• Color: Red (Purple-Skinned)
  • Grape Parentage: unknown
  • Place of Origin: Contracts preserved in Monferrato date the planting of de bonis vitibus berbexinis to the 13th century, although this may actually refer to another grape (Berbesino, a synonym for Grignolino), and Barbera may have simply been born as a natural vineyard crossing in the region, perhaps as late as the 18th century.  Legend suggests that Lombards introduced the grape to Piemonte as early as the 7th century.
  • Origin of Grape Name: Possibly “Vinum Barberis”, a medieval fermented beverage
  • Major Countries of Production:
    • Italy: 21,275 ha (2010, Il Corriere Vinicolo)
    • USA
      • California: 6,936 total acres (2010, USDA/CA Dept. of Agriculture)
  • Synonyms: 
    • Many of Barbera’s “synonyms” are simply geographical designations, such as Barbera Sarda (Sardegna) or Barbera del Monferrato
    • Note: DNA profiling has proven that Barbera is not Sicily’s Perricone, as has been suggested.
  • Viticultural Characteristics: Mid-Ripening, Susceptible to Downy Mildew and Pierce’s Disease, High Vigor
  • Preferred Soil Type: Calcareous soils and sandy/clay loams
  • Common Blending Partners: Croatina

Typical Descriptors and Structure for Piemonte Barbera

  • Visual: Purple with Blue Tones, Moderate Minus to Moderate Plus Concentration
  • Aromas/Flavors: Moderate Plus Intensity
    • Fruit: Tangy/Sour Cherry, Raspberry, Blackberry, Dried Cherry
    • Floral: Purple Flowers, Lavender
    • Other: Dried Herbs, Tea Leaf, Slight Bergamot Oil, Cured Meat/Prosciutto
    • Oak: Large Neutral Casks (modern examples may incorporate new French barrique)

Structure: Dry, Moderate to Moderate Plus Body, Diminished Tannin, High Acidity, Elevated to High Alcohol

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