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Barbera del Sannio grapes

by Dec 1, 20160 comments

Barbera del Sannio is a grape variety which produces red wine and is cultivated in Campania of South Italy.

Barbera del Sannio

Even after showing resemblance to the appearance and name, the grape shows no genetic connection with the Piedmont wine grapes Barbera Bianca or Barbera or the wine grape of Sardinia Barbera Sarda and is in fact, more closely connected to the grape variety of Campania, Catalanesca and Casavecchia and Nero di Troia, the grape variety of Apulia.

Wine grape varieties

Barbera del Sannio is mostly utilized in blending in Campania which adds aroma notes and color to the grape wine.

This is a permitted grape variety to be produced as a varietal in DOC (Denominazione di origine controllata) of Sannio.

History and Relationship to Grapes

Wine Ampelographers suppose that in 1844, Barbera del Sannio was first described in a document by Guglielmo Gasparrini who is an Italian botanist.

The synonyms Lugliatica and Lugliese were used by Gasparrini to explain the grape variety with Luglio which is an Italian term for the July month.

This is a probable indication to the change in the color of veraison in the growing period when the vine’s white berries turn into a dark red color.

The grape variety was named Barbera by 1875, by the wine ampelographer Giuseppe Froiodue to the similarity to the appearance of the Piedmont variety.

For maximum of the 20th century, this grape was believed to be a local replica of the Piedmontese variety which resulted in confusion of the wine rules and regulations of DOC regions where the cultivation of these two grapes were done.

In the 21st century, the DNA analysis proved that these two grapes are different and that this grape showed no genetic connection with Piedmontese Barbera.

In fact, Barbera del Sannio showed a close relationship to many southern Italian grapes such as the Apulian Nero di Troio and Catalanesca and Casavecchia of Campania.

Anyhow, as Barbera del Sannio did not show any relation to the ancient Campanian grapes such as Piedirosso, Fiano, Aglianico, Coda di Volpe and Greco, ampelographers thought that the grapevine was rather a recent variety in Campania.

Regions Where It Is Grown

Maximum plantation of Barbera del Sannio is available in the Benevento province of Campania, typically around the Castelvenere village.

The grape may be utilized as a blending partner for several wines of Campanian DOC but in Sannio DOC it may be made as a varietal which spreads in the Sannio Hills which pass though the centre of the Benevento province in Campania.

The grapes which are destined for DOC rose or red production must be harvested to produce not more than 12 hectares of yield.

The generic rose and red wines (non varietal) of DOC are produced from a mixture of minimum 50% Sangiovese and other red grapes such as Sciascinoso and Piedirosso. The finished alcohol content for both blended and varietal wines must be not less than 11%.


Barbera del Sannio is famous by several synonyms over the years such as Lugliese, Barbetta and Lugliatica.

Wines with Barbera del Sannio grapes


Barbera del Sannio is a very strong vine that can be liable to produce a leafy, large canopy if not kept in check by canopy management and pruning techniques.

The berries produced by the vine have very thick skins which are rich in color and phenolics compound. This also gives resistance to the vines from the viticulture hazards of botrytis bunch rot.

Wine Styles

Jancis Robinson, the Master of Wine believes that Barbera del Sannio has a tendency to make wines with medium-body which are highly aromatic and deep in color.

It is mostly used as a blending partner, but some winemakers in the DOC of Sannio have been making varietal wines from this grape.

The sensory outline of the wine has an immense ruby red color with violet shades. The nose is full of berries, ripe red fruit and pink, with mentioned vegetal notes.

The swig is intense, full, slightly tannic, and soft and with a rich fruit finish. The berries have high levels of anthocyanins, with striking fruity and intense cherry followed by flowery tones of violet and rose.

Food Pairings with Wine

The wine can be paired with red-tomato sauce pasta, vegetable risotto and pizzas.

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Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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