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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Nicolas Belfrage MW & Franco Ziliani

Italy's national committee for the protection of DOC wines has approved the application of Roero, in Piedmont, for DOCG status. Roero is the part of the Langhe production area on the left bank of the river Tanaro, across from the central wine-producing town of Alba and its more famous zones, Barolo and Barbaresco. The wine, called simply Roero, as distinct from Roero Arneis, must have a minimum 95% Nebbiolo with 5% Arneis allowed in the blend. Roero Arneis must be 100% varietal. Roero DOCG contains 217 producers, compared with 595 for Roero Arneis, with 185.8 hectares (ha) under vine (Roero Arneis has 492.5ha); and some 838,000 bottles were produced in 2003 (compared with 3,643,066 for Roero Arneis). With the introduction of DOCG status, Roero Arneis will also be able to produce sparkling wine. President of the Roero Regional Enoteca, Luciano Bertello, commented: We have waited for this recognition for a long time. It should be seen as a point of departure, and not of arrival, a stimulus to continue the work of validating and promoting our Piedmontese wines.'