Barolo is a red wine produced in the northern Italian region of Piedmont — the region of northwestern Italy. It is made from the Nebbiolo grape and is often described as one of Italy’s greatest wines.
If you’re a fan of Barolo, known for its light color and lack of opacity, you may want to start stocking up your wine cellar because Italy’s wine production may slide 8 percent this year from drought and heat damaged grapes.
The Rome-based group Istituto di Servizi per il Mercato Agricolo e Alimentara, claims output may fall to 39.3 million hectoliters (1.04 billion gallons) from 42.7 million hectoliters in 2011.
According to figures from the International Organization of Vine and Wine, Italy was the world’s second-largest wine producer after France last year.
French production may slump 16 percent this year to 42.9 million hectoliters after frost, hail and an August heat wave harmed vines and grapes, the country’s Agriculture Ministry reported earlier this month.
“Drought and heat carry the real blame for the scarcity of wine in the Italian cellars. The quality of the grapes itself promises to be good to excellent, with a sugar content that is higher than average.”
Bloomberg notes production in Veneto, Italy’s biggest wine-growing region, may slide 12 percent to 7.67 million hectoliters, while output in Emilia Romagna is forecast to drop 9.8 percent to 5.82 million hectoliters.
More on Nebbiolo Grapes from our resident wine lover, connoisseur, and Editor-in-Chief, Blanca Valbuena:
“Nebbiolo grapes produce dark and tannic wines are amongst the favorites of wine lovers. Widely grown in the appellation of Piedmont, Nebbiolo grape is one of the major variety of grapes used to produce quality wines in Italy, and only a few of its kind are planted outside the region.
“Usually harvested during late October, the season where thick clouds of fog have come in position on the vineyards where Nebbiolo grapes are widely planted. This results to frosty or foggy-looking grapes, where Nebbia is Italian for fog, something that people believed as the origin of the grape’s name.
“The grapes history traces back to the 1st century AD where a very notable wine that was produced in a region called Pollenzo was said to have the same characteristics as that of a Nebbiolo Grape. However, the grape variety was first mentioned in 1268, where a supposed to be wine called “nibiol” was found in the region near Turin. From then on, people have been calling this grape variety with different names.
“Young Nebbiolos are light red in color, yet contain high levels of tannins with hints of roses and tar. The color turns into a darker orange hue when the grape is aged and produces complex aromas and flavors of tar, violets, raspberries, cherries, fresh herbs, prunes, tobacco, and truffles.”
You can read the rest of Blanca’s article here.