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.

More Italian red wine varieties used in Australia

Aglianico | Aleatico | Barbera | Canaiolo Nero | Colorino | Corvina | Dolcetto | Friesa | Lagrein | Mammolo | Marzemino | Montepulciano | Nebbiolo | Negroamaro | Nero d'Avola | Nero Di Troia | Primitivo | Refosco | Rondinella | Sagrantino | Sangiovese | Teroldego | Zinfandel
One of the best books about Italian wine grape varieties is Ian d'Agata's Native Wine Grapes of 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.

Nebbiolo is one of the varieties described in the book What Varietal is That?

  • A T Richardson Grampians
  • Adelina Wines Clare Valley
  • Aldinga Bay McLaren Vale
  • Alpha Box and Dice McLaren Vale
  • Amato Vino Margaret River
  • Amulet Vineyard Beechworth
  • Arfion Yaraa Valley
  • Arlewood Estate Margaret River
  • Arrivo Adelaide Hills
  • Athletes of Wine Macedon Ranges
  • Bacchus Hill Sunbury
  • Ballandeen Estate Granite Belt
  • Barrecas Geographe
  • Ben Haines Wiens Yarra Valley
  • Bent Road Granite Belt
  • Bioreann Granite Belt
  • Bird On A Wine Yarra Valley
  • Black Stump Wines Clare Valley
  • Born and Raised Heathcote
  • Bowe Lees Adelaide Hills
  • Brokenwood Wines Hunter Valley
  • Bromley Geelong
  • Brown Brothers King Valley
  • Brown Brothers King Valley
  • Bull Lane Wine Company Heathcote
  • Capel Vale Geographe
  • Cappa Stone Murray Darling
  • Carlaminda Estate Geographe
  • Carlei Estate Yarra Valley
  • Carpe Diem Margaret River
  • Casa Freschi Langhorne Creek
  • Cassegrain Hastings River
  • Castagna Vineyard Beechworth
  • Ceres Bridge Estate Geelong
  • Chain of Ponds Adelaide Hills
  • Chestnut Hill Vineyard Port Phillip Zone
  • Clovely Estate South Burnett
  • Cockfighters Ghost Hunter Valley
  • 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
  • Denton Viewhill Vineyard Yarra Valley
  • Dhiaga Mornington Peninsula
  • Di Lusso Estate Mudgee
  • Di Sciascio Family Wines Heathcote
  • Domaine De Binet Hunter Valley
  • Domenica Beechworth
  • Dromana Estate Mornington Peninsula
  • Emilia Northern Tasmania
  • Feathertop Alpine Valleys
  • Ferguson Falls Winery Geographe
  • Fermoy Estate Margaret River
  • Ferraro Wines Alpine Valleys
  • First Drop Barossa Valley
  • Fletcher Pyrenees
  • Flying Fish Cove Margaret River
  • Freeman Vineyards Hilltops
  • Galli Estate Heathcote
  • Geographe Wines Geographe
  • Giaconda Beechworth
  • Glenlofty Pyrenees
  • Glenwillow Vineyard Bendigo
  • Goodman Wines Heathcote
  • Grant Burge Barossa Valley
  • Grape Farm Winery Pyrenees
  • Grove Estate Wines Hilltops
  • Happs Margaret River
  • Hay Shed Hill Wines Margaret River
  • Henschke Eden Valley
  • Hidden Creek Granite Belt
  • Il Modo Murray Darling
  • Indigo Wine Company Beechworth
  • Jasper Hill Heathcote
  • Kellivale Geographe
  • Kenton Hill Adelaide Hills
  • Killara Estate Yarra Valley
  • Kirrihill Estates Clare Valley
  • L A S Vino Margaret River
  • La Cantina King Valley King Valley
  • La Fattoria Perth Hills
  • La Villa Northern Tasmania
  • Lambrook Adelaide Hills
  • Langmeil Barossa Valley
  • Lashmar Kangaroo Island
  • Lethbridge Wines Geelong
  • Lino Ramble McLaren Vale
  • Longview Vineyard Adelaide Hills
  • Loom McLaren Vale
  • Louee Wines Mudgee
  • Luke Lambert Wines Yarra Valley
  • McIvor Estate Heathcote
