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Barolo Regulation

Product regulation for Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin “Barolo” wines

The controlled and guaranteed designation of origin “Barolo” is reserved for red wines that meet certain requirements established in the current regulation guidelines, under the following categories:

  • Barolo
  • Barolo riserva
  • Barolo and Barolo Riserva with an additional geographic reference, to which can be added the word “vigna”

The region of origin of the grapes used to produce controlled and guaranteed designation of origin Barolo wine includes the communes of Barolo, Castiglione Falletto and Serralunga d’Alba in their entirety, as well as sections of the territories of Monforte d’Alba, Novello, La Morra, Verduno, Grinzane Cavour, Diano d’Alba, Cherasco and Roddi, within the province of Cuneo.

The environmental and cultivation conditions of the vineyards destined for the production of controlled and guaranteed designation of origin Barolo wine, have to be normal in the area and certified, in order to confer the grapes -and the wine produced from them- specific characteristics of quality. Above all, the conditions for cultivation of the vineyards must meet the requirements stated in the paragraphs that follow:

  • soil: clay, calcareous and their possible combinations
  • disposition: exclusively mountainous; the valley floor, damp, level land and not sunny enough field are excluded without exceptions
  • elevation: 170 to 540 metres above sea level
  • exposure: suited to ensure proper ripening and confer the grapes and the wine with specific characteristics of quality, with exceptions for new plants, from -45° to + 45° on the northern slope
  • planting density: generally determined according to the characteristics of the grapes and the wine
  • vineyards subject to registration or re-planting must be composed of a number of plants per hectare, calculated on the planting layout, of not less than 3,500
  • growing and pruning: traditional (growing: vertical-trellised; pruning system: Guyot)
  • forcing (“forzatura”) treatments are forbidden.

The maximum yield of grapes per hectare for vineyards specialized in the production of controlled and guaranteed designation of origin Barolo, Barolo riserva wines and the natural alcohol content present in the grapes for wine making should be, respectively, as follows:

Wine Grape
q/ha
Alcohol content
natural min. vol.
Barolo 80 12,50 % vol
Barolo Riserva 80 12,50 % vol

In good vintages, the quantity of grapes obtained and destined to the production of controlled and guaranteed designation of origin “Barolo” wines must be kept between the limits mentioned above provided that the overall production does not exceed those limits in 20% or more.

The vinification and ageing processes must be performed in the areas reserved for those purposes.
The Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, after consultation with the Consortium, has the power of allowing the aforementioned mandatory operations of vinification and ageing in establishments located in the territories of the communes of Monforte d’Alba, Novello, La Morra, Grinzane Cavour, Diano d’Alba, Roddi and the portion to the right of the river Tanaro in the communes of Cherasco and Verduno. Those establishments are required to present a title of ownership for the vineyards of no less than fifteen years.

The maximum yield of finished wine shall not exceed these values:

Wine Yield
grape/wine
Max Production
of wine
Barolo 70% 56 hl/ha
Barolo Riserva 70% 56 hl/ha

During vinification and ageing, the most reasonable technical criteria must be followed, as well as the relevant oenological practises in order to confer the wine with the best quality features under the methods and limits stated in the current legislation..

The following wines must be subject to a minimum period of ageing:

Wine Time
months
Time in wood
months
Effective from
Barolo 38 18 november 1 of the year of the grape harvest
Barolo Riserva 62 18 november 1 of the year of the grape harvest

The introduction onto the market, for each of them, is permitted only as of the date indicated below:

Wine Date
Barolo january 1 of the fourth year after the harvest
Barolo Riserva january 1 of the fourth year after the harvest

Upon certification, once the expected ageing time has been observed, the producer can make an explicit request for the classification “riserva”.

The controlled and guaranteed designation of origin Barolo wine, when released onto the market, must comply with the following characteristics:

  • colour: garnet red
  • aroma: intense and characteristic
  • flavour: dry, full, harmonious
  • minimum total alcohol content by volume: 13,00 % vol
  • minimum total acidity: 4,5 g/l

The controlled and guaranteed designation of origin Barolo Riserva wine, when released onto the market, must comply with the following characteristics:

  • colour: garnet red
  • aroma: intense and characteristic
  • flavour: dry, full, harmonious
  • minimum total alcohol content by volume: 13,00 % vol
  • minimum total acidity: 4,5 g/l.

The bottles in which the controlled and guaranteed designation of origin Barolo wines are marketed must be of the model Albeisa or equivalent from old usage and tradition, made of dark glass with a closing system allowed by the current legislation.

The bottles in which the controlled and guaranteed designation of origin Barolo wines are marketed must have a capacity allowed by the relevant laws, but never below 37,5 cl.

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