Barolo wine region

Barolo wine region

Credit: Matteo Colombo / Getty Images

The Barolo wine region is arguably the most famous DOCG in Italy.

It’s located in the northern Italian region of Piedmont, south of Alba, and has UNESCO World Heritage status.

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Before the mid-19th century, it was made in a richly sweet and fruity style which wasn’t to the taste of the Count of Cavour.

Louis Oudart, a French winemaker from Champagne, was hired to create the style we know today – a dry red wine.

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Barolo and Barbaresco map

Known as the ‘King of Wine’, Barolo is produced from the Nebbiolo grape. It’s one of the first varieties to bud and the last to ripen, with harvest taking place in mid-to-late October.

The wines have a minimum ageing requirement of 3 years.

Key terms:
Riserva Aged for a minimum of five years
Vigna on a label indicates a single vineyard wine

The communes

The DOCG consists of 11 villages: Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d’Alba, Cherasco, Diano d’Alba, Grinzane Cavour, La Morra, Monforte d’Alba, Novello, Roddi and Verduno.

These ‘communes’ each have vineyards which contribute their own unique styles, and this was solidified in 2010 when the Consorzio ratified the MGAs for Barolo and Barbaresco.

The 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.

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