November 10, 2015
Know your wine grapes . Nebbiolo
Nebbiolo (Italian), or Nebieul (Piedmontese) is a red Italian wine grape variety predominantly associated with the Piedmont region where it makes the wines of Barolo, Barbaresco, Gattinara and Ghemme. Nebbiolo is thought to derive its name from the Italian word “nebbia” which means “fog.”
During harvest, which generally takes place late in October, a deep, intense fog sets into the Langhe region where many Nebbiolo vineyards are located. Alternative explanations refers to the fog-like milky veil that forms over the berries as they reach maturity or that perhaps the name is derived instead from the Italian word noble, meaning noble. Nebbiolo produces lightly coloured red wines which can be highly tannic in youth with scents of tar and roses. As they age, the wines take on a characteristic brick-orange hue at the rim of the glass and mature to reveal other aromas and flavours such as violets, tar, wild herbs, cherries, raspberries, truffles, tobacco, and prunes. Nebbiolo wines can require years of aging to balance the tannins with other characteristics.