The heartland of Barbera is the Piemonte region in Northern Italy, but it is somewhat overshadowed by its majestic stablemate, Nebbiolo. This, however, has not stopped Barbera from achieving its own DOC status in subregions such as Alba and Monferrato and the highest rating of DOCG in Asti and Nizza. Being a warmer climate grape, that retains its acidity, many Australian regions are also having success with Barbera, including the Hunter Valley and McLaren Vale.
But, Barbera d’Asti is perhaps the best example of the traditional Piemonte wine. Known for its low tannins and high acidity, Barbera produces wines that are fresh, bright and packed with red berry/cherry characters. Older wines develop darker fruit notes with secondary gamey/meaty tones. Many producers age their wines in toasted oak, which gives Barbera d’Asti extra complexity and hints of vanilla. A wine to pair with gamey meats such as duck, or kangaroo.