NEBBIOLO IS REGARDED AS THE ‘KING OF THE LANGHE’ WITH THE BEST – BAROLO AND BARBARESCO – POSSESSING OUTSTANDING AROMATIC COMPLEXITY, TANNIC POWER AND EXCEPTIONAL AGEING POTENTIAL. WHAT GIVES THIS GRAPE VARIETY ITS UNDENIABLE DISTINCTIVENESS IN ITS HOMELAND AND CAN IT ACHIEVE SOMETHING SIMILAR IN AUSTRALIA? DISCUSS WITH REFERENCE TO THE VINE, SOIL, CLIMATE, VINIFICATION, MATURATION AND SENSORY CHARACTERISTICS.
Ancient Greeks referred to Italy as Oenotria – the land of wine 1. It is an apt description for the geographical ‘boot’ of Italy, which embraces a variety of climates and soils allowing for diverse opportunities in grape cultivation 2. The native grape of particular fame is Nebbiolo from the Barolo and Barbaresco zones, which herald from north-western Italy in the Langhe hills of the Piemonte region 3. Ample reasons exist for its elite status, but discussion will also be directed towards how Nebbiolo fares in Australia, where the illustrious qualities of Italian Nebbiolo wines convinced many Australian winemakers to plant the fickle grape, perhaps not always in areas best suited to the representation of its classic tar and roses character.