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Barbera has a Piedmontese and Lombard and a Sicilian nucleus, for northern surnames it is conceivable an origin from nicknames linked to the name of grapes or Barbera wine, perhaps to characterize the activity of winemaker or wine producer, but also perhaps of strong drinker, in the case instead of the Sicilian surnames it can be hypothesized an origin connected to the profession of barber.
Barbera would appear to be specific to western Sicily, where it is widespread, the extremely rare variant La Barbiera, typical of Palermo, Bolognetta and Palermo, should both derive from a nickname linked to the barber trade or a female progenitor who did that profession.