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 wines. 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.
Antinori Pian delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino 1996Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
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Domenico Clerico Barolo Percristina 1996Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
Tenimenti Luigi d'Alessandro Migliara 1996Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
Tenimenti Luigi d'Alessandro Syrah Cortona Il Bosco 1996Syrah/Shiraz from Italy
Ruffino Ducale Chianti Classico Riserva (375ML half-bottle) 1996Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
Boscaini Marano Amarone 1996Other Red Blends from Veneto, Italy
Righetti Amarone 1996Other Red Blends from Veneto, Italy
Produttori del Barbaresco Montestefano Barbaresco 1996Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
Michele Chiarlo Barbaresco 1996Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
Aldo Conterno Conca Tre Pile Barbera d'Alba 1996Barbera from Alba, Piedmont, Italy
Masi Classico Amarone 1996Other Red Blends from Veneto, Italy
Ornellaia Masseto 1996Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
Banfi Summus 1996Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
Cabreo Il Borgo 1996Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Moccagatta Riserva 1996Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Rio Sordo Riserva 1996Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
Roagna Barolo La Rocca E La Pira Riserva 1996Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico Riserva 1996Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
Lungarotti Rubesco 1996Other Red Blends from Umbria, Italy