Barolo Wine: All You Need To Know About The "King of Wines"

Barolo wine

Barolo wine is one of the most sought-after Italian wines in the world. It comes from the Piedmont region of Italy, and it has been made there since the 1800s.

And its known for intense flavors and complex aromas.

Additionally, its often called “the King of Wines” and “the Prince of Piedmont.” Because these wines have been winning awards for centuries, and it continues to be a favorite among wine lovers today.

So what makes Barolo wine so special? Let’s find out!

Table of Contents

Where is it Produced?

Italy Map Super Tuscans

Barolo wine is made in the Piedmont region of Italy. And this region is located in the northwestern part of Italy, where it’s known for its scenic beauty and lush landscapes.

The Barolo wine region is one of the smaller Italian wine regions. And it makes up a very small portion of the Piedmont region but it’s home to some of the best vineyards in the world. Additionally most vineyards in Barolo are usually found on hillsides, not flatlands. 

The Piedmont region’s climate is hot in the summer and cold in the winter. The cooler climates are perfect for growing grapevines at higher elevations, and the soil is rich in minerals, which gives Barolo wine its unique acidity and flavor. 

Barolo Rules

Barolo Laws

Barolo is a DOCG wine, which means that it is a high-quality wine that has been certified by the Italian government. Therefore, there are strict rules that must be followed in order to make Barolo wine.

  • First, the grapes must be grown in the Barolo region of Piedmont, and they must be 100% Nebbiolo grapes.
  • Additionally, they must be aged for at least three (3) years, and at least 18 months in oak or chestnut barrels.
  • And in order for the term “Riserva” to be used on the label, a wine must have been cellared for at least five (5) years.
  • Finally, “Vigna” means the Barolo is from a single vineyard. And this means a wine produced entirely from grapes grown in a single vineyard. These wines normally command the highest prices.

These strict rules ensure that Barolo DOCG wine is of the highest quality.

What are the Communes (villages) of Barolo?

Barolo wine is made in 11 different communes of the Piedmont region. And each region has its own unique climate and soil, which gives Barolo wine its distinct flavor.

The eastern communes‘ (Serralunga d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto, Monforte d’Alba) sandy soils produce more concentrated wines that need longer aging than the Central Valley communes (Barolo & La Morra), which are known for fruitier, softer expressions of the region. 

5 Most Popular Barolo Wines Communes:

barolo winemakers

Look for Barolo producers in these communes: Barolo, La Morra, Serralunga d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto, Monforte d’Alba.

How is Barolo Wine Made?

Barolo wine is made from the Nebbiolo grape. The Nebbiolo grape is a native grape of the Piedmont region, and it is known for its thin grape skins that produce high tannic wines with high acidity.

And the extended fermentation time (often days to several weeks) contributes to the wine’s rich, full-bodied taste.

Also the aging of Barolo in oak barrels, helps to develop and mature the complex flavors.

What Does Barolo Wine Taste Like?

Barolo taste profile
  • Tar and Roses.
  • High Acidity and Tannins.
  • Age-Friendly.

Barolo wines have a complex flavor that is intense and full-bodied. And the flavor of Barolo wine can be described as earthy, with notes of tobacco, leather, truffles, chocolate, and dried fruit.

producing wines

5 Popular Barolo Communes Taste Profile:

  • Barolo – Rich, full-bodied, strong tannins
  • La Morra – Enticing floral aromas and smooth, silky tannins
  • Serralunga d’Alba – Earthy and complex, perfect for aging
  • Castiglione Falletto – Fruity, balanced, less tannins
  • Monforte d’Alba – High tannins, rich, better with long aging

What to Look For When Buying a Barolo?

Barolo wars

If you are buying as a gift or want one of the best Barolos, look for “Vigna“. These wines will be of excellent quality, expensive, and ideal for aging. Perfect for the wine lover/enthusiast/collector!

Look for the small communes (mentioned above) where they come from to get a better idea of the flavor if you want softer velvety tannins, fruitier, or more particular taste profiles.

Look for the label “Riserva” if you want more complex flavors.

What are the Best Food Pairings for Barolo?

Barolos are best paired with hearty, flavorful dishes. Some of the best food pairing for Barolos are:

Nebbiolo wines produced in Barolo are truly a unique and special wine. If you have the opportunity to try it, I highly recommend it! 

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