Italy

Italy

History:

Wine growing in Italy was already in practice in the sixth century BC: the Old Greeks called the country Oinotaria, which means "Country of Wine". Wine growing takes place almost in the whole of Italy, with the added bonus that the country has, for the larger part, stayed true to its indigenous grapes. This gives every region a character of its own. Tuscany is home of the great Sangiovese-based wines, Piedmont has its Barbera and Nebbiolo, Umbria has the austere Sagrantino, the Marche its Montepulciano, and so on. But there is complication as well, because in Tuscany there is a wine called Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, that has nothing to do with the grape of the same name, because it is made from Sangiovese (70% minimum).

Italy is a very interesting wine country, but also one that is hard to fathom. A closer look at Barolo reveals that there are five officially recognized sub-zones, each in theory producing a clearly defined type of Barolo, from relatively soft to hugely tannic. But even wine growers in the area can get confused when tasting the wines. To understand Italian wines demands extensive study, a very good memory and incredible stamina. But it is worth it: once you get bitten by the Italian wine bug, you can never let go.

Italy is a country with an enormous variety of regional cooking, incorporating regional seasoning, herbs and vegetables, and the regional wines are a compliment to the cooking. There is a lot to discover in Italy, and life will never be the same again once you have started the journey.

 

In Italy, the so-called "international" grape varieties are rarely considered to be the highest standard possible, but they are seen as a welcome addition to the own, rich supply of wines. You can find solo bottlings of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, but most of the times these varieties play a - minor - role in blends. Cabernet Franc and Merlot are met more often (and can climb to incredible heights), but Cabernet Sauvignon not so much. Pinot Noir is called Pinot Nero in Piedmont and differs considerably from what is produced from this grape anywhere else in the world. The occasional pocket of Syrah pops up, mostly used in blends.

 

Italy is one of the largest producers of fine wine in the world. The whole industry has been radically modernised in recent history: the searingly acidic, lean and mean Chianti of the seventies virtually no longer exists.

Italian wines are sub-divided into quality tiers, according to their origin. In ascending order we recognise: Vino da Tavola, Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT), Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) and Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG). In theory, the latter category is the best, but there are IGT wines that are better by far than some DOCG wines.

 

Important grape varieties for red wine: Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Barbera and Primitivo.

 

Important grape varieties for white wine: Trebbiano, Moscato, Garganega and Malvasia.

 

All in all there are some 300 grape varieties planted in Italy, all of them adding their own character to the broad palate of Italian wines. 


  • Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino DOC
    Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino DOC
    Producer: Poggione, Tenuta Il Grape variety: - Region: Toscane Read more
  • Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
    Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
    Producer: Poggione, Tenuta Il Grape variety: - Region: Toscane Read more
  • Renzo Masi Poggerissi Bianco
    Renzo Masi Poggerissi Bianco
    Producer: Masi, Renzo Grape variety: 70% Trebbiano Toscano, 30% Chardonnay Region: Toscane Read more
  • Manzone Roero Arneis DOCG
    Manzone Roero Arneis DOCG
    Producer: Manzone, Paolo Grape variety: - Region: Piemonte Read more
  • Renzo Masi Bianco Vergine 'Alido'
    Renzo Masi Bianco Vergine 'Alido'
    Producer: Masi, Renzo Grape variety: 65% Trebbiano Toscano, 30% Chardonnay, 5% Malvasia del Chianti Region: Toscane Read more
  • Manzone Langhe Rosso DOC 'Luvï'
    Manzone Langhe Rosso DOC 'Luvï'
    Producer: Manzone, Paolo Grape variety: - Region: Piemonte Read more
  • Renzo Masi Poggerissi Rosato
    Renzo Masi Poggerissi Rosato
    Producer: Masi, Renzo Grape variety: 100% Sangiovese Region: Toscane Read more
  • Amarone della Valpolicella "Montresor"
    Amarone della Valpolicella
    Producer: Montresor Grape variety: - Region: Veneto Read more
  • Renzo Masi Poggerissi Rosso
    Renzo Masi Poggerissi Rosso
    Producer: Masi, Renzo Grape variety: 95% Sangiovese, 5% Canaiolo Region: Toscane Read more
  • Renzo Masi Sangiovese 'Alido'
    Renzo Masi Sangiovese 'Alido'
    Producer: Masi, Renzo Grape variety: - Region: Toscane Read more
  • Renzo Masi Chianti
    Renzo Masi Chianti
    Producer: Masi, Renzo Grape variety: - Region: Toscane-Chianti Read more
  • Renzo Masi Chianti Riserva
    Renzo Masi Chianti Riserva
    Producer: Masi, Renzo Grape variety: - Region: Toscane-Chianti Read more
  • Renzo Masi Erta e China
    Renzo Masi Erta e China
    Producer: Masi, Renzo Grape variety: - Region: Toscane Read more
  • Fattoria di Basciano Vigna Il Corto
    Fattoria di Basciano Vigna Il Corto
    Producer: Basciano, F. di Grape variety: - Region: Toscane Read more
  • Manzone Dolcetto d'Alba DOC 'Magna'
    Manzone Dolcetto d'Alba DOC 'Magna'
    Producer: Manzone, Paolo Grape variety: - Region: Piemonte Read more
  • Manzone Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC 'Miriné'
    Manzone Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC 'Miriné'
    Producer: Manzone, Paolo Grape variety: - Region: Piemonte Read more
  • Pelissero Muffato Bianco Stramej
    Pelissero Muffato Bianco Stramej
    Producer: Pelissero Pasquale Grape variety: - Region: Piemonte Read more
  • Manzone Barolo DOCG 'Serralunga'
    Manzone Barolo DOCG 'Serralunga'
    Producer: Manzone, Paolo Grape variety: - Region: Piemonte Read more
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