"The Most Important Italian Vines"

Italy is one of the largest wine producers in the world, with more than 50 million hectoliters bottled every year.

On our beloved peninsula we find more than 500 vines, both native and international. The whole national territory is extremely suitable for the cultivation of vines, and is divided into 78 DOCG (Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin), 331 DOC (Controlled Designation of Origin) and 180 IGT (Typical Geographical Indication). The denominations are governed by precise regulations that indicate the territories of reference, authorized vines, aging and production methods. Some denominations allow for a more selected level of production which may depend on the quality of the raw material used ("superior") or the historical area of origin ("classic"). For some wines the specifications may also include several Crus. Let's go on to deepen the Italian wines dividing them into: white, red and rosé without obviously forgetting the bubbles and sweet and fortified wines.





White wines 

Our Italy offers us a vast and very varied variety of whites. 
From mountain ones to whites from the coast, whites from volcanic soils or from vines grown in heroic vineyards, organic, natural and even orange wines.
The Piedmontese white wines such as Gavi, Timorasso or Arneis are highly appreciated. Very important and in demand is Soave, a grape-based white garganega, coming from the Veronese countryside on soils of volcanic origin that give us mineral and savory wines, long-lived and extremely fresh. We cannot fail to mention the Lugana which with its particular sapidity always remains at the top of the request. 

For Italian whites, a basic area is Friuli, in this case with many international grapes such as sauvignon and pinot grigio and local ones such as ribolla. 

Going up towards Trentino we find aromatic grapes, both autochthonous and international, such as gewürztraminer, il riesling, yellow muscat and pinot blanc (without forgetting a natural vocation for pinot noir).

Traveling along our peninsula to the south, whites acquire body and personality. Looking out over the Adriatic Sea, we meet Verdicchio delle Marche, a white that has decidedly more personality than the previous ones, always remaining sapid and suitable for important ageing in wood.

Changing sea, on the Tyrrhenian Sea we meet Vermentino. Perfumed and always very fresh it offers us notes full of minerals and full of flavour.

Going further down to the largest white berried grape in the south, it is certainly Fiano, with its vineyards that reach as far as the Apennines, just as equally important are Greco di Tufo, fresh and fruity, and Falanghina. 

Sicily is a variegated land and offers us both fragrant and fruity whites, such as Grillo, Catarratto and Inzolia, both acidic, savory and mineral, like the whites of Etna that come from grapes loaders. 


 Red wines

 Italy is a country dedicated to "Great Reds"

In Piedmont, precisely the Langhe, they are Homeland of the Nebbiolo, elegant and very long-lived, it always offers decisive but always balanced wines. Thanks to long aging in barrels, Nebbiolo acquires the elegance and finesse of the famous Barolo and Barbaresco, products that you cannot fail to taste at least once! Remaining in Piedmont but going up towards the Alps, the Nebbiolo becomes finer, acquiring the denomination of Gattinara. Piedmont is also the cradle of Barbera. It gives slightly acidic but very structured wines, perfect for many culinary combinations. 

We continue our journey arriving in our Tuscany, land of great Sangiovese. Here we find the DOCG Chianti and Chianti Classico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino. The culture of Tuscan products has made the difference here, through the testing and acquisition over time of different techniques and refinement times, Sangiovese is expressed in young and rustic wines, or powerful and structured.

If, on the other hand, you prefer international red wines, such as supertuscans, Tuscany offers pieces of absolute importance with Cabernet and Merlot grapes above all! Here we also find Sasicaia with its Bolgheri, an area adjacent to Castagneto Carducci in the province of Livorno overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, the cradle of international red grape varieties in Italy. Here the climate is typically marine and the soils very varied, but excellent for making great Bordeaux-style reds: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Marlot.

Veneto is also a land of great reds. Valpolicella, young and juicy, mainly produced from freshly picked Veronese corvina grapes, and Amarone, enveloping and full-bodied, which is produced by dry vinifying a must deriving from dried grapes, up to Ripasso, which is a Valpolicella stopped on the skins used for the maceration of Amarone, thus remaining very balanced.

Italy is very rich in autochthonous grapes, among which Montepulciano is certainly very noteworthy, usually vinified alone, and which gives structured and tannic red wines. Speaking of Italian reds, Aglianico is important in Campaniaamazing grape for complexity and ability to evolve, body, structure and character to sell.

Going further down our boot, in Puglia we instead encounter soft and round red wines, such as Primitivo, which offers us excellent natural sweet red wines, Nero di Troia, Malvasia Nera and Negroamaro. 

We then arrive in Sicily, a land rich in history and winemaking tradition, full of different and varied terrains. Here we find Nero d'Avola and possibly cabernet sauvignon and syrah on one side, and on the other we cannot fail to mention and obviously try the elegance of Etna wines with a prevalence of nerello mascalese and nerello Cappuccio. 


Rosé wines

 I Rosés, in Italy, are concentrated in three main areas: Garda and the nearby DO Valtenesi, where light rosés are made in the Provençal style, in Abruzzo, where a highly appreciated, very full and intense rosé is made from the same Montepulciano grapes: Cerasuolo d' Abruzzo and Puglia, precisely in Salento where ample, structured and enveloping rosés prevail from primitivo and negroamaro grapes. These are only the regions with the greatest production, but we find extremely relevant productions in many other areas, from the Val d'Aosta to Sicily and Sardinia.



 For this category we must undoubtedly start from northern Italy. Franciacorta in Lombardy, Prosecco in Veneto and Asti in Piedmont are the main Italian white wines with bubbles, with Franciacorta specializing in the classic method (champenoise) sparkling process, while Asti and Prosecco are refermented in steel autoclaves (charmat method). Classic method or charmat method? Structured and full-bodied the first, caring and mineral the second. And for a great classy bubbly we cannot fail to forget Trentino with Ferrari!

On a separate note, they require sparkling red wines of which Emilia Romagna is the largest producer with its Lambrusco.


Sweet and fortified wines

In Italy, the typical product is certainly the passito, that is, a natural sweet wine with no added alcohol.

To remember Moscato d'Asti, fresh and juicy is the most appreciated expression of white Moscato. Recioto in Veneto, zibibbo in Pantelleria and vin santo produced in Tuscany from Trebbiano and Malvasia grapes dried for many months and aged in very small wooden barrels in contact with oxygen. We recall the Brachetto (Piedmont) and the Sangue do Giuda (Lombardy). 

Among Italian fortified wines, there is one that is among the most renowned in the world: Marsala which comes from Grillo grapes and can be dry, semi-dry or sweet. It gives great class and finesse in every version and should be placed at the level of a Port or a Sherry.