Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo, named for the ubiquitous autumnal fog (called nebbia in Italian), is the star variety of northern Italy?s?Piedmont?region. Grown throughout the area as well as in the neighboring?Valle d?Aosta?and Valtellina, it reaches its highest potential in the Piemontese villages of?Barolo?and?Barbaresco. This finicky grape needs a very particular soil type and climate in order to thrive. Outside of Italy, growers are still very much in the experimentation stage but some success has been achieved in parts of?California. Tiny amounts are produced in Washington, Virginia, Mexico and Australia.
Barbera is typically marked by flavors of red cherry, raspberry or blackberry and backed by a signature zingy acidity. Warmer sites produce Barberas with intensely ripe fruit and complex notes of cocoa, savory spice, anise and nutmeg. Cooler sites will produce a lighter Barbera with more finesse and intriguing notes of cranberry, graphite, smoke, lavender and violet.