It’s been a long time since I have written about Italian indigenous grapes, one of the main themes on this blog. While still keeping track of what is going on in Chile, I have decided to write about something else today, grape varieties.
Barbera is traditionally thought of as a red grape variety but there is also a Barbera Bianca to complicate matters and a Barbera Sarda. The former, an Italian indigenous variety that grows only in the areas of Acqui and Alessandria, is usually used in a blend with other local grapes from Piedmont such as Cortese, Favorita and Moscato. It is never vinified on its own. Barbera bianca has a long growth cycle, flowering early and ripening late. It is a productive variety with very large bunches of grapes.
Barbera Sarda is a red grape variety which is said to not be a relative of the better known Piedmontese version, Barbera. Barbera Sarda has good acidity and is usually vinified by itself but can be used to add acidity to a blend. It grows near the city of Cagliari, Oristano and Sassari. This is a late maturing grape and produces a solid red quaffing wine.