Italy ranks fifth in the world when it comes to wine consumption if some of you do not know. And they have been enjoying their relationship with wine for over a millennium. They love it so much that it became one of the most essential parts of their culture, economically, gastronomically, and even socially. Italy’s vast array of microclimates, regional traditions, as well as soil conditions enabled them to make such rich and dynamic enological heritage of over 2,000 varieties of grapes in which they use to make some of the world’s most beloved wines. With that being said, we will list Italy’s most significant wine regions to help you plan your wine tour in the country.
Wine Regions in Italy
Tuscany is arguably the most famous wine-growing region in Italy. This place has warm and sun-drenched hills that are ideally suited for growing olive orchards and wine grapes. Aside from that, Tuscany also has iconic villas, and it is very near to Florence, which is why it is one of the most visited wine regions in the world. One of the most famous grapes that Tuscany produces is the Sangiovese. It is used to make complex and deep wines. Some of the best Sangiovese can be found in Chianti Classico, Chianti, and Brunello di Montalcino regions.
Piedmont is where some of the longest-lived and most storied wines of Italy is located. It is known for its Barbera, Nebbiolo, Moscato, and Dolcetto grapes. Nebbiolo grapes usually grow in the Langhe region. At the same time, the Barbera, Nebbiolo, and Dolcetto varieties flourish well in the region of Alba. The Piedmont region is nestled at the foot of the Apennine and Alps mountain chain, which gives Piedmont a complex climate that creates a wide array of wines.
This is one of the largest wine regions in the Northeast part of Italy, and it is home to some of the famous wines in the country. Veneto makes sparkling, red, white, and sweet wines from grapes that are not often used in Italy. The most famous grapes they produce here are the Corvina, and it is used to make complex, deep, and slightly sweet wines.
Mount Vesuvius and the city of Naples are some of the most famous things in Campania. But aside from that, the wines here continues to gain more and more acclaim. White wines that are produced in this region are varietally labeled and made from the combination of Fiano, austere Greco, and Falanghina grapes. While red wines are made from the ancient Hellenic grape named Aglianico, this type of grape creates deeply colored and intense black fruit-flavored wines.
Alto-Adige is nestled at the foothills of the Tirol mountains. Some of the most famous wines they produce here are white wines. These white wines are usually varietally labeled and are made from grapes like Riesling, Pinot Grigio, and Kerner. Alto-Adige also has some exceptional red wines, but they are not very well known.
This wine region in Italy is known for its white wines that are typically made from Trebbiano and Grechetto grapes. These white wines are light, and it pairs perfectly with antipasto platters. There are several wineries and vineyards here in Umbria that offers food and wine tours.
Grapes of Italy
This is the most widely cultivated grape variety in Italy. It is the backbone of Tuscany’s most famous wine regions, Brunello di Montalcino and Chianti. This type of grape has an oxidative, herbal, and earthy flavor. Aside from that, it also has juicy acidity and mouth-filling tannins that bolster the wine’s structure and weight.
The Nebbiolo grape has some similarities with the Sangiovese because it can also show the tart flavor of red fruits. The most noticeable difference of Nebbiolo between Sangiovese is its structure and its tannins. They are the most age-worthy when they are still young because it possesses the highest level of tannins. Wines that are made with Nebbiolo grape soften require decades of cellaring to soften up.
This is one of the most iconic white grapes in Italy. The Pinot Grigio is a grape that most people may know, but they are not widely consumed. This type of grape has dried citrus, lightly floral, and peach aroma. Wines that are made using the Pinot Grigio are often aged on yeast cells, fermented before they are released. This process gives the wine extra weight and texture.
This grape variety is often best used when they are still young. It has a delicate texture, with peach blossom and jasmine aromas. Wines that are made using Garganega grapes are perfectly paired with antipasto, shellfish, light cheeses, and salads.
This type of grape is the most recognizable in the Veneto region, and it is often used in making sparkling wines. While most Prosecco grapes are made for low price points, there are also high-quality wines are made with Prosecco grapes.