Nebbiolo Wine in Australia

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If you like difficult and eccentric wines then this variety is for you. Even British wine writer Oz Clarke says

"For years I couldn't get to grips with Nebbiolo"

Nebbiolo is a red grape variety grown in the Piedmont region of North West Italy. It is the variety used to make the highly regarded Barolo and Barbaresco wines, named after the villages of their origin. Some is grown in neighbouring Lombardy as well.

There is some Nebbiolo in California and Washington State but the consensus in the US is that it has not been a successful import. Nebbiolo in Australian wine regions

Regions named with larger fonts have more producers of Nebbiolo wines.

In Australia this variety, like many other Italian wine varieties, is attracting some interest.

Nebbiolo has the reputation of being a difficult grape to grow, as many Australian winegrowers will tell you. Consumers too find their first introduction to the variety a little strange. The colour, aroma and mouthfeel are not what your average Shiraz drinker is used to.

It is a variety that needs to matched closely with the appropriate microclimate. It has been tried in most Australian wine regions but it seems that the most successful Australian Nebbiolo wines as far as critics an judges have come from The Mornington Peninsula, and King Valley in Victoria and the Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and Clare Valley in South Australia.

Those growers and winemakers who have persisted have been rewarded with some excellent Australian Nebbiolo wines.

The Flavour of Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo makes wine with a distinct brown colour. The wines are usually long lived and often reward cellaring for a decade or so. In some ways Nebbiolo wines resemble Pinot Noirs in the way that they age into wines with soft rich tannins. The wines have rich flavours with a nose most often described as 'tar and roses'.

Some other flavours and aromas to look for are spicy, chocolate, leathery and earthy flavours. Think of a forest floor.

Nebbiolo and Food Pairing

In Daring Pairings Evan Goldstein recommends pairing Nebbiolo with Braised Duck Leg Ragu with Chestnut Polenta and Green Olives.

As a general rule of thumb, any food you could serve with mushrooms is suitable to accompany Nebbiolo. Suggested other food matches with Nebbiolo wines are grilled steak, slow cooked winter casseroles and game. At a long lunch for wine makers prepared by Mildura chef Stefano di Pieri I enjoyed braised ox cheek with polenta as a dish specially designed to accompany an award winning Nebbiolo.

For an authentic touch you could try this variety with a Bollito misto, which is a Northern Italian dish of mixed boiled meats, sausages and offal served with a garlicky basil sauce.

Wine variety table

Nebbiolo is one of 184 wine grape varieties described on

De Long's Wine Grape Varietal Table

See this reader's question and my answer about Barolo

Australian Wineries Using Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo from
Mt Surmon Wines
Clare Valley

