Nebbiolo Grapes: Blue-Black Is Beautiful

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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.

Despite its popularity, wine makers find the Nebbiolo grape one of the most difficult grape variety to grow in a specific region as it is highly sensitive to terroirs, even yielding wines with very different wine structures when it comes to complexity of flavors and aroma. Wines produced from this grape variety appeal to wine lovers most especially when they are aged well. It ripens late in the season, giving the vines a little bit more exposure for the flavors and aroma to develop well. 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. Nebbiolo is very abundant when it comes to grapes’ tannin and acidity, making it a perfect ingredient for making Italy’s best Barolo and Barbaresco, where aging seems to be of importance in producing best vintages. But the real challenge here is how to balance the tannins with the other characteristics without losing the wines complex elements.

This can be a little tricky for vintners and wine makers who are dreaming of producing their own Nebbiolo grapes in different regions. But only if you find the right formula of location and weather and the proper balancing of key wine characteristics will you then have the luxury of producing the best strong wines out of Nebbiolo grapes.

This grape will continue to seduce wine lovers in and outside of Italy. Nebbiolo grapes produce naturally dark and tannic wines that are perfect when paired with a rich-flavored meat and well aged cheeses. If you love your wines in these elements, have a sip of Nebbiolo’s finest wines.

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Blanca Valbuena
I am one of the co-founders of FriendsEAT. Obviously, I love to eat. Other passions include A Song of Ice and Fire, Shakespeare, Dostoyevski, and Aldous Huxley.
Blanca Valbuena
Blanca Valbuena

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