What is Barbera?

Barbera is a red grape variety from Italy, popular with producers and consumers alike for its adaptable, appealing persona, even if the grape is rarely associated with the most distinguished wines.

What does Barbera taste like? 

Barbera combines soft, juicy cherry fruit with tangy acidity. Some producers favour a richer style using new oak to add complexity and tannic structure. 

Where is Barbera from?

Barbera is mostly closely associated with Piedmont in north-west Italy, with particularly historic links to the hills of Monferrato, where the grape variety is documented as far back as the 13th century. 

Where does Barbera grow? 

Barbera is widely planted in Piedmont, the region associated with its finest expressions. However, the grape is common across Italy, most notably in Lombardy’s Oltrepò Pavese and the Colli Piacentini above Piacenza. In central and southern Italy, Barbera’s acidity is prized as a blending component. Barbera also has a long history in the Primorska coastal region of Slovenia. Further afield, Italian immigrants have transported the grape’s popularity abroad, with reasonable plantings in California, Argentina and Australia, as well as a growing niche in South Africa. 

Famous Barbera regions: 

  • Piedmont, Italy 
  • Oltrepò Pavese, Italy 

Anything else? 

Although Barbera has historically been used in Piedmont to add colour and softness to Nebbiolo, today its use is forbidden in this region’s two finest denominations, Barolo and Barbaresco.  

Our selection of great Barbera

  • Braida, Barbera d’Asti, Piedmont 
  • Vietti, Barbera d’Asti, Piedmont
  • Castello di Luzzano, Oltrepò Pavese & Colli Piacentini
  • First Drop, Adelaide Hills, Australia 

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