Drawing the Line: Barolo, Barbaresco & Langhe Nebbiolo


Barolo may be the wine everyone knows, but the grape that makes Barolo – Nebbiolo – is the chalk line that draws the character of Piemonte. This line has its moments of frustration. Particularly when Nebbiolo is only recognised by winelovers and winemakers alike as the King and Queen of Piemonte, Barolo and Barbaresco.However, like any character who hopes for a continuous line, there is good news for Langhe: a distinct picture is emerging. At the moment, the Nebbiolo wine of the whole Langhe region is showing its own simple brilliance with joyous fruit and purity of line that brings a spontaneous smile to even the most serious wine taster.

But what is Nebbiolo?

Nebbiolo is the grape that makes Barolo. Nebbiolo is also what makes Barbaresco. And Nebbiolo is also Nebbiolo d’Alba and Nebbiolo Langhe (from the same area, sometimes even the same vineyard, as Barolo and Barbaresco). Each of these wines come from the same Langhe region near the town of Alba. A Barolo will set you back £30 – £120 plus; a wine stating it is Nebbiolo on the label (which includes Nebbiolo Langhe, Nebbiolo d’Alba, Nebbiolo Roero) – £15-20.

Just as it expresses itself in Barolo, Nebbiolo has the same true drinkability, finesse and elegance in the Langhe but without the wait and price tag. Saying that, after a few days in Piemonte, I found there is a lot more to Nebbiolo from Langhe than just an affordable price.

A New Line

Yesterday I attended the Nebbiolo Nobile tasting in the castle of Serralunga d’Alba and I am convinced Nebbiolo from Langhe and Roero is not only a taste of Barolo, and one of the world’s great culinary regions, it has its own unique style and lovable character.

There is a new line being drawn in the chalk. In Piemonte today, there is a lot of re-evaluation, reappraisal, even a revolution in the way the Nebbiolo grape is understood in the Langhe.

I hope you can join me over the next couple of weeks as we explore this food and wine lovers dream in the Alps of Italy.

Baci –
Juel X

Thanks to David Berry Green and Berry Bros & Rudd for making this trip possible.


  1. A good friend of mine who lives just outside Torino insists on buying Nebbiolo wines made outside of Barolo rather than the Kings.

    He argues that unless you are paying top dollar from the more renowned houses, you get so much more wine – taste and quality – for your money from the neighbouring districts.

    Am off to see him after Easter, where i will hopefully get the chance to bathe my taste buds not only in Nebbiolo, but also Arneis and Freisa.

  2. I would have to agree with your friend, as much as I would never refuse Barolo, I think Nebbiolo is an excellent wine often made in the same vineyard, at the very least in the same regions. It is a joy to drink.

    I am sure you will a great trip in Piemonte!


  3. Chris, interesting you mention Freisa – i just had one for the first time – from bartolo mascarello – wonderful blue fruit, very good with steak. Who else makes good Freisa?

  4. In addition to Nebbiolo, Arneis and Freisa, Chris, you should seek out Timorasso from around Tortona. I don’t know where you will be based for your trip but the shops in Alba carry some and Eataly in Torino has some, too. It tends to produce a peachy, minerally white unlike Arneis or Cortese.

    Come to see us at Giovanni Rosso if you have time – we are in Serralunga d’Alba but I am afraid that we do not yet have a Langhe Nebbiolo (from this year), just Barolo…

    Anyway enjoy your trip!

  5. Pingback: On Vinissima: Drawing the Line – Barolo, Barbaresco & Langhe Nebbiolo | Wine Woman & Song

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