Nebbiolo red wine variety in Australia

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 grapes ready for processingNebbiolo grapes ready for processing at Virago Vineyard in the Beechworth Region, NE Victoria

Nebbiolo in Italy

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 Piedmontese villages of their origin.

Some is grown in neighbouring Lombardy as well.

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

Piedmont in NW Italy.

Nebbiolo in Australia

Where Nebbiolo is grown in Australia

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 and 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.

  • A T Richardson Wines Grampians
  • Adelina Wines Clare Valley
  • Aldinga Bay McLaren Vale
  • Alpha Box and Dice McLaren Vale
  • Amato Vino Margaret River
  • Amulet Vineyard Beechworth
  • Arlewood Estate Margaret River
  • Arrivo Adelaide Hills
  • Bacchus Hill Sunbury
  • Ballandeen Estate Granite Belt
  • Barrecas Geographe
  • Black Stump Wines Clare Valley
  • Boireann Granite Belt
  • Bowe Lees Adelaide Hills
  • Brokenwood Wines Hunter Valley
  • Brown Brothers King Valley
  • Capel Vale Geographe
  • Cappa Stone Murray Darling
  • 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
  • Cupitt's Winery Shoalhaven Coast
  • 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
  • Di Sciascio Family Wines Heathcote
  • Domaine De Binet Hunter Valley
  • Domenica Beechworth
  • Dromana Estate Mornington Peninsula
  • Ferguson Falls Winery Geographe
  • Fermoy Estate Margaret River
  • First Drop Barossa Valley
  • Fletcher Pyrenees
  • Flying Fish Cove Margaret River
  • Freeman Vineyards Hilltops
  • Galli Estate Heathcote
  • Geographe Wines Geographe
  • Giaconda Beechworth
  • Glenwillow Vineyard Bendigo
  • Goodman Wines Heathcote
  • Grant Burge Barossa Valley
  • Grove Estate Wines Hilltops
  • Happs Margaret River
  • Hay Shed Hill Wines 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 Yarra Valley
  • McIvor Estate Heathcote
  • Merkel King Valley
  • Millbrook Winery Perth Hills
  • Montefalco Vineyard Porongurup
  • Monument Vineyard Central Ranges Zone
  • Moondarra Gippsland
  • Mount Avoca Pyrenees
  • Mount Cole Wineworks Grampians
  • Mount Franklin Estate Macedon Ranges
  • Mount Surmon Clare Valley
  • Mount Towrong Macedon Ranges
  • Mr Barval Fine Wines Margaret River
  • Next Crop Wines Langhorne Creek
  • Ngeringa Adelaide Hills
  • Nillumbik Estate Yarra Valley
  • Oak Works Riverland
  • Out of Step Yarra Valley
  • Oxenbury Beechworth
  • Parish Hill Wines Adelaide Hills
  • Peel Ridge Peel
  • Pengally Lane Wines Bendigo
  • Philip Lobley Wines Upper Goulburn
  • Pizzini Wines King Valley
  • Pokolbin Estate Hunter Valley
  • Pondalowie Bendigo
  • Prancing Horse Estate Mornington Peninsula
  • Primo Estate McLaren Vale
  • Protero Adelaide Hills
  • Provenance Wines Geelong
  • Quealy Mornington Peninsula
  • Ravensworth Wines Canberra
  • Red Feet King Valley
  • Ringer Reef Winery Alpine Valleys
  • Ros Ritchie Upper Goulburn
  • Rowlee Wines Orange
  • Rowsley Fault Vineyards Geelong
  • Rutherglen Estates Rutherglen
  • Sandhurst Ridge Bendigo
  • SC Pannell McLaren Vale
  • Scaffidi Estate Adelaide Hills
  • Seaview McLaren Vale
  • Semprevino Adelaide Hills
  • Serafino Wines McLaren Vale
  • serrat Yarra Valley
  • Shobbrook Wines Barossa Valley
  • Signor Vino Riverina
  • Soumah Yarra Valley
  • Spider Bill Wines Adelaide hills
  • Spook Hill Wines Riverland
  • Star Lane Beechworth
  • Starvedog Lane Adelaide Hills
  • Stefano Lubiano Southern Tasmania
  • Stuart Wines Heathcote
  • Sum of the Few Pyrenees
  • Symphony Hill Wines Granite Belt
  • Tar and Roses Nagambie Lakes
  • Tenafeate Creek Wines Adelaide Plains
  • The Hairy Arm Heathcote
  • Thick as Thieves Yarra Valley
  • Thorn-Clarke Wines Barossa Valley
  • Toppers Mountain New England
  • Trandari Hilltops
  • Traviati Beechworth
  • Trentham Estate Murray Darling
  • Unico Zelo Adelaide Hills
  • Vinea Marson Heathcote
  • Vineyard 28 Geographe
  • Virago Beechworth
  • Warrenmang Vineyard Pyrenees
  • Way Wood Wines McLaren Vale
  • Yalumba Wine Company Eden Valley

See this article about the trials and tribulations of establishing a Nebbiolo vineyard in Beechworth

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

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 dishes.

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.

Brasato al Barolo is a classic dish of a large piece of beef slowly braised in a Barolo wine.  You can cheat a little by not using 100 Euro a bottle wine as discussed in this Q and A.

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.

More Italian red wine varieties used in Australia

Aglianico | Barbera | Canaiolo Nero | Colorino | Corvina | Dolcetto | Lagrein | Mammolo | Marzemino | Montepulciano | Nebbiolo | Negroamaro | Nero d'Avola | Primitivo | Refosco | Rondinella | Sagrantino | Sangiovese | Teroldego | Zinfandel

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