Nebbiolo Guide


Nebbiolo is an Italian variety that is used to produce the legendary Piedmontese wines, Barolo and Barbaresco.

Its name come from the word «nebbia» which means fog, because Nebbiolo is wildly planted in the foggy region of Piedmont. Furthermore, the harvest of Nebbiolo happens during the foggy autumns. It is a difficult grape to grow because its thin skin make it more susceptible to disease. With its early flowering and late ripening, the variety needs a long sunny season to concentrate in the fruit high levels of sugar, acidity and tannins.

Winemakers have to harvest the grape when these three components are enough ripped and well balanced. Moreover, Nebbiolo does not resist well during harsh springs and autumns. Its strength which is too its weakness is its sensitivity to terroir. The grape needs sun-facing sheltered vineyards on well-drained limestone soils to blossom and reveal its best characteristics. This low-yielding variety produces sought after wines because it expresses all the characters of the terroir.

Nebbiolo Caracteristics

Nebbiolo produces a full-bodied spicy wine, which pack a punch thanks to its intense tannins, revealing on the palate bright aromas of red fruits, violet and rose. With age, it can develop notes of tar and truffle.

In Piedmont, the long maturation process is used to make elegant and exceptional wines. During the harvest, the grape has an intense pigmentation but with time, the color changes from ruby to orange tones.

Where to find the best Nebbiolo wines

Nebbiolo is deeply associated with the wine region of Piedmont in Northern Italy. It is the most important variety used to make Barolo and Barbaresco, the most prestigious wines from Piedmont. These extraordinary wines have a beautiful bouquet of flavors, with the dominant fragrances of rose, violet, truffle and tar. The best ones can age very well for a few decades.

In this region, Nebbiolo is used in the production of other great wines like the DOC Langhe wines or the DOC Nebbiolo d'Alba.

The variety is also planted in Lombardy. Called in this region Chiavennasca, it produces red wines less strong but more acid than the Piedmont’s production.

The Langhe wines from Gaja and G.D. Vajra, Gaja's Barbaresco and the Barolo wines from Marcarini, Massolino and G.D. Vajra are among the best piedmont’s production.