Mt Surmon Nebbiolo
Aldinga Bay McLaren Vale | Alpha Box and Dice McLaren Vale | Amulet Vineyard Beechworth | Arrivo Adelaide Hills | Aventine Wines Granite Belt | Bacchus Hill Sunbury | Ballandeen Estate Granite Belt | Boireann Granite Belt | Bowe Lees Adelaide Hills | Brokenwood Wines Hunter Valley | Brown Brothers King Valley | Burnton Ridge Adelaide Hills | Capel Vale Geographe | Carlaminda Estate Geographe | Carlei Estate Yarra Valley | Carpe Diem Margaret River | Casa Freschi Langhorne Creek | Castagna Vineyard Beechworth | Ceres Bridge Estate Geelong | Chain of Ponds Adelaide Hills | Chestnut Hill Vineyard Port Phillip Zone | Clovely Estate South Burnett | Coriole McLaren Vale | Counterpoint Vineyard Pyrenees | Cow Hill Beechworth | Dal Zotto Estate King Valley | Darling Estate King Valley | David Hook Wines Hunter Valley | Deep Woods Estate Margaret River | Delatite Winery Upper Goulburn | Della Fay Margaret River | Di Lusso Estate Mudgee | Dromana Estate Mornington Peninsula | Ferguson Falls Winery Geographe | Fermoy Estate Margaret River | First Drop Barossa Valley | Flat View Vineyard Clare Valley | Fletcher Pyrenees | Flying Fish Cove Margaret River | Freeman Vineyards Hilltops | Galli Estate Sunbury | Geographe Wines Geographe | Glen Creek Wines Upper Goulburn | Glenwillow Vineyard Bendigo | Grant Burge Barossa Valley | Grove Estate Wines Hilltops | Happs Margaret River | Henschke Eden Valley | Hidden Creek Granite Belt | Indigo Wine Company Beechworth | Jasper Hill Heathcote | Kenton Hill Adelaide Hills | Kirrihill Estates Clare Valley | La Cantina King Valley King Valley | Lashmar Kangaroo Island | Longview Vineyard Adelaide Hills | Louee Wines Mudgee | Luke Lambert Wines Heathcote | Maglieri McLaren Vale | McIvor Estate Heathcote | Montefalco Vineyard Porongurup | Monument Vineyard Central Ranges Zone | Moondarra Gippsland | Moppity Vineyards Hilltops | Mount Cole Wineworks Grampians | Mount Franklin Estate Macedon Ranges | Mount Surmon Clare Valley | Mount Towrong Macedon Ranges | Ngeringa Adelaide Hills | Nillumbik Estate Yarra Valley | Oak Works Riverland | Out of Step Yarra Valley | Parish Hill Wines Adelaide Hills | Pasut Family Wines Murray Darling | Peel Ridge Peel | Pengally Lane Wines Bendigo | Philip Lobley Wines Upper Goulburn | Pizzini Wines King Valley | Pokolbin Estate Hunter Valley | Pondalowie Bendigo | Primo Estate McLaren Vale | Protero Adelaide Hills | Provenance Wines Geelong | Quealy Mornington Peninsula | Rigel Wines Mornington Peninsula | Ringer Reef Winery Alpine Valleys | Rojo Wines Port Phillip Zone | Ros Ritchie Upper Goulburn | Roselea Estate Shoalhaven Coast | Rutherglen Estates Rutherglen | Sandhurst Ridge Bendigo | SC Pannell McLaren Vale | Scaffidi Estate Adelaide Hills | Seaview McLaren Vale | Semprevino Adelaide Hills | Serafino Wines McLaren Vale | Shobbrook Wines Barossa Valley | Sirromet Queensland Coastal | Soumah Yarra Valley | Southern Highland Wines Southern Highlands | Spook Hill Wines Riverland | Star Lane Beechworth | Starvedog Lane Adelaide Hills | Stefano Lubiano Southern Tasmania | Stuart Wines Heathcote | Swings & Roundabouts Margaret River | Talunga Adelaide Hills | Tannery Lane Bendigo | Tar and Roses Nagambie Lakes | Tenafeate Creek Wines Adelaide Plains | The Hairy Arm Heathcote | Thick as Theives Yarra Valley | Thorn-Clarke Wines Barossa Valley | Toppers Mountain New England | Trandari Hilltops | Trentham Estate Murray Darling | Two Italian Boys Riverina | Vinea Marson Heathcote | Vineyard 28 Geographe | Warrenmang Vineyard Pyrenees | Way Wood Wines McLaren Vale | Whispering Hills Yarra Valley | Witchmount Estate Sunbury | Yalumba Wine Company Barossa Valley | Yandoit Hill Winery Bendigo | Yering Station Yarra Valley

If you'd like to buy some Nebbiolo then you might like to check out this rervice to compare prices and find retailers.

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Some award winning Nebbiolo wines

Nebbiolo always does well at the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show. In 2012 SC Pannell won the trophy for Best Wine in Show. Three other Nebbiolo wines received gold medals, Coriole, Dal Zotto and Protero. All four of these wines had bottle age , being from the 2008 or 2009 vintage.

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