Barolo and Barbaresco: what are the differences?

The Barolo and Barbaresco wines both take its names from the villages of Barolo and Barbaresco, where they are produced using Nebbiolo grapes. Nebbiolo is an Italian wine grape variety and its name derives from the word "nebbia" (fog), due to the intense fog in the Langhe region during the harvest. The history of the Barolo and Barbaresco wine is the first difference between those typical Langhe's wines: while Barbaresco requires a minimum of 2 years storage, the Barolo wine is released after 3 years of storage. The aging of the wine reduces the tannins in the wine and enriches the flavor, so the Barolo wine requires a longer aging process due to the higher level of tannins.

The chemical difference between Barolo and Barbaresco, despite the same grape variety used for the production, is due to the difference of the soil between the area of Barolo and the area of Barbaresco. While the lime contained in the soil of both Barolo and Barbaresco is alkaline (high pH), the soil in barbaresco has more nutrients and the wine produces less tannins and tastes differently on the mid-palate.

Named after the noblewoman "Marchesa di Barolo", the Barolo wine has been produced since the 1850's and both its color and taste changed a lot during the years, partly due to the changing of climate and also the technology in the wineries helping to make these products cleaner, and also more approachable at younger ages. The Barbaresco wine is 50 years younger (the first production is dated 1894).