Nebbiolo wine kick-off...

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Epic Pitmaster
Original poster
Staff member
OTBS Member
Apr 27, 2017
South Louisiana-Yes, it is HOT
I bought another nebbiolo kit back in October 2023. Between the hunting seasons and the holidays, I did not have the chance to kick it off. Now that it is February, things are slowing down some. I am timing the first racking before our big processing day, with final racking after.

Doing a pre-ferment cold soak this go around. Everything in the 8 gallon fermentation bucket...

And in the old curing chamber @41*F for 4-6 days for water soluble flavor and color extraction, then I'll heat it up and pitch in the yeast to start fermentation.
This nebbiolo wine kit from R.J. Spagnols is more like a Langhe Nebbiolo. Fruit forward, medium body, medium tannins. It does not have the power of a true Barolo wine, so this batch will have just a Nebbiolo label on the bottles. S.G. is right at 1.106 so should be around 13.5% alcohol once it is done with fermentation.
Pulled the bucket out from cold soak today, warmed up the Must and added the yeast starter. Temp. holding at 75*F with a seedling mat wrapped around the bucket. Should start seeing bubbles in the next 2 days.
Never had a nebbiolo. I'll look for some next time I buy wine. Any recommendations?
Recommendation will depend on the style wine you like. Nebbiolo is similar to Pinot Noir in that the grape is very terrior expressive; the environment, climatic conditions, soil, etc, all change how the grape will be expressed in the glass. Nebbiolo grown on sandier soils will be softer and more fruity. So if you like softer wines, go with a Langhe Nebbiolo. Langhe Nebbiolo is often made with grapes from younger vines. Now the Nebbiolo d'Alba will have a little more power.....more body and more punch to the tannins- but nowhere near the Barolo and Barbaresco wines. I have tried the Abbona Langhe Nebbiolo and it is a really good bottle. The Marchesi d'Barolo S'Birolo is a Langhe Nebbiolo as well. Little softer and little fruitier with soft tannins. Very good too. But Vietti, Domenico Clerico, Machesi di Gresy....really any top producer-if they make a Langhe nebbiolo I would expect it to be good.

The best expressions of nebbiolo are from Italy. The grape is so fickle that few outside Italy have had much success with cultivation for wine grapes.
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"If you want to understand what is nebbiolo, this is it ."

-the entenologist @Domenico Clerico speaking of Langhe Nebbiolo wine.

Well, after 4 days of cold soak, then 13 days of fermentation 65-80*F, the S.G. is down to 0.996 so the nebbiolo is finished fermenting. Will wait 2 more days to be sure S.G. is stable and the bubbler is still. Then I'll rack it for secondary malolactic fermentation.
Rack the nebbiolo off the gross lees into a 6gal. carboy today. Final S.G. is 0.992 so final ABV is 14.7%



Added 2.5oz. French oak med. toast buttons...

I also added clean, sterilized flat round glass beads to bring the volume up to the neck of the carboy..

The carboy is in a milk crate (to give support to the bottom and act as a shock absorber to prevent a busted bottom). Moved next to my curing chamber and wine racks. Covered with a blanket to shut out the light. Will do second racking in 3 weeks, then bulk age on french oak for minimum of 2 months. Will decide when to bottle by taste...
Bottled the Nebbiolo today. Crystal clear and enough oak for this young style wine so in the bottle it goes....

Ended up with 28 bottles (spilled a little......drank a little...LOL!!)
Also and trying out making some red wine vinegar. Poured the lees and remaining wine in a 1/2 gal. mason jar. Then rinsed the carboy out with about 2 cups of white vinegar. Poured that over the glass beads in the funnel with a strainer into the jar. Put a lid on and will let it settle, then rack off the lees.

Saw an old Italian on youtube do this so as not to waste good wine. I'm gonna try it....

You can see the lees already starting to settle about 4 hours after pouring into the jar....
Will leave the bottles upright for a couple days to let the corks seat well, then lay over for about a week to check for leakers before sealing the closures on top. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.