At the request and according to the guidelines of the protection consortium for Barolo & Barbaresco, the Barolo area was determined by the Ministry of Agriculture in 1966. The zone immediately received the DOC classification and in 1984 the highest rating level followed DOCG. Part of the guidelines were and still are very strict cultivation and production conditions that must be observed by the wineries within the Barolo area.
The area is made up of eleven different municipalities. However, more than 90% of the entire Barolo production comes from only 6 municipalities, which are generally regarded as the core area of the Barolo. In order of their production volumes, these communities are:
Until the 1980s it was common for the Barolo winemakers to sell their grapes to mass producers, who then made the wines and brought them to the market. These wines were blended with each other from the entire growing area. A milestone in Barolo history was the year 1961, when the first winemakers began to produce their own single-site wines.
In the past there have been attempts to introduce a legally stipulated location map. But it took until 2010 before an official location name became a reality. In contrast to Burgundy, for example, these terms are not classified and do not say anything about the quality of the vineyards, but rather stand side by side on an equal footing. However, there is an unofficial hierarchy, because most of the location names have a historical background and there is certainly a knowledge of the quality potential of these crus.
Today the majority of Barolo wines are vineyard wines and there are a total of 181 site names recognized by the consortium, the so-called MGA (Supplementary Geographical Indications). The producers can put the name on the bottle label The location, also called Cru, and bear the vineyard name, are not obliged to do so. The Top Crus include Cannubi, Brunate, Margheria, Monprivato, Francia, Rocche dell 'Annunziata, Villero and Vignarionda. In 2013, a total of 13 million bottles of Barolo were produced on 1966 hectares of vineyards by 577 wineries.