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NebbioloNebbiolo is a red grape indigenous to the Piedmont region of Italy in the Northwest. The grape can also be found in other parts of the world, though they are not as respected.
Nebbiolo is often considered the "king of red wines," as it is the grape of the famed wines of Barolo DOCG, Barbaresco DOCG, and Roero DOCG. It is known for high tannins and acidity, but with a distinct finesse. When grown on clay, Nebbiolo can be very powerful, tannic, and require long aging periods to reach its full potential. When grown on sand, the grape exhibits a more approachable body with more elegant fruit and less tannins, but still has high aging potential.
"Nebbiolo" is named for the Italian word, "nebbia", which means "fog", in Italian and rightfully so since there is generally a lot of fog in the foothills of Piedmont during harvest.
Nebbiolo is a late-ripening variety that does best in a continental climate that boasts moderate summers and long autumns. In Piedmont, Nebbiolo is normally harvested in October.
Varietal character (Appellation America) | Nebbiolo on CellarTracker
Italy Italian Wines (ItalianMade.com, The Italian Trade Commission) | Italian Wine Guide on the WineDoctor
Piedmont Vignaioli Piemontesi (Italian only)
Langhe Consorzio di Tutela Barolo Barbaresco Alba Langhe e Roero | Union of Producers of Albese Wines (Albeisa)
The wines of Piedmont are noted as far back as Pliny's Natural History. Due to geographic and political isolation, Piedmont was without a natural port for most of its history, which made exportation treacherous and expensive. This left the Piedmontese with little incentive to expand production. Sixteenth-century records show a mere 14% of the Bassa Langa under vine -- most of that low-lying and farmed polyculturally. In the nineteenth century the Marchesa Falletti, a frenchwoman by birth, brought eonologist Louis Oudart from Champagne to create the first dry wines in Piemonte. Along with work in experimental vineyards at Castello Grinzane conducted by Camilo Cavour -- later Conte di Cavour, leader of the Risorgimento and first Prime Minister of Italy -- this was the birth of modern wine in the Piedmont. At the heart of the region and her reputation are Alba and the Langhe Hills. This series of weathered outcroppings south of the Tanaro River is of maritime origin and composed mainly of limestone, sand and clay, known as terra bianca. In these soils -located mainly around the towns of Barolo and Barbaresco -- the ancient allobrogica, now Nebbiolo, achieves its renowned fineness and power.