The term seems to derive from "fog", but it is not clear whether to define the appearance of the grape, dark, but tarnished (clouded) by abundant bloom, or if due to the very late ripening of the grapes, which often leads to harvesting in the period of autumn mists.
Nebbiolo has its first historical citations at the end of the thirteenth century, due to its presence in various places, primarily in Piedmont, especially for the Asti and Langhe: in 1431 it is mentioned in the statutes of La Morra together with Pignolo. Only starting from the 19th century Nebbiolo is frequently mentioned in the works of the most famous ampelographers.
It is grown in Piedmont in the Langhe and Roero in the province of Cuneo and in the Upper Piedmont where we can indicate the sub-areas of the Canavese especially in the historic municipality of Carema in the province of Turin, Biellese, Alto Vercellese and Novarese. It is also present in the Asti area, albeit in smaller quantities. Outside Piedmont it is widespread in the Lower Aosta Valley, even more in Valtellina where it forms the basis for the production of the DOCG Valtellina Superiore and Sforzato or Sfursat. It is also present in Franciacorta and Luras in northern Sardinia, where it is called "Nebiolo". Since the early 21st century it has also been grown in the municipalities of Angera, Albizzate and Azzate in the Province of Varese. From the 18th century it was introduced by Piedmontese also in the area of Gubbio in the province of Perugia.