Nebbiolo is an Italian red wine grape variety predominantly associated with its native Piedmont region. It makes the Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) wines of Barolo, Barbaresco, Roero, Gattinara, Carema and Ghemme.
Compared to other Piedmontese grape varieties, Nebbiolo is one of the first varieties to bud and last variety to ripen with harvest taking place in mid to late October.
Nebbiolo is an Italian red grape variety grown mainly in the mountainous region of Piedmont. More of this grape is grown here than anywhere else in the world. Despite being an essential part of two of Italy’s premier wines, Nebbiolo is rarely grown anywhere else in Italy. As of 2010, Nebbiolo was grown on 5,993 hectares (14,810 acres) of land globally with all but 457 hectares (1,130 acres) found in Piedmont ⁵.
Nebbiolo based wines have a distinctive taste of earthy tar and elegant rose petal flavor. They have high tannin and acidity levels and rich aromas of raspberry, anise, and violet. Tasting Nebbiolo wines can be quite an arresting experience because the floral and light red fruit aromas suggest the wine is much lighter than it is. Upon tasting Nebbiolo you will experience leathery, gripping high tannin that seems to clasp the inside of your lips to the front of your teeth.
Nebbiolo pairs well with a variety of foods. Some pairing ideas include Fontina cheese, pasta with sausage, mushroom risotto, gnocchi, veal osso buco, chicken cattiatore and costoletta alla valdostana. For a casual lunch or dinner, try pairing Nebbiolo with a simple pasta dish. The light body and acidity of the wine will complement the pasta perfectly. More traditional Italian veggies such as capers, olives, butternut squash and wild mushrooms also work exceptionally well for pairing.