Barolo: “wine of Kings, King of wines”

The characteristics and the history of the great wine of the Langhe

The birth of Barolo as we know it today took place around the 1930s. The Marchesa Juliette Colbert, wife of the Marquis Carlo Tancredi Falletti, understood the value of the Nebbiolo grape and requested the technical advice of a French wine merchant, Count Oudart.

The Barolo wine was totally transformed: from a sweet and slightly mellow wine, obtained by fermentation in the open air, into a wine with body and structure, aged in a controlled way in the specially built cellars.

The improvement of the fermentation technique and the addition of small quantities of Neirani (local grape now abandoned) led to the birth of the modern Barolo. A wine suitable for being able to survive long journeys and to face competition with the great red wines from across the Alps.

Even King Charles Albert of Savoy heard about it and Juliette decided to send a batch of wine of 325 barrels, one for each day, excluding Lent.

The wine thus assumed the name of “wine of Kings, King of wines”. The King, after sharing it with the most influential families of the time, was so enthusiastic that decided to buy an estate in Verduno and Pollenzo to produce his own Barolo.

Also Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour, contributed to the consecration of the “wine of Kings, King of wines”, starting its own production and using it as an institutional wine during banquets. In 1861, the Barolo was chosen to celebrate the Unity of Italy.

The twentieth century

in 1909, after a period of stagnation caused by the arrival of the phylloxera and the wars for the dominance of Europe, the area of ​​production of the vine was finally bound by the Agricultural Committee of Alba.

Another turning point occurred in 1933, when the Consortium of typical wines of Barolo and Barbaresco was founded.

The last seal arrived in 1966, with the recognition of the DOC.

Finally, in 1980, the Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin was recognized to Barolo, today regulated by a rigid regulation.

Today there are almost 800 producers of Barolo and are distributed over an area of ​​about 1700 hectares covering only 11 municipalities: Cherasco, Verduno, Roddi, La Morra, Grinzane Cavour, Castiglione Falletto, Diano d’Alba, Barolo, Novello, Serralunga d’Alba and Monforte d’Alba.

This great fragmentation, allows to have a great stylistic and interpretative diversity of the Nebbiolo vine and Barolo wine and therefore a greater amount of nuances.

Before being marketed, the Barolo must undergo a minimum aging of 3 years, of which 18 months in oak barrels, while after 5 years it can be marketed under the name “Riserva”.

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