The DOCG Barbaresco is in the wine-rich area of Piedmont in Northwest Italy, a two-hour drive from Milan and an hour and half from the French border. The tiny Barbaresco district includes the three villages of Barbaresco, Neive and Treiso covering 1,250 acres of Nebbiolo grapes, which produce 208,000 cases of Barbaresco every year.
Separated from the Barolo area by the town of Alba, Barbaresco is covered by vineyards dominated by three varieties: Nebbiolo, Dolcetto and Barbera. Nebbiolo is always planted to the best areas, where the composition of the pre-Alpine soils, aspect, sun exposure and human touch combine to create the magic of Barbaresco wine.
Before 1894, Nebbiolo grapes were sold to make Barolo wine or simply labeled “Nebbiolo di Barbaresco”. In 1894, Domizio Cavazza, headmaster of the Royal Enological School of Alba, and a Barbaresco resident, created the first cooperative, the “Cantine Sociali”, by gathering nine Barbaresco vineyard owners to make wine in the local castle that he owned. He understood the differences found between Nebbiolo grown in the different areas of Barolo and Barbaresco. Cavazza was the first to recognize these differences on a label.
Fascist economic rules closed the Cantine Sociali in the 1920’s. In 1958, the Barbaresco village priest, recognizing that the only way the small properties could survive was by joining their efforts, gathered together nineteen small growers and founded the Produttori del Barbaresco.
The Produttori del Barbaresco, founded in 1958, now has 56 members and 250 acres of Nebbiolo vineyards in the Barbaresco appellation, which is almost 1/6 of the area’s vineyards. Each family is in full control of its land, growing Nebbiolo grapes with centuries-old skill and dedication.
“Half a century of unremitting success has been driven by the ageing capacity of the various Barbaresco Riservas and a pricing policy that is very much in the consumer’s favour.”
Gambero Rosso (2010)
“International Winery of the Year”, Wine & Spirits (2013)