Barbera is one of the most iconic wines of Piemonte and, traditionally, its name is feminine by the farmers, possibly to compare it to a beautiful woman who makes men happy. The Barbera vine is the most widespread red berry kind in the region. Its origins, less ancient compared to other varieties grown in Piemonte, can be traced back to 1700 in the land of Monferrato. Starting from the 1800s, when it was recognized as a very strong and productive vine, its diffusion has been unstoppable. It has been considered just a rustic farmer's wine, strong and without personality for a long time, but in recent years it has seen a great growth in quality thanks to a greater care both in the vineyards and in the cellars.
Among the most famous Barbera, Monferrato, Alba and Asti, Barbera d'Asti is for sure the most produced and sold, even if it comes from an area probably more known for Asti Spumante, as well as for products such as Robiola di Roccaverano DOP. Barbera d'Asti is, compared to the neighboring Barbera del Monferrato, which is produced in the same provinces of Asti and Alessandria, a wine which evolved from a tradition and followed the market's different tastes and demands and the most modern wine making techniques. It is, in fact, a softer and more structured Barbera with a definitely less evident acidity compared to the other Barberas. Ruby red in color, tending to granate if aged, when young it features fruity scents of cherry and plum evolving to notes of jam and spices as the wine ages. The taste is dry and with a strong warm feeling due to the high alcohol degree, balanced by sweet tannins and fair acidity.
The best couplings for Barbera d'Asti are tasty first courses with meat sauces, roast and braised beef or foul, and aged and tasty cheese. It is produced in three sub-zones, Nizza, Tinella and Astiano, and in a Superiore version is aged for at least 12 months in the cellar.