Barbaresco is a small but prestigious wine region in southern Piemonte, Italy. The vineyards are situated on hills above the Taranto river. This, along with neighboring Barolo, is the home base for the Nebbiolo grape. Barbaresco makes powerful dry red wine with structure and power. It has a medium body, yet high tannin and alcohol. It takes a long time for the tannin to relax, so the wines are best consumed between 5 and 10 years old. Barbaresco has flavors of dried roses, strawberry, raspberry, earth, licorice, mint and tobacco. They are among the greatest wines in the world.
The oldest documentation of Barbaresco dates from 1799, when an Austrian general ordered a "Carrá" or 492 liters, of excellent Nebbiolo from Barbaresco. However, most wine was blended into wines sold as Barolo as the name was more famous in the 19th century. In 1894, Domizio Cavazza bought the Castle of Barbaresco and spent the rest of his life promoting the area. It was always noticed that the wines from Barbaresco taste different from those from Barolo, so it was only a matter of time until they would be bottled separately.
The area was defined in 1926 and then enlarged to include Neive in 1933. Angelo Gaia and Bruno Giacosa made the area famous in the 1960's with single vineyard wines from Barbaresco. Traditionally, the wines were aged for a long time in neutral casks, but some switched to small new oak barrels beginning in the 1970's. Today both styles are made, and every version in between. The DOCG status came in 1980.