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The transformation

Barolo and Barbaresco are among the few Italian red wines with a tradition of long ageing lasting longer than 20 to 30 years. Yet it is little known that even these wines, praised today for their majestic appearance, power, depth and complexity, were predominantly sweet and sparkling vintages around 100 years ago. It was not until the end of the 19th century that dry still wine began to establish itself in the area. But even after that, Barolo and Barbaresco remained wines for a small circle of connoisseurs and enthusiasts for decades. The immense tannin of Nebbiolo, from which both wines must be pressed 100 per cent, was then too much for most wine lovers. Those who were familiar with Bordeaux and Burgundy often found Barbaresco and even more so the massive Barolo too rustic for the more refined palate.