Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Arneis, white grape variety and dry, scented varietal wine of piemonte in north west Italy. Originally from roero, it was traditionally used to soften the red Nebbiolo grape. Perhaps because of this, it is also sometimes called barolo Bianco, or white Barolo, by some of its more fervent admirers. Although the wine has a certain history in Piemonte, it seemed on the verge of disappearing in the early 1970s when only two houses, Vietti and Bruno Giacosa, were bottling Arneis. In the 1980s, however, thanks to growing demand for white wine in Piemonte, particularly from houses more renowned for their Barolo and barbaresco, there was an explosion of interest in Arneis, and plantings totalled 969 ha/2,393 acres by 2010. This low-yielding variety ripens in the second half of September and gives wines with subtle if interesting perfumes. Modern winemaking has, in the best cases, dealt with the variety’s inherently low acidity. The best examples tend to be unoaked and drunk young. It is not planted anywhere else in Italy, but is planted to a very limited extent in California, Oregon, Australia, and New Zealand. The best producers in Piemonte are Malvira, Deltetto, Cascina Chicco, and Bruno Giacosa.