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Description to Barbaresco DOCG
DOCG area for red wine in the Italian region of Piedmont. The vineyards cover 500 hectares, divided into about the same number of parcels. The zone includes the municipalities of Barbaresco (with over 50%), Neive and Treiso, as well as Alba with sub-area San Rocco Seno d'Elvio in the province of Cuneo. Additional possible geographical indications are Albesani, Asili, Ausario, Balluri, Basarin, Bernadot, Bordini, Bricco di Neive, Bricco di Treiso, Bric Micca, Cà Grossa, Canova, Cars, Casot, Castellizzano, Cavanna, Cole, Cottà, Currà, Faset, Fausoni, Ferrere, Gaia-Principe, Gallina, Garassino, Giacone, Giacosa, Manzola, Marcarini, Marcorino, Martinenga, Meruzzano, Montaribaldi, Montefico, Montersino, Montestefano, Muncagota, Nervo, Ovello, Pajé, Pajorè, Pora, Rabajà, Rabajà-Bas, Rio Sordo, Rivetti, Rizzi, Roccalini, Rocche Massalupo, Rombone, Roncaglie, Roncagliette, Ronchi, San Cristoforo, San Giuliano, San Stunet, Secondine, Serraboella, Serracapelli, Serragrilli, Starderi, Tre Stelle, Trifolera, Valeirano, Vallegrande and Vicenziana. These may be listed on the label preceded by Vigna.
As with Barolo, the French oenologist Louis Oudart was instrumental in its birth. The wine from the Nebbiolo grape, which he vinified dry on the Castello di Neive estate in 1862, caused an international sensation. At that time, however, the municipality of Neive was not yet part of the Barbaresco region; it was only added in 1933. The first dry Barbaresco of this name was then pressed in Barbaresco in 1890 by the oenologist Domizzio Cavazza (director of the viticultural school in Alba). This can be considered the birth of today's wine. From the 1960s onwards, the famous winemaker Angelo Gaja contributed most to the enormous increase in the quality of Barbaresco.
The DOC classification took place in 1966, the recognition as DOCG in 1980. From the mid-1980s onwards, new techniques such as short fermentation times, shorter barrel ageing times and barrique ageing were tried out. Barbaresco is made from 100 per cent pure Nebbiolo grapes. It is very similar to Barolo and is also called "Barolo's little brother" or "the queen's wine". The calcareous marl soil is also similar to the tortonium of the Barolo areas of La Morra and Barolo. Due to the earlier ripening of the grapes caused by the climate, however, it is somewhat milder than Barolo, less robust and rich in alcohol, and thus has a shorter lifespan or storability. But it is by no means lacking in tannin and acidity. The best age for Barbaresco is between five and ten years.
The Barbaresco must mature for 26 months, the Riserva for 50 months, 9 of which in wooden barrels. Both wines must have a minimum alcohol content of 12.5% vol. About three million bottles are produced annually. Among the best-known producers are Piero Busso, Ca' del Baio, Cascina Luisin, Castello di Neive, Pio Cesare, Ceretto, Cigliuti, Giuseppe Cortese, Fontanabianca, Gaja, Giacosa Bruno, La Contea, Lano, La Spinetta, Marchesi di Gresy, Moccagatta, Montaribaldi, Fiorenzo Nada, Oddero, Giorgio Pelissero, Produttori del Barbaresco, Prunotto, Roagna, Rocca Albino, Bruno Rocca, Sottimano, Terrenostre and Veraldo. The best vintages are 1982, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1997, 1998 and 2000.