Barbera is a red Italian wine grape variety and it is most widely planted grape in Piemonte, where it is grown in a number of Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOCs), such as BARBERA d' ALBA and BARBERA d' ASTI, high-quality growing regions where varieties and yields are regulated by the government. Long considered distinctly inferior to Nebbiolo, Barbera is growing in reputation, with some renditions challenging the best of Barolo and Barberesco. Know for having a dark color, low tannins and high acidity, this combination makes for a wine that has big flavor with intense fruit on the nose. These wines are also built for long term aging. Dark berries like raspberries, blueberries, blackberries are what you will find on the nose and depending on the winemakers these wine run the gamut from lightly oaked and fruity to a toasted vanilla character along with the fruit. The wines from more heavily toasted barrels have deeper layers of complexity and allow for longer aging. The wines from less oaked barrels provide the drinker with a more fruit forward wine that are designed to drink now.
Barbera's are a food friendly wine and they should be on your list of wines to try.
California as a wine producing region has grown in size and importance considerably over the past couple of centuries, and today is the proud producer of more than ninety percent of the United States' wines. Indeed, if California was a country, it would be the fourth largest producer of wine in the world, with a vast range of vineyards covering almost half a million acres. The secret to California's success as a wine region has a lot to do with the high quality of its soils, and the fact that it has an extensive Pacific coastline which perfectly tempers the blazing sunshine it experiences all year round. The winds coming off the ocean cool the vines, and the natural valleys and mountainsides which make up most of the state's wine regions make for ideal areas in which to cultivate a variety of high quality grapes.