Barolo is arguably the most famous wine DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) produced in the northern Italian region of Piedmont, south of Alba and right side of the River Tanaro. It is renowned for producing Italy’s finest red wines from 100 percent Nebbiolo. Barolo was named after a noblewoman, the Marchesa de Barolo, in the 1850’s.
Before the mid-19th century, Barolo was made in a richly sweet and fruity style which wasn’t to the taste of Count of Cavour. Louis Oudart a French winemaker from Champagne was then hired to create what is now Barolo, a “dry” red wine. This new, “dry” red wine soon became one of Italy’s greatest reds. The area recently received UNESCO World Heritage status.
Barolo, also called the King of Wine, is produced from the Nebbiolo grape variety. This grape is one of the first varieties to bud and last varieties to ripen with harvest taking place in mid to late October. The wines have a minimum aging requirement of 3 years.
• Riserva level Barolo is aged for a minimum of 5 years.
• Vigna on a label indicates a single vineyard wine.
The DOCG zone includes 11 villages: Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d’Alba, Cherasco, Diano d’Alba, Grinzane Cavour, La Morra, Monforte d’Alba, Novello, Roddi and Verduno,
This area benefits from a continental climate, classified as warm and temperate with an extended summer and autumn which is perfect for producing top quality grapes.
Barolo is made from the following different soil types:
• Tortonian soil. Higher in clay, magnesium oxide and manganese which creates more approachable wines with more perfumed aromas and elegance. Those wines will require less aging.
• Sand, limestone, phosphorus, iron and potassium. Those wines tend to be more austere and powerfull and will require more aging (12 – 15 years).