Arneis white wine variety

This elegant Italian white wine grape variety is creating a buzz in Australia. I regard it as being among the top half dozen new white varieties in Australia.

Quick facts about Arneis white wine varietyQuick facts about Arneis

In its native Piedmont, especially in the regions of Roero and Langhe, Arneis produces elegant white wines with powerful aromas of almonds and peaches. The variety was much less popular in the 1970s, but has undergone quite a revival since then.

Interestingly, this variety is not used widely in any country outside Italy except in Australia, which in 2010 has over 13% of the acreage planted globally for Arneis.

A few Australian vineyards were using Arneis in the late 1990s but more recently the variety has gained popularity so that more than 60 wineries now make Arneis.

King Valley Arneis by ChrismontLa Zona Arneis by Chrismont in the King Valley

The variety presents some problems in the vineyard - Its nickname in Italy is "little rascal" but better clones and handling have seen Arneis wines become more popular.

In a similar role to Viognier in Shiraz, small quantities of Arneis have been used traditionally in Piedmont as blending material to soften wines made from the red variety Nebbiolo.

Australian Producers of Arneis

Medal winners

At the 2017 Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show 13 Arneis wines were judged.  No Gold Medals, two Silver medals and four Bronze medals were awarded.

  • Adelina Wines Clare Valley
  • Amadio Adelaide Hills
  • Audrey Wilkinson Hunter Valley
  • Beechtree Wines McLaren Vale
  • Billy Button Alpine Valleys
  • Bird in Hand Adelaide Hills
  • Bittern Estate Mornington Peninsula
  • Brown Brothers King Valley
  • Carn Estate Murray Darling
  • Centennial Vineyards Southern Highlands
  • Catherine Vale Vineyard Hunter Valley
  • Chrismont King Valley
  • Crittenden Estate Mornington Peninsula
  • Collins and Co Wines Adelaide Hills
  • Dalfarras Nagambie Lakes
  • Dhiaga Mornington Peninsula
  • Cupitt's Winery Shoalhaven Coast
  • D'Arenberg McLaren Vale
  • Dal Zotto Estate King Valley
  • De Bortoli Riverina
  • Di Lusso Estate Mudgee
  • First Drop Barossa Valley
  • Dromana Estate Mornington Peninsula
  • G Pattriti & Co McLaren Vale
  • Fowles Wine Strathbogie Ranges
  • Helen's Hill Estate Yarra Valley
  • Innocent Bystander Yarra Valley
  • Holm Oak Northern Tasmania
  • K1 by Geoff Hardy Adelaide Hills
  • Kirrihill Estates Clare Valley
  • La Bise Adelaide Hills
  • Landhaus Estate Adelaide Hills
  • Larry Cherubino Margaret River
  • Lazzar Wines Mornington Peninsula
  • Millbrook Winery Perth Hills
  • Nashdale Lane WInes Orange
  • Nepenthe Adelaide Hills
  • Ochota Barrels Adelaide Hills
  • Pankhurst Wines Canberra
  • Parish Hill Wines Adelaide Hills
  • Paul Nelson Wines Mount Barker
  • Pizzini Wines King Valley
  • Rowlee Wines Orange
  • Rutherglen Estates Rutherglen
  • Sam Miranda Wines King Valley
  • Sassy Wines Orange
  • Stefano di Pieri Murray Darling
  • Symphonia King Valley
  • Tempus Two Hunter Valley
  • Ten Miles East Adelaide Hills
  • Tertini Wines Southern Highlands
  • Thick as Thieves Yarra Valley
  • Vale Creek Wines Central Ranges Zone
  • Vale Vineyard Mornington Peninsula
  • View Road Wines Adelaide Hills
  • Vineyard 28 Geographe
  • Yacca Paddock Vineyards Adelaide Hills
  • Yarraloch Yarra Valley
  • Zerella (la Gita) McLaren Vale
  • Zonte's Footstep Langhorne Creek
Updated 11 November 2018

The flavours of Arneis

Arneis wines in Australia can be a little neutral, perhaps because most vineyards are relatively young. But at their best these wines can be complex and aromatic and redolent of almonds, pears, peaches and honey.

As aromatic white wines these are best served when young and fresh, but I have enjoyed Crittenden's Arneis with a few years of bottle age.

Some descriptions of Arneis

Perfume, fruity, apples, pears, white grapefruit, floral, citrus, anise, hint of herbs...

De Long's Wine Varietal Table

...subtly fruit-scented, full-bodied and tasting of ripe pears 

Wine grapes Jancis Robinson 

Wines made from the Arneis grape are ideal accompaniments to seafoods, antipasti and salads.  But you can try them on their own as well.

In his book The Winelover Cooks Italian Brian St Pierre suggests pasta with squid or octopus.

Learn More about Grape Varieties

De Long's Wine Grape Varietal TableDe Long's Wine Grape Varietal Table

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De Long's Wine Grape Varietal Table

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Wine Grapes by Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding and José Vouillamoz

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Other Italian white Wine varieties in Australia

Arneis | Bianco d'Alessano | Cortese | Fiano | Friesa | Garganega | Greco di Tufo | Grillo | Moscato Giallo | Picolit | Prosecco | Trebbiano | Verduzzo | Vermentino

Try this mixed dozen from our wine merchant partner

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