The AOC surrounding the village of Barbaresco was long overlooked for the neighbouring Barolo appellation. This lack of awareness or notoriety had nothing to do with the quality of its wines; it was simply because none of the Barbaresco producers were kings, aristocrats or ministers. All the attention was thus, until the 1950s, focused on the neighbouring town with its many notables and dignitaries. In addition, Barbaresco’s vineyards only cover half the size of Barolo’s and has thereby fewer producers. Nowadays however, Barbaresco’s elegant and fragrant wines are now recognized around the world as among the best in Italy and the region is slowly but surely catching up with Barolo.
The soil composition in Barbaresco is more homogeneous than in Barolo. Although the two appellations are often considered as very similar because of their proximity there are differences in the subsoil’s mineral constitution. Barbaresco has more copper and zinc and a lower concentration of manganese, resulting in a distinctly different spectrum of aromas. The climate is also warmer, allowing the Nebbiolo to reach its phenolic maturity faster. The wines are thus sometimes slightly less alcoholic than Barolo wines and usually easier to appreciate in their youth because of their delicate tannins.