Greetings from Nebbiolo

Talking about Italian grape varieties is in some ways like a never-ending litany, such is their number in the winegrowing cradle of Western Europe. But Nebbiolo is not just another grape variety, it undeniably holds a special place.

Mainly grown in Piedmont, it has stoked the global acclaim of Barolo – its single varietal epitome – along with Barbaresco, whose reputation continues to gain traction. It requires well-drained and very poor limestone soils to fully express its potential, and it also needs plentiful sunshine as it ripens late. Harvesting often occurs in the autumn and is sometimes carried out in the mist – or nebbia in Italian – hence its name. A fairly fragile grape variety, it calls for impeccable vineyard management

and winemaking techniques in order to scale the heights of quality. Only then does it yield

wines that combine incredible power, complexity and finesse, all of which is coupled with outstanding ageability promoted by its tannins and marked acidity. There is no doubt that Nebbiolo has entered Italy’s varietal hall of fame, alongside the heavyweights that are Sangiovese, Barbera and Nero d’Avola. And in a country that had more than a thousand native grape varieties before the phylloxeracrisis, that is no mean feat!



By Francesco Saverio Russo photographs - courtesy of the estates