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.
Fattoria dei Barbi Rosso dei Barbi 1998Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
Straccali Sangiovese 1998Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
Rizzardi Dogoli Dry Muscat 1998Muscat from Veneto, Italy
Lungarotti Pinot Grigio 1998Pinot Gris/Grigio from Italy
Lagaria Merlot 1998Merlot from Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
Villa Arceno Arguzzio 1998Other Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
San Vincenti Stignano Toscano 1998Other Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
Sartori Valpolicella Classico 1998Other Red Wine from Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy
Di Majo Norante Cabernet 1998Bordeaux Red Blends from Italy
Fabiano Merlot 1998Merlot from Veneto, Italy
Corvo Bianco 1998Other White Blends from Italy
Folonari Pinot Grigio delle Venezie 1998Pinot Gris/Grigio from Veneto, Italy
Banfi 1997 Estate Bottled Flask Chianti (half-bottle) 1998Sangiovese from Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
Villa La Selva Selvamaggio 1998Other Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
Terrale Primitivo 1998Primitivo from Italy
Tollo MontepulcianoDAbruzzo 1998Montepulciano from Abruzzo, Italy
Masi Chianti 1998Sangiovese from Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
Folonari Cabernet Sauvignon 1998Cabernet Sauvignon from Italy
La Rampa di Fugnano Vernaccia di San Gimignano Alata 1998Vernaccia from Tuscany, Italy
Masi Classico Bardolino 1998Other Red Blends from Veneto, Italy
Punset Dolcetto d'Alba 1998Dolcetto from Alba, Piedmont, Italy
Frescobaldi Castiglioni 1998Tuscan Blends from Italy