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 red, white and sparkling 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.
Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco Martinenga 1985Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
Gaja Barbaresco Sori San Lorenzo 1985Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
Gaja Barbaresco 1985Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
Lisini Brunello di Montalcino 1985Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
Poggio Salvi Brunello di Montalcino 1985Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
Castello di Monsanto La Chimera Vin Santo del Chianti Classico (375ML) 1985Chardonnay from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
Bruno Giacosa Barolo Villero di Castiglione Falletto 1985Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
Bertani Amarone della Valpolicella 1985Other Red Blends from Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy
Bruno Giacosa Barolo Le Rocche di Castiglione Falletto (signs of past seepage) 1985Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 1985Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
Fontanafredda Barolo La Bianca 1985Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
Fontanafredda Vigna Gallaretto 1985Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino Rouge 1985Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 1985Other Red Blends from Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy