Nebbiolo and arneis are the two grape varieties used to produce respectively Roero and Roero Arneis DOCG.

 

Arneis

Arneis has practically been always grown in the Roero. Between the end of 1400s and the beginning of 1500 we find the first written evidence, in the form Reneysium and Ornesium, and in the citation of a vineyard called “moscatelli et renexij”, which refers to a place (current location Canalese Renesio), where that grape was probably cultivated. In the 1700s Arneis was cited about as one of the best quality grapes, like the muscat and so, it was vinified mainly sweet or as a form of vermouth.

The name Arneis appeared at the beginning of the 1800s, and in the accounting records was called “white Arneis” as well as “white of different grapes.” In the 1900s it was struck by viticulture crisis; because of its sweetness and early maturing, it was cultivated as table grapes and placed next to the nebbiolo to attract birds (hence the name “white nebbiolo”). It was only in the 1970s that vineyards completely dedicated to Arneis were reconstructed, when little more than ten acres were counted, and some wineries started to produce it in the dry version.

As for its vegetative cycle, it has a medium-early budding, so when possible, it is planted in areas that aren’t subject to spring frosts. It has a flowering that typically occurs in the first ten days of June, and it reaches maturity in the second half of September.

 

Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo is a native grape of Piedmont, the first written records of it are found at the end of the thirteenth century. In Roero Nebbiolo is mentioned for the first time at the beginning of the fourteenth century. In the 1700s records show that different types were found in the cellars of the area, from dry to sweet, from “old” to amiable.

In following centuries, became one of the most esteemed red grape, so much as to remain an important grape despite the arrival of Philloxera, precisely because, Roero was considered one of the most suitable areas for its cultivation. Nebbiolo has a very long vegetative stage. It is among the first grapes to germinate and the last to be harvested (often in the second half of October), and is therefore subject to spring frosts and autumn rains.

Particularly sensitive to geographical conditions (it is prone to genetic mutations, depending on the soil on which it is planted), Nebbiolo is grown almost exclusively in hillside vineyards in the best exposures, even though it is susceptible in windy locations, it is rarely planted on top of hills (on which we almost always find Barbera). There are three well-known and used clones: lampia, michet and rosé.