Regional Varieties: Albariño Aligoté Amigne Arneis Chasselas Colombard Cortese Fiano Grechetto Grenache Blanc Malvasia Istriana Marsanne Muscadelle Muscat of Alexandria Ortega Palomino Parellada Petite Arvine Prosecco Rieslaner Roussanne Savagnin Scheurebe Seyval Blanc Tocai Friulano Torrontés Vermentino Welschriesling
Arneis, which means "little rascal" in Piedmontese, was so named because of its finicky nature. Arneis is one of the classic Piedmontese white grapes. Wines made from this grape have pear and apricot notes and are crisp and full-bodied. It originated in Piedmont, where it was largely used to soften overly harsh Nebbiolo wines. Acreage steadily declined at one point but a resurgence of interest in Piedmontese whites has occurred.
Arneis can often make a great wine--but it's a difficult process. It is low in acidity, can be overripe, and is prone to powdery mildew. Producers have discovered that oak aging will make the wine very full-bodied while unoaked can bring out unusual notes of perfume. Clay soils make the most elegant Arneis, but sandy soil will give the wine more structure and acidity.
Arneis' versatility in Piedmont is increasing. Roero and Langhe are particular examples of great Arneis, and the grape is still sometimes used in blends with Nebbiolo. Outside of Piedmont, though, plantings are limited. Australia, California, Oregon and New Zealand have plantings as well.