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Barbera Story

Joe Shebl
May 16, 2014 | Joe Shebl

Barbera Story

The decadent wines made from this grape are usually deeply colored and typically loaded with intense aromas and flavors of blueberries, plums and blackberries. New world winemakers are finding success employing the use of new French oak barrels that lend levels of complexity and viscosity, helping to balance the grapes high natural acidity. The key to a successful harvest of this variety is closely monitoring the fruits acidity in relation to brix levels. It is always as if we are playing an anxious waiting game with Mother Nature where patience is greatly rewarded.  This high acid, low tannin composition makes Barbera a wonderfully food friendly wine.  Barbera stands up to, and dances with, almost any meal you can conjure.

The success of Barbera grown in Amador County can mostly be attributed to the similar climate we share with the grapes origin in Piedmont, Italy. Both locales have a Mediterranean Climate, meaning, the average high and low temperatures throughout the growing season only vary by a few degrees ºF. Both Piedmont and Amador County have four fairly distinct seasons. Each having, long, hot summers with occasional storms, a warm and pleasant fall, a short winter with occasionalfrost and snow, and a spring that starts in February or early March. Combine this fact with the well-draining soils of Amador, and Barbera is perfectly at home here and rival any of those produced in Italy.

Barbera has a long history in Amador County and an even longer, brighter future. With so much upside potential, Amador County Barbera is poised to continue is rapid ascension as one of the flagship wines from the region. The vintages soon to come will put Amador County Barbera on the international radar. Zinfandel may be King, but Barbera is unsubtly making a run at the crown. 


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