Welcome to Italy once again. Barbera is the best known and highest quantity of grape being produced in Piedmont, the most famous wine region in all of Italy. Barbera when grown well comes out a sort of magenta color and generally lacks hard edges and tannic structures evident in some of the other native Italian grape varietals.
Historically, Barbera has been the Cinderella of Italian wine. Given the worst soil, growing conditions and treatment, it has none the less grown to be a favorite of wine drinkers throughout Italy and in much of the rest of the world.
In the 1980’s a few small producers, interestingly the story here chronicles the Rhone Rangers in California around the same time period, started giving the Barbera grape the five star treatment. The results have been a velvetlike texture with cherry flavors and plenty of chocolate flavors.