Arneis has a nickname in Italy: ‘the little rascal’. It’s a rebellious variety, but, under expert supervision, this fresh, approachable wine exudes charm and behaves well with all sorts of food.
Lilian Carter, Symphonia Fine Wines
Arneis is quite susceptible to disease in the vineyard, so we have to work hard to get the fruit and leaf ratio correct. That involves shoot thinning, leaf plucking and bunch positioning early on in the season to get a good airflow through the canopy. We also do some yield reduction, making sure the bunches aren’t touching each other: they need that little bit of dappled sunlight all around for the fruit to develop its varietal flavours and citrus characteristics.
The King Valley is a great home for Arneis: our mild climate stretches out the fruit’s ripening for a beautiful accumulation of flavours.
Joel Pizzini, Pizzini Wines
I typically describe Arneis as having the best attributes of a floral Riesling and the palate weight of Sauvignon Blanc. It’s really versatile and approachable, with a natural acidity and freshness.
Our Arneis is 100 per cent stainless steel fermented, and we let the wine sit on light lees for four or five months. This softens the wine and gives it light, creamy notes on the palate as well as some yeasty complexity, in a minor sort of way that doesn’t dominate the citrus and the tropical kiwi edges to the wine.
Christian Dal Zotto, Dal Zotto Wines
Arneis is a crisp, floral wine that originates in Italy’s Piemonte region. Traditionally, they blend it into Nebbiolo to give it a touch more sweetness and perfume. In Australia, we’ve grabbed hold of this variety as a wine that can stand by itself, because it’s such a soft, delicate, pretty wine that matches with food.
It pairs well with Asian dishes, antipasti and, at the trattoria, a bowl of polenta chips and a glass of Arneis in summer is heaven. The joy of Arneis is that if the food is simple, the wine isn’t overpowered; it’s all about keeping it easy and enjoyable.