The Best Nebbiolo That Isn't Barolo Or Barbaresco

The Best Nebbiolo That Isn't Barolo Or Barbaresco

Nebbiolo is synonymous with the Piemontese regions of Barolo and Barbaresco. It makes sense. Not only is that where the grape reaches its highest highs, but it’s where some of the greatest bottles in the entire world of wine originate. Thus, mention nebbiolo, and people will expect you to follow up with a producer like Conterno, a vineyard like Montestefano, or a vintage like 1990 or 1964.

But while Barolo and Barbaresco are certainly nebbiolo’s star attractions, they aren’t the whole story. Elsewhere in Piedmont, as well as in neighboring regions of northwest Italy, nebbiolo produces wines that very much deserve your attention. They aren’t household names, but they can illustrate the grape’s classic structure and aromatics, often offering fantastic value for the price.

Here are a few regions to look out for on wine labels.

Langhe Nebbiolo

Both Barolo and Barbaresco sit within the larger Langhe region, and many of the area’s best producers make lighter, more approachable wines from vineyard sites adjacent to their iconic plots. These Langhe Nebbiolo wines offer the chance to experience world renowned producers at everyday prices.


Sharing a border with both Barolo and Barbaresco is like living on the same street as Harry Styles, Sam Smith, and Boy George (all actual neighbors). Tour buses may not stop in front of your house twice a day, but your real estate is pretty damn nice, nonetheless. That’s the case with Roero, an area just north of Alba that’s responsible for the most powerful nebbiolo-based wines outside of Barolo and Barbaresco.


In Lombardy, east of Piedmont and a bit north of Milan, nebbiolo is made in the cool region of Valtellina. There, where nebbiolo is known as ‘chiavennasca,’ the grape yields wines that are light and highly refreshing, more reminiscent of earthy pinot noir than big, bold Barolo.


Nebbiolo from the cool alpine hills of Bramaterra is bright and floral. It’s not as deep or savory as wines from Barolo, but its abundance of acidity allows it to age gracefully for a decade or longer.


Bordering Bramaterra in the northern reaches of Piedmont is Gattinara. Nebbiolo, or ‘spanna’ as it’s known up there, produces elegant, floral, rich wines that are absolutely ideal with pizza, pasta, or anything else you might top with tomato sauce.

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