Arneis

Common synonyms: Bianchetta, Bianchetta d'Alba, Bianchetta di Alba, Bianchetto, Bianchetto Albese, Bianchetto di Alba, Bianchetto di Verzuolo, Barolo Bianco, and Nebbiollo Bianco.

Parentage of the grape: Unknown. Planted for centuries in Piedmont.

History of the grape: The first records of Arneis plantings in Piedmont go back to the 1400s. Today, many call Arneis the most interesting white grape in Piedmont. But for a long time, little white wine was actually made from it. Instead, it was traditionally used to soften the tannins of the red Nebbiolo (perhaps the real reason it’s nicknamed “Barolo Bianco”) or, worse, to keep the attention of vineyard pests such as birds away from the more profitable red grapes. Finally in the 70s and 80s, great producers such as Ceretto began to make white wines worthy of this fine variety in significant quantity.

Characteristics of the grape: grapefruit, sour apple, white flower; medium acidity. Can be quite substantial in body.

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