Regional Varieties: Baga Barbera Blaufränkisch Brachetto Carignan Carménère Cinsaut Dolcetto Gamay Graciano Lagrein Malvasia Nera Marzemino Montepulciano Mourvèdre Nero d'Avola Petit Verdot Petite Sirah Pinot Meunier Pinotage Touriga Nacional
Barbera is the third-most planted red wine grape in Italy, after Sangiovese and Montepulciano. It is low in tannin but high in acid. It has potential, but is a somewhat finicky grape, and is hard to grow outside of Italy. Blackberries, cherries, raspberries, and blueberries are common flavors, and the use of oak can add flavor and increase aging potential. Barbera, which may be related to the Spanish grape Mourvèdre, has allegedly been around since at least the 13th century, originating in Monferrato, Italy. Barbera producers added methanol to their wines in the 1990s, which killed 23 people and ignited a huge scandal. Since then, Barbera has been steadily decreasing in popularity.
Although Barbera is mainly planted in Italy, there have been some Californian examples. After recovering from its bad reputation, Barbera may be on the upswing again soon.