Barbera – Probably soft and smooth

Bordering France and Switzerland, Italy’s region of Piedmont is surrounded by three main mountains or mountain ranges: the Alps, Monviso and Monte Rosa. A large part of the region is mountainous. The region prides in being home to many industrial centres. It must not be forgotten that it is home to FIAT. Olivetti, the once electronic giant also had its base in the region. It is also from the Piedmont region that Barbera wine, one of Italy’s best wines, is produced.

Popular grape

Barbera wine is red in colour. It is produced from Barbera grapes, the third most planted red grape in Italy. The grape’s popularity stems from the fact that it produces high yields in addition to its deep red colour. Apart from Italy, this variety of grape is also widely produced in California (USA), Argentina, Brazil and South Africa among other countries.

Acidity level

One major characteristic of Barbera wine is its high acidity level. Wine producers have however found innovative ways of dealing with the acidity, making it possible for consumers to have a soft and smooth wine.

One of these ways is the use of small oak barrels the wine is kept into during fermentation and aging. This is in addition to adding subtle oak spice flavour and limiting oxygenation level. Another method that Barbera wine producers use to produce soft wine is harvesting riper grapes from lower part of vines. These grapes have high sugar content and are fruity. Use of these grapes produces wine with less acidity level.

The taste of Barbera

Barbera wine is available in different taste. Barbera d’Asti wine produced is produced using very grapes harvested from century-old vines that still exist in a good number of Piedmont’s vineyards. Use of such grapes harvested from such vines produce Barbera wine with intense fruit and tannic content. Grapes harvested from younger vines produce Barbera wine with intense fruit aroma.

Some Barbera wine producers have devised a unique way of producing the wine in different tastes including vanilla, blackberry and blueberry taste by roasting oak barrels, which in effect provides for enhanced wine complexity.

While Barbera wine produced from young vines have less alcohol content and are therefore not recommended for cellaring, wine produced from century-old vines have high alcohol content and are perfect for cellaring.