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Italian Wine

Learn about Italian wine, common tasting notes, where the region is and more ...

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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.

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  • Michele Chiarlo Le Marne Gavi 2012 Front Label
    Michele Chiarlo Le Marne Gavi 2012
    Cortese from Piedmont, Italy
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  • J. Hofstatter Alto Adige Pinot Grigio 2012 Front Label
    J. Hofstatter Alto Adige Pinot Grigio 2012
    Pinot Gris/Grigio from Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
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  • Torre Rosazza Friulano Colli Orientali Friuli 2012 Front Label
    Torre Rosazza Friulano Colli Orientali Friuli 2012
    Friulano from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
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  • J. Hofstatter Kolbenhof Gewurztraminer 2012 Front Label
    J. Hofstatter Kolbenhof Gewurztraminer 2012
    Gewurztraminer from Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
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