Arneis is an ancient grape variety native to the Roero district of Italy's Piedmont. Arneis, which has been translated as "little rascal" has had a long, but not always illustrious history. Like most of Italy's indigenous grape varieties, Arneis has only recently been cultivated and bottled as a varietal. For centuries, the local white Arneis, also known as Bianchetta and Nebbiolo Bianco, was most often blended into the Piedmont's full-bodied, rustic reds to augment their aromatic profile and soften their tannic edge. In the days before the laws of denominazione di origine controllata, even Barolo would receive a dollop of Arneis to enhance its aroma and tame its fire. Since the 1970s, Arneis has come of age. With the advent of technical wine equipment and the enforcement of DOCG regulations in Italy, Arneis has been rescued from extinction and born again as Piedmont's finest and most expensive dry white wine. Arneis yields a medium-bodied wine of haunting bouquet. Spring flowers, stone fruits, and a waft of fennel are the scents and savors most associated with this charming, food friendly varietal that is highly adaptable to stylistic interpretation. It can be enjoyed quite chilled or slightly cool, as you like it.
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