  • Merindoc 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 Towrong Macedon Ranges
  • MountainsideWines Grampians
  • Mr Barval Fine Wines Margaret River
  • Musk Lane Macedon Ranges
  • Next Crop Wines Langhorne Creek
  • Ngeringa Adelaide Hills
  • Nick Spence Wines Tumbarumba
  • Nillumbik Estate Yarra Valley
  • Nocture Margaret River
  • Oak Works Riverland
  • Out of Step Yarra Valley
  • Oxenbury Beechworth
  • Parish Hill Wines Adelaide Hills
  • Paul Osicka Heathcote
  • Peel Ridge Peel
  • Pengally Lane Wines Bendigo
  • Philip Lobley Wines Upper Goulburn
  • Pike and Joyce Adelaide Hills
  • Pizzini Wines King Valley
  • Pokolbin Estate Hunter Valley
  • Pondalowie Bendigo
  • Prancing Horse Estate Mornington Peninsula
  • Precious Little Wines Adelaide Hills
  • Primo Estate McLaren Vale
  • Protero Adelaide Hills
  • Provenance Wines Geelong
  • Quealy Mornington Peninsula
  • Ravensworth Wines Canberra
  • Red Feet King Valley
  • Rewine Gundagai
  • Ringer Reef Winery Alpine Valleys
  • Rochford Wines Yarra Valley
  • Ros Ritchie Upper Goulburn
  • Rowlee Wines Orange
  • Rowsley Fault Vineyards Geelong
  • Rutherglen Estates Rutherglen
  • Sam Miranda Wines King Valley
  • Sandhurst Ridge Bendigo
  • SC Pannell McLaren Vale
  • Scaffidi Estate Adelaide Hills
  • Semprevino Adelaide Hills
  • Serafino Wines McLaren Vale
  • serrat Yarra Valley
  • Shobbrook Wines Barossa Valley
  • Signor Vino Riverina
  • Siromet Granite Belt
  • Soumah Yarra Valley
  • Spider Bill Wines Adelaide hills
  • Spook Hill Wines Riverland
  • Star Lane Beechworth
  • Stuart Wines Heathcote
  • SubRosa Grampians
  • Sum of the Few Pyrenees
  • Symphony Hill Wines Granite Belt
  • Taltarni Pyrenees
  • Tar and Roses Nagambie Lakes
  • Tenafeate Creek Wines Adelaide Plains
  • Tertini Wines Southern Highlands
  • The Hairy Arm Heathcote
  • Thick as Thieves Yarra Valley
  • Thorn-Clarke Wines Barossa Valley
  • Toppers Mountain New England
  • Tractorless Vineyard Southern Highlands
  • Trandari Hilltops
  • Traviati Beechworth
  • Trentham Estate Murray Darling
  • Tumbalong Hills Gundagai
  • Unico Zelo Adelaide Hills
  • Vinea Marson Heathcote
  • Vineyard 28 Geographe
  • Vineyard 28 Geographe
  • Virago Beechworth
  • Warrenmang Vineyard Pyrenees
  • Way Wood Wines McLaren Vale
  • Yalumba Wine Company Eden Valley
  • Yarra Peaks Yarra Valley
Updated 11 Nov 2019

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

Award Wining Nebbiolo Wines

At the 2019 Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show 22 wines were judged.  Three Gold medals were awarded, four Silvers, and eleven Bronzes. Gold medals were given to Arrivo 2009 Nebbiolo (Adelaide Hills) Pike and Joyce 2018 Innesti Nebbiolo (Adelaide Hills) and Tar & Roses 2017 Nebbiolo (Heathcote).

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 | Aleatico | Barbera | Canaiolo Nero | Colorino | Corvina | Dolcetto | Friesa | Lagrein | Mammolo | Marzemino | Montepulciano | Nebbiolo | Negroamaro | Nero d'Avola | Nero Di Troia | Primitivo | Refosco | Rondinella | Sagrantino | Sangiovese | Teroldego | Zinfandel
One of the best books about Italian wine grape varieties is Ian d'Agata's Native Wine Grapes of Italy

Try this New Wave pack from our wine merchant partner

2 bottles each of some stunning alternative reds.

Sagrantino, Barbera, Touriga and more. 

Just $16.25 per bottle.

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