Barbera wines from Piedmont are grown on the cooler, lower slopes and valleys of Northern Italy. It has high acidity, lower tannin levels compared to Nebbiolo, but shows a great affinity for new oak. It is a very vigorous grape variety, however, for serious Barbera designed for ageing the grapes tend to be from low-yielding Barbera vines.
The making of Barbera has undergone some revolutionary changes during the last decades. Pioneer of top-quality Barbera, the late Giacomo Bologna of Braida winery initiated adoption of small French oak barrels for maturation. This prototype 'oaked Barbera' had quickly gained in popularity among many consumers and was equally supported by winemakers.
The Barbera-only appellations are Barbera d'Asti DOCG, one of the most famous wines from the Piedmont, Barbera d'Alba DOC and Barbera del Monferrato DOC.