The Barbera grape is a red wine grape variety that is believed to have originated in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy. It is one of the most widely planted grapes in the region and has a long history of use in winemaking, dating back to the 13th century. The grape is known for its high acidity and medium to high tannin levels, which make it well-suited to the production of robust, full-bodied wines. In the 20th century, Barbera suffered a decline in popularity as winemakers in the Piedmont region began to focus more on producing Nebbiolo-based wines, such as Barolo and Barbaresco. However, in recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in Barbera, and many winemakers are now focusing on producing high-quality, age-worthy versions of the wine. Today, Barbera is widely regarded as one of the best red wine grapes of Italy, and its popularity continues to grow both in the Piedmont region and around the world.
Some of the best vintages for Barbera in recent decades are 1958, 1971, 1978, 1982, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1996, 2001, 2006, 2010 and 2016.