All About Arneis
Have you ever heard of Arneis (ar-nase) before?
If not, you're not alone – it's a very rare variety. There are actually only 1,200 hectares of Arneis in the world, and just 37 hectares of those are planted here in Australia.
If you like a fruit forward Chardonnay or a dry, fruity Pinot Gris then you are guaranteed to enjoy a cool glass of this delicious aromatic white wine.
Where does Arneis come from?
Arneis hails from the Piemonte wine region (renowned for the highly acclaimed wines of Barolo and Barbaresco) in the Northwest of Italy.
It is a notoriously difficult variety to grow, and it's because of this difficulty that the variety was named – Arneis actually translates to 'little rascal' in the local Piemontese dialect!
In fact, this difficulty also contributed to the variety almost becoming extinct in the 1960s and 70s, however thanks to a small, passionate group of winemakers in Piemonte, Arneis has seen a steady revival since then. Arneis is now most famously planted on a small stretch of hills called Roero, just across the river from Barolo.
Initially, in Piemonte, Arneis vines were planted to protect Nebbiolo vines from pests – the strong aromatics of the Arneis grapes attracted the insects and birds, leading them away from the beloved Nebbiolo fruit.
Winemakers in this region also used to blend Arneis with Nebbiolo to soften tannins and add aromatic complexity (similar to Syrah/Shiraz and Viognier in the Rhône Valley, France).
What does Arneis taste like?
Arneis is an aromatic variety producing dry (not sweet), medium-bodied wines which burst with perfumed florals, pear, citrus and apricot. More complex expressions can also exhibit baking spices or savoury almond, as well as hints of minerality.
Arneis is mainly suited to cooler climate regions, where a longer ripening period ensures strong fruit expression alongside refreshing acidity.
Should I cellar Arneis?
Most Arneis wines are best drunk within 3 years of vintage, served chilled in a white wine glass.
What food does Arneis suit?
Arneis is a food-friendly wine and can be served alongside a wide range of lighter-flavoured dishes from roast pork belly to grilled snapper or certain pastas such as carbonara or prawn linguine.
1x Silver Medal
The Millbrook Arneis is a special, very small planting at our cooler vineyard site in Pemberton. Fruit was carefully hand-picked and then whole bunch pressed with only the free-run juice going straight to seasoned French oak for fermentation. The wine then spent five months in barrel before going to bottle with minimal fining. This minimal intervention has allowed us to make the wine vegan friendly.
This is a varietally expressive wine exhibiting subtle white floral perfume, poached pear aromas and hints of flinty wet stone. A nervy, citrus acidity drives the wine long, through waves of pithy texture and nashi pear fruits.
With only 50 six-packs available online, shop the new, limited release Arneis here.
Browse our Millbrook wines online here.