area for red wine in the Italian region of Piedmont. The vineyards extend over 500 hectares, divided into about the same number of plots. The zone includes the municipalities of Barbaresco (with more than 50%), Neive and Treiso, and Alba with the San Rocco Seno d'Elvio sub-area in the province of Cuneo. Additional possible geographical indications are Albesani, Asili, Ausario, Balluri, Basarin, Bernadot, Bordini, Bricco di Neive, Bricco di Treiso, Bric Micca, Cà Grossa, Canova, Cars, Casot, Castellizzano, Cavanna, Cole, Cottà, Currà, Faset, Fausoni, Ferrere, Gaia-Principe, Gallina, Garassino, Giacone, Giacosa, Manzola, Marcarini, Marcorino, Martinenga, Meruzzano, Montaribaldi, Montefico, Montersino, Montestefano, Muncagota, Nervo, Ovello, Pajé, Pajorè, Pora, Rabajà, Rabajà-Bas, Rio Sordo, Rivetti, Rizzi, Roccalini, Rocche Massalupo, Rombone, Roncaglie, Roncagliette, Ronchi, San Cristoforo, San Giuliano, San Stunet, Secondine, Serraboella, Serracapelli, Serragrilli, Starderi, Tre Stelle, Trifolera, Valeirano, Vallegrande and Vicenziana These may be mentioned on the label preceded by a vigna.

As with neighbouring Barolo, the French oenologist Louis Oudart assisted in the birth. The wine he produced in 1862 on the Castello di Neive estate, which he dry aged on the Nebbiolo grape, attracted international attention. At that time, however, the municipality of Neive did not yet belong to the Barbaresco region, it was only added in 1933. The first dry Barbaresco of this name was then pressed in Barbaresco in 1890 by the oenologist Domizzio Cavazza (director of the viticultural school in Alba). This can be regarded as the birth of the wine of today. From the 1960s onwards, the famous winemaker Angelo Gaja contributed most to the enormous increase in quality of Barbaresco.

The DOC classification took place in 1966, the recognition as DOCG in 1980. From the mid-1980s onwards, new techniques such as short fermentation times, shorter cask ageing times and barrique ageing were tested. The Barbaresco is pressed 100 percent pure from the Nebbiolo variety. It is very similar to Barolo and is also called the "little brother of Barolo" or "wine of the queen". The calcareous marl soil is also similar to the tortonic soil of the Barolo areas of La Morra and Barolo. However, due to the earlier ripening of the grapes caused by the climate, it is somewhat milder, less robust and rich in alcohol compared to Barolo and therefore has a shorter life span or storage life. But it is by no means lacking in tannin and acidity. The best age for Barbaresco is between five and ten years.

The Barbaresco must mature for 26 months, 9 months of which in wooden barrels, the Riserva for 50 months, 9 months of which in wooden barrels. Both wines must have a minimum alcohol content of 12.5% vol. About three million bottles are produced annually. Among the most famous producers are Piero Busso, Ca' del Baio, Cascina Luisin, Castello di Neive, Pio Cesare, Ceretto, Cigliuti, Giuseppe Cortese, Fontanabianca, Gaja, Giacosa Bruno, La Contea, Lano, La Spinetta, Marchesi di Gresy, Moccagatta, Montaribaldi, Fiorenzo Nada, Oddero, Giorgio Pelissero, Produttori del Barbaresco, Prunotto, Roagna, Rocca Albino, Bruno Rocca, Sottimano, Terrenostre and Veraldo The best vintages are 1982, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1997, 1998 and 2000.

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