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.
Nebbiolo at its best is an elegant variety with velveteen tannins, mouthwatering acidity and a captivating perfume. Common characteristcs of a well-made Nebbiolo can include roses, violets, licorice, sandalwood, spicebox, smoke, potpourri, black plum, red cherry and orange peel. Light brick in color, Nebbiolo is a more powerful wine than one might expect, and its firm tannins typically need time to mellow.