The white grape variety comes from Italy, Synonyms are Bianchetta, Bianchetta di Alba, Bianchetto, Bianchetto di Verzuolo and Nebbiolo Bianco (but there is no genetic relationship to the red variety Nebbiolo ). The name means "little difficult" and means in the old Piedmontese dialect a person with a grumpy, unreliable and irascible character (this has nothing to do with the properties of Arneis). The variety may have been mentioned as early as 1432 under the name Ranaysii in the province of Torino in Piedmont. Under the name Arneis, however, this was only done in 1877 by the ampelographer Giuseppe di Rovasenda (1824-1913). In the past, it became primarily sweet Passito pressed or served as an attenuating blend of dark Nebbiolo red wines, which also explains the synonym Nebbiolo Bianco. The medium-ripening, low-yielding vine is resistant to the wrong, but susceptible to the real mildew, It produces exotic fragrant, full-bodied but rather low-acid white wines with delicate aromas of white flowers, apple, pear and hazelnut. Admirers also exuberantly call it “Barolo Bianco”.
The variety is mainly grown in Piedmont grown where they are in the DOC wines Langhe and Terre Alfieri, as well as in DOCG wine Roero is allowed. In small quantities it is also in the two regions Liguria and Sardinia represented. The variety was already threatened with extinction in the 1970s, only very few winemakers like the well-known Bruno Giacosa produced bottled wines from it. From the 1980s there was increased demand again. In Italy it occupies 970 hectares of vineyards. There is more acreage in Australia (153 ha) and New Zealand, as well as in the two US states California and Oregon, In 2010, however, a total of 1,123 hectares of vineyards were only shown in the two countries listed (Kym Anderson ).
Source : Wine Grapes / J. Robinson, J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz / Penguin Books Ltd. 2012
Images : MIPAAF - National Vine Certification Service