What is Barolo?

Barolo is a name of a wine made from the Nebbiolo grape. The grape is red skinned and is high in acid and tannins. It is also referred to as “King of Wine” and was named after noblewoman, the Marchesa de Barolo, in the 1850s. The wines produced are rich and full bodied with some able to age for up to 25 years.

All Barolos must be aged for at least two years in oak and one in bottle. For Riservas they need to be aged for five years, three of which is in oak.


Where is Barolo made?

Barolo is made in northern Italian region of Piedmont, grown on the Langhe hills. The village of Barolo itself is located here and sees many wine tourists visit annually.

Barolos at Swanbourne Cellars

What are the different “communes”/villages that produce Barolo?

There are 11 villages where Barolo DOCG is produced:

  1. La Morra
  2. Monforte d’Alba
  3. Serralunga d’Alba
  4. Barolo
  5. Novello
  6. Castiglione Falletto
  7. Verduno
  8. Grinzane Cavour
  9. Roddi
  10. Diano d’Alba
  11. Cherasco


However Barolo, La Morra, Serralunga d’Alba, Monforte d’Alba and Castiglione Falletto make up 87% of the Barolo produced.

Barolo and Barbaresco communes_source decanter.com
source: decanter.com

What are the soil types?

There are two main soil types where Barolo is grown; sand and clay.

The soils in Serralunga Valley are rich in sand and limestone, potassium, phosphorus and iron. The wines grown in this soil have a longer ageing potential compared to those grown in the Central Valley (12-15 years). Serralunga Valley includes three communes; Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d’Alba and Monforte d’Alba.

In comparison the Central Valley soils contain more clay, manganese and magnesium oxide which results in softer and more fruit forward wines, more approachable when they are younger and requires less aging (8-10 years).


What does Barolo taste like?

Stef’s tasting notes of Barolos include dried fruits and licorice or chocolate and plums. With the longer time in oak and aging in bottle, the tannins soften and with the perfumed aromas, Barolos can be such stunning wines.


If you like the sound of these wines, drop in and come and see us! We love Barolo at Swanny Cellars!

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