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Blog: Roero Arneis


Grape Variety

The elegant Piedmontese white wine Roero Arneis is made from the homonymous Arneis grape and comes from the production area between Canale and Alba in the province of Cuneo. Since 2004 these wines enjoy the DOCG status, which corresponds to the highest level of the Italian wine appellations. Especially the Roero Arneis is considered interesting, which often turns out better than the simpler Langhe Arneis. In addition, some winemakers rumor that there is relatively much Arneis (mostly from large, industrial productions) which would not be a real Arneis.

The Arneis grape was almost extinct at the end of the 20th century, because for a long time their potential was overlooked or could not use. In modern times, the white Arneis grape is again increasingly cultivated and enjoys great popularity. Often nicknamed 'Barolo Bianco', these are high-quality white wines with fresh fruit and pleasant acidity. Connoisseurs appreciate the unused, autochthonous grape variety precisely because of these characteristics. - Gerardo

Arneis is a white grape variety from Italy and native to the well-known region of Piedmont. The history of this grape variety coincides with that of others (such as Viognier), so the grape was saved from extinction and is now experiencing a renaissance. Around the 1960s, there were only a few real vines left and only a handful of them were used for winemaking. Nowadays, the grape variety once again has an area under cultivation of about 600 hectares in Piedmont.

In recent years, the white grape variety has become synonymous with the wines of the Roero area, although produced in much smaller quantities than the renowned Nebbiolo. In the best sites, the vine produces a fragrant white wine of delicate aromas of pears, apricot and a hint of hazelnut. The production area of the wine is on the other side of the river Tanaro, just opposite Barolo. This particular white grape also earned the wine its nickname 'Barolo Bianco' or 'white Nebbiolo'.

The survival of the grape variety is due in part to the efforts of Alfredo Currado, a member of the highly respected Vietti family, which to this day produces high quality Arneis. Beginning in 1967, Currado devoted much time and effort to this endangered varietal, his work through was catalyzed a renewed interest in Piedmontese wine.

There are many different explanations for the possible decline of the grape variety in the 20th century: Piedmont has always been a red wine region and white wines, as a result, do not have a regular place in the higher ranks. Therefore, white grape varieties were planted (if at all) on undesirable secondary sites or to protect the better-ranked red vines. The grapes are more fragrant than those of Nebbiolo and are therefore excellent for repelling hungry birds and insects. In addition, the grape long had the reputation of a rather troublesome grape variety which produces low yields and is susceptible to powdery mildew.

In recent times, winemakers and consumers alike are reflecting back on this unique and high-quality grape variety. For the Roero Arneis captivates with great elegance and delicacy, but also has an intense and full-bodied flavor. The special terroir of Roero produces an unmistakable all-rounder, which, due to its powerful structure, can be drunk just as well 'solo' as with a meal. If you only know red wines from Piedmont, you should definitely try this unused native grape variety. - Gerardo



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