The Barbera vine has very ancient origins and the first documents that testify to it date back to a few centuries ago. The first formal trace is found in a cadastral document of the municipality of Chieri, near Turin, in 1514. However, the hypothesis that its diffusion dates back to much earlier, perhaps with different names depending on the places, is not far from true. very frequent in the past. For example, the references contained in the Codex Astensis to a grape called "de bonus vitibus berbexinis", which is said to be widespread in Canelli and the surrounding area as early as the thirteenth century and perhaps identifiable precisely with the Barbera grape, are frequent.
Barbera, as Professor Dalmasso (one of the most important Italian winemakers of the 1900s) reminds us, is then named in a letter from 1609, discovered by Doctor Arturo Bersano in the municipal archive of Nizza Monferrato. In it it appears that in that year, special appointees were sent to the Contado di Nizza de la Paglia to taste the wine of these vineyards, and in particular the Barbera wine for the service of S.A. Serenissima and to pay them at the right price ". Which means that the fame of the Barbera wine produced in the Asti area had reached the ducal court of Mantua where there was no lack of opportunities to feast and appreciate the best wines of Italy.
At the end of the eighteenth century, in the first ampelography treatise of the Piedmont vines, it was defined as "powerful wine, always quite severe, but rich in an exquisite perfume, and a flavor that combines strength with finesse" (On the cultivation of vines , Nuvolone, 1798).
At the end of the nineteenth century, therefore, its historicity and importance for Piedmontese oenology were confirmed: "a well-known grape variety and one of the main bases of the wines of the Asti area and of the lower Monferrato, where it is indigenous and cultivated for a very long time ..." (Ampelography of the province of Alessandria, Carlo Leardi and Pier Paolo Demaria, 1875).
Much has changed in recent centuries, also thanks to prestigious wine labels that have revolutionized the perception and image of Barbera on the domestic and international market.
Leaf: medium, pentagonal, five-lobed, light green.
Cluster: medium, pyramidal, compact, winged.
Berry: medium, ellipsoidal
Peel: pruinose, intense blue color, subtle, consistent, neutral flavor.
Originally from France, more precisely from Gironde (Bordeaux), it was imported into Italy in 1820 by Count Manfredo of Sambury in his possessions in the province of Alessandria. Cabernet sauvignon had the same fate.
Leaf: medium, five-lobed.
Cluster: medium, pyramidal, semi-loose, winged
Berry: of variable size due to the difficulty of pollination, generally medium, spheroid
Peel: very resistant, blue-black, very pruinose.
Fiano is a vine that produces "Apianee grapes", as they were defined by Pliny because the bees were fond of it. The limited cultivation of the Fiano grape is particularly concentrated in the Avellino area, an environment particularly favorable to the cultivation of hazelnut trees of which this wine is rich in aroma. However, this interpretation is no longer accepted because bees are not attracted to grapes, but wasps. For this reason, the term Appiano derives, according to some authors, from a variety of apple that takes the name of such an Appio (Pliny). According to Strabo, the Apianas were brought by the Pelagic settlers from the Peloponnese.
Leaf: orbicular, medium-sized, three-lobed or five-lobed.
Cluster: small or medium, tight, pyramidal with a rather developed wing.
Berry: medium, ellipsoidal
Peel: resistant, golden yellow, with little bloom.
The black grape Freisa is grown in the Basilicata, Lombardy, Piedmont and Veneto regions
Freisa is a grape variety on whose origins there is no certain information; the first mention dates back to Count Nuvolone on the "Georgian calendar of the Turin Agricultural Society". Widespread especially in Piedmont, Freisa is grown in the areas of Asti, Casale Monferrato, Chieri, Alba and, in small quantities, on the hills of Pinerolo.
Leaf: medium-small, wedge-shaped more often with three lobes.
Cluster: medium, not very compact, elongated cylindrical, with a wing often long pedunculated
Berry: medium-small, oval or sub-round
Peel: very pruinose, thin and resistant.
The Grignolino grape, with a black berry, is grown in the Piedmont region.
Grignolino is a grape variety whose origins date back to the late eighteenth century on the hills between Asti and Casale Monferrato, where it is still present today.
According to some scholars, the name could derive from "grignola", a dialectal term used to indicate the seeds of grapes, which in this variety are numerous compared to other vines.
Widespread in Piedmont, this grape variety is grown mainly in the wine-growing areas of the provinces of Asti, Alessandria and Cuneo.
The Negro Amaro grape variety has unknown origins, but its name derives from the dialectal expression "niuru maru" - from the black color of the skins and the bitter taste of the wine - later modified into NegroAmaro.
Until a few years ago the wine obtained with Negro Amaro was mostly used as a cut wine for the less structured and less alcoholic wines of some northern regions, but currently, thanks to the constancy and passion of some producers, Negro Amaro is vinified for the production of excellent wines, especially in the rosé version.
Leaf: large, pentagonal, five-lobed or three-lobed.
Cluster: medium, truncated-cone shape, short and tight, rarely with a wing.
Berry: medium-large, obovoid,
Peel: pruinose, thick and consistent, black-purple in color.
Sangiovese is probably a grape variety originating in Tuscany (it has been known since the Etruscan period, around the 8th century BC) and its name could derive from the term "Sangue di Giove", testifying to the ancient link between wine and divinity . Another less vague theory traces the origin of the name to the origin from San Giovanni Valdarno.
The wine supply of the capital Florence in the Renaissance period was precisely from the Castles of the Valdarno di Sopra, built in the territories conquered by the Florentines a few centuries earlier. In 1716, the Grand Duke Cosimo III de 'Medici issued a Call to regulate the protection of the wines of Chianti, Pomino, Carmignano and Valdarno di Sopra. There is another thesis according to which Sangiovese was born in Santarcangelo di Romagna. In fact, already at the time of the Romans on these hills close to the Rubicon the vine was cultivated. Hence the name "Colle Jovis" where Santarcangelo was built and developed.
Sangiovese therefore as a conjunction of SANGUIS and JOVIS blood of Jupiter. According to recent genetic studies, "Sangiovese", contrary to its widespread and historical presence in the Tyrrhenian area, has numerous relationships with cultivars cultivated in Southern Italy, especially in Sicily and Calabria. Ten varieties make up its "family" and "Ciliegiolo" seems to be a direct descendant of it.
Leaf: medium, three-lobed or five-lobed, light green in color.
Cluster: medium, compact, cylindrical-pyramidal, winged.
Berry: medium-large, ovoid of regular shape.
Peel: black-purple in color and rich in bloom, not very thick.
The white grape Timorasso is grown in the Lombardy and Piedmont regions.
Timorasso is an autochthonous variety of Tortonese, whose origins date back to the Middle Ages; over the centuries it was the most cultivated grape variety in the area before the advent of phylloxera and the Second World War. Years of gradual abandonment of the countryside followed and reduction of the area planted with vines in Timorasso in favor of easier and more productive varieties.
In recent years, a group of forward-looking viticulturists has continued the rediscovery of this vine and highlighted its oenological characteristics, which allow to obtain wines of remarkable structure and freshness, qualities which prelude to an interesting propensity to aging and barrel aging, often obtaining very important results.
Leaf: medium, pentagonal or cuneiform, tri or five lobed
Cluster: medium or medium-large, pyramidal, often bi or tri-winged, medium compact or compact
Berry: medium-large, spheroidal
Peel: thick, consistent, pruinose, yellowish green in color