Barbera bianca: general information

general information managed by Istituto per la Protezione Sostenibile delle Piante - CNR
How to cite this source Raimondi S., Ruffa P., Schneider A., 2014. Barbera bianca. In: Italian Vitis Database,, ISSN 2282-006X
acknowledgments Ager Foundation
botanical information
Barbera bianca
type of origin
Vitis vinifera
variety group
not available
variety for
Registered in the National Catalogue
Official name
Barbera bianca B.
documented synonyms (4)
synonyms documented by the Istitution that appear with the eventual support of the literature
released clones
  • shoot
  • leaf
  • bunch
  • berry
Historical references

When you consider the synonym 'Peigin' or 'Peisin' (perhaps dialect form of 'Perosino'), typical of an area of Alto Monferrato between Ovada and Acqui Terme and now almost disappeared, the first mention of this grape may be that of rows "tres Perosios" planted in 1602 in the same geographic area (Prosperi et al., 2006).

Beyond this hypothesis, the first certain informations on this variety are by Count De Cardenas in the work "Delle viti italiane" by Giuseppe Acerbi (1825): he indicates this variety, without a description, in the district of Valenza (Alessandria province).

More detailed informations are provided by Giorgio Gallesio, who crossed the Alessandria area in some of his frequent study trips. Starting from 1831 we find in its travel journal recently published (1995) some information about Barbera bianca, cultivated in Bormida Valley and in the area of Novi Ligure, and Bertolino or Carica l’asino (its local synonyms) in the 'Fraschetta' of Alessandria, the plains near this town, once densely wooded.

Both the last two varieties are in fact described as with elliptical berries and Gallesio himself says about Barbera bianca he views near Novi Ligure that "its long berries makes you believe that is the Monferrato grape named Carrica l’asino" then realizing the identity of those two varieties.

Even in Demaria and Leardi work (1875), there is a description of the cultivar Bertolino of which  we note the synonymy with Carica l’asino, Barbera bianca and with a variety called 'Uva ovata' near Novi Ligure.

distribution & variation

Although Barbera bianca is recorded in the National Register of varieties, its cultivation is now limited to plants present sporadically in the old vineyards of Monferrato, in the province of Alessandria, often without being recognized by the winemakers. Very few examples of varietal cultivation exist, mainly made under the name 'Caria l’asu' (‘Load the donkey’).

The area planted with Barbera bianca indicated by ISTAT in 2010 census  (113 ha) is much higher than the actual one; probably because distinct varieties are grown in other regions with the same name; among them a 'Barbera ianca' actually encountered by writers in Cilento (Salerno).

technological use

There are very few cases of varietal vinification without assembling with other varieties: Barbera bianca wines are characterized by a very high acidity.

bibliographies (5)
authors year title journal citation
Acerbi G. 1825 Delle viti italiane, ossia materiali per servire alla classificazione, monografia e sinonimia, preceduti dal tentativo di una classificazione delle viti. Ed. G. Silvestri - Milano
Demaria P.P., Leardi C. 1875 Ampelografia della provincia di Alessandria Ed. Negro, Torino.
Gallesio G. 1995 I giornali dei viaggi A cura di E. Baldini. Accademia dei Georgofili, Firenze.
ISTAT 2010 Censimento generale dell'Agricoltura -
Prosperi C., Vercellino A., Arditi S. 2006 A due passi dal paradiso: Giovanni Monevi e la sua bottega (Visone, secc. XVII- XVIII). Associazione vallate Visone e Caramagna, Impressioni Grafiche (Acqui Terme): 41.
updated at 2016-11-14 13:50:56 (7 years ago)