Learn about Italian wine, common tasting notes, where the region is and more ...
Named “Oenotria” by the ancient Greeks for its abundance of grapevines, Italy has always had a culture virtually inextricable from wine. Wine grapes grow in every region throughout Italy—a long and narrow boot-shaped peninsula extending into the Mediterranean.
Italian Wine Regions
Naturally, most Italian wine regions enjoy a Mediterranean climate and a notable coastline, if not coastline on all borders, as is the case with the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. The Alps in the northern regions of Valle d'Aosta, Lombardy and Alto Adige create favorable conditions for cool-climate grape varieties. The Apennine Mountains, extending from Liguria in the north to Calabria in the south, affect climate, grape variety and harvest periods throughout. Considering the variable terrain and conditions, it is still safe to say that most high quality viticulture in Italy takes place on picturesque hillsides.
Italian Grape Varieties
Italy boasts more indigenous grape varieties than any other country—between 500 and 800, depending on whom you ask—and most Italian wine production relies upon these native grapes. In some regions, international varieties have worked their way in, but are declining in popularity, especially as younger growers take interest in reviving local varieties. Most important are Sangiovese, reaching its greatest potential in Tuscany, as well as Nebbiolo, the prized grape of Piedmont, producing single varietal, age-worthy Piedmontese wines. Other important varieties include Corvina, Montepulciano, Barbera, Nero d’Avola and of course the white wines, Trebbiano, Verdicchio and Garganega. The list goes on.
Il Bastardo Sangiovese di Toscana 2005Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
Renzo Masi Basciano I Pini 2005Other Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
Tedeschi San Rocco Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2005Other Red Blends from Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy
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Tenuta Trerose Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2005Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
Domenico Clerico Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra (scuffed label) 2005Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
Barone Ricasoli Campo Ceni Toscana 2005Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
Fattoria dei Barbi Brunello di Montalcino Vigna del Fiore 2005Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
Marchesi di Barolo Barbera d'Alba Ruvei 2005Barbera from Alba, Piedmont, Italy
Giacomo Grimaldi Barolo Sotto Castello 2005Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
Paolo Scavino Barolo Rocche dell'Annunziata Riserva 2005Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
Le Ragose Amarone Della Valpolicella 2005Other Red Blends from Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy
Castello di Monastero Chianti Classico 2005Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
Planeta Burdese 2005Bordeaux Red Blends from Sicily, Italy
Ecco Domani Merlot 2005Merlot from Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy