the Vines

02-12-2016

Barbera

Barbera is a dark-skinned wine grape variety found in several Italian wine regions, including its native Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, Puglia, Campania and even the island regions, Sicily and Sardinia. At the turn of the 21st Century, it was Italy's third most-commonly planted red wine grape, after Sangiovese and Montepulciano. Barbera grapes are used both in blended wines and varietals – the latter are becoming increasingly common as Italy continues its move towards varietal labeling. Being naturally high in acidity, Barbera can be grown in warmer climates without producing overblown, flat wines. Even warmer sites in Sonoma Valley and the Sierra Foothills of California have produced balanced Barbera-based wines. This acidity complements the cherry flavors found in typical Barbera wines and has contributed to the (largely justified) stereotype of Italian red wines as being ripe, bright and tangy rather than voluptuous and earthy.

When young, most Barbera wines have a bright-red cherry character, distinguished from Nebbiolo (which often overshadows Barbera) by softer tannins and a certain roundness. When matured in barrel and allowed to age in bottle for a few years, this turns to a denser, sour-cherry note. A warm, Merlot-like plumminess is also commonly detectable, although the variety is more closely related to Mourvedre than Merlot. When overheated, a Barbera vine will produce comparatively flat, dull wines with notes of baked prunes and raisins, while its trademark cherry flavors turn towards kirsch.

Barbera reaches its zenith in Piedmont (see Barbera d'Asti and Barbera d'Alba), where the vine performs best on well-drained, limestone-rich slopes with a warm southerly aspect.

02-12-2016

Grignolino

Grignolino ([ɡriɲɲoˈliːno]) is a red Italian wine grape variety commonly grown in the Piedmont region. It makes light colored wines and rosés with very fruity aromas, strong acidity and tannins. The name Grignolino derives from the word grignole which means "many pips" in the local Piedmontese dialect of the Asti region. The abundance of pips, or seeds, contribute to the strong, bitter tannins associated with the wine. Modern winemaker try to avoid the excess tannins with gentle and slow pressings. Grignolino has two Denominazione di origine controllata (DOCs) that produce wine from it - Asti and Monferrato Casale.[1]
02-12-2016

Brachetto

Brachetto is a red Italian wine grape variety grown predominantly in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. At one time the grape was thought to be related to the French wine grape Braquet, but recent thought among ampelographers is that the two are distinct varieties.[1] In Italy’s region of Piedmont the grape is somewhat more widespread: production mostly falling within an area of the provinces of Asti and Alessandria between the rivers Bormida and Belbo plus various parts of the province of Cuneo. At Canelli, on the border between the hills of Asti and the Langhe proper, the grape is known as Borgogna. The most notable wine here is the red Brachetto d'Acqui Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) which is made in both still and spumante (fully sparkling) versions. The Piemonte Brachetto Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC), also a red wine, is made with a minimum of 85% Brachetto; it is usually still, but may be frizzante (lightly sparkling). The grape is also used for up to 10% of the blend for the Ruché-based Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato DOC.[2]
02-12-2016

Arneis

Arneis is a white Italian wine grape variety originating from Piedmont, Italy. It is most commonly found in the hills of the Roero, northwest of Alba, where it is part of the white Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) wines of Roero. It can also be used to produce DOC wines in Langhe.[1] Arneis (literally: little rascal, in Piemontese) is so called because it is regarded as a somewhat difficult variety to grow. It is a crisp and floral varietal, and has been grown for centuries in the region. The white wines made from the Arneis grape tend to be dry and full body with notes of pears and apricots.[2]
02-12-2016

Freisa

Freisa is a red Italian wine grape variety grown in the Piedmont region of north-west Italy, primarily in Monferrato and in the Langhe, but also further north in the provinces of Turin and Biella. Freisa is a vigorous and productive vine whose round, blue-black grapes are harvested in early October. The three-lobed leaves are relatively small and the bunches are elongated in form. By the 1880s it had become one of the major Piedmontese grapes, and in that period its cultivation was stimulated by the vine’s resistance to the downy mildew caused by the Plasmopara viticola fungus. Wines made from the Freisa grape are red and usually somewhat sweet and lightly sparkling, or foaming. Still and fully sparkling versions are also produced, however, as are dry and more decidedly sweet styles. In the Canavese there is also a rosé which can be made primarily from Freisa according to Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) regulations.poter gustare maggiormente i sentori di viola e frutti.
02-12-2016

Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo (Italian), or Nebieul (Piedmontese) is an Italian red wine grape variety predominantly associated with its native Piedmont region, where it makes the Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) wines of Barolo, Barbaresco, Roero, Gattinara and Ghemme. Nebbiolo is thought to derive its name from the Italian word nebbia which means "fog." During harvest, which generally takes place late in October, a deep, intense fog sets into the Langhe region where many Nebbiolo vineyards are located. Alternative explanations refers to the fog-like milky veil that forms over the berries as they reach maturity, or that perhaps the name is derived instead from the Italian word nobile, meaning noble.[1] Nebbiolo produces lightly-colored red wines which can be highly tannic in youth with scents of tar and roses. As they age, the wines take on a characteristic brick-orange hue at the rim of the glass and mature to reveal other aromas and flavors such as violets, tar, wild herbs, cherries, raspberries, truffles, tobacco, and prunes. Nebbiolo wines can require years of aging to balance the tannins with other characteristics.
02-12-2016

Croatina

Croatina is a red Italian wine grape variety that is grown primarily in the Oltrepò Pavese region of Lombardy and in the Province of Piacenza within Emilia Romagna, but also in parts of Piedmont and the Veneto. In the Oltrepò Pavese, in the hills of Piacenza, in Cisterna d’Asti and San Damiano d’Asti (Province of Asti), and in Roero this variety is called ‘Bonarda’. It should not, however be confused with the Bonarda piemontese, which is an unrelated vine.[1][2] In the Piedmont region, it is sometimes blended with Nebbiolo in the wines of Gattinara and Ghemme.[3]
02-12-2016

Bonarda

Douce noir (also known as Bonarda, Corbeau and Charbono) is a red Italian wine grape variety that has historically been grown in the Savoie wine region (which shifted from Italian to French control in 1860), but today is more widely planted in Argentina. The earliest mention of the grape dates from when Etruscans first planted Bonarda some 3.000 years ago in the Padana Region. It arrived in Savoie in the early 19th century, and by the end of the century it was the most widely grown red wine grape in the region. In the early 21st century it was discovered that the Bonarda grape, which is the 2nd most widely planted red grape, after Malbec, in Argentina was the Italian wine grape Bonarda Piemontese imported by Italian immigrants
02-12-2016

Dolcetto

Dolcetto [dolˈtʃetto] is a black Italian wine grape variety widely grown in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The Italian word dolcetto means "little sweet one", but it is not certain that the name originally carried any reference to the grape’s sugar levels: it is possible that it derives from the name of the hills where the vine is cultivated.[1] In any case the wines produced are nearly always dry. They can be tannic and fruity with moderate,[2] or decidedly low,[1] levels of acidity and are typically meant to be consumed within a few years after release.[2]

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