The Wine Regions of Italy are a Reflection of the Country Itself
It could be said that the wine regions of Italy comprise the whole country, because wine is made in every single corner of the country. The Italians have a great wine tradition going back to the beginnings of the Roman Empire, and even before.
Much of the wine produced in Italy is what we might call everyday wine. The wine grapes used in this country are native, and rarely used in other parts of the world.
There are three regions, in particular, that are known around the world for their wonderful wines. These are Piedmont, Tuscany, and the Northeastern regions called the Tre Venezie.
Piedmont is a region in the north of Italy. It is best known for its red wines, In particular those made from the Nebbiolo grape. The small villages of Barolo and Barbaresco produce the great wines named after them. These are full-bodied wined that benefit from aging, perhaps as much as 10 to 15 years from their vintage.
The Piedmont region does makes a couple of white wines from the Cortese grape. The small town of Gavi gives its name to these wines, which are very dry with strong acidity.
Tuscany is also the land of the reds. The grapes most commonly used in this region are Sangiovese, Canaiolo, and also Cabernet Sauvignon.
The most famous Tuscan wines come from the Chianti zone. Interestingly many people associate Chianti with the straw covered inexpensive bottles of wine. But The district known as Chianti Classico produces great wines that are beloved by those in the know.
Another great Tuscan wine is Brunello de Montalcino. The area in and around the Montalcino is warmer, so it makes an even fuller-bodied wine than Chianti. By law they must be aged longer than any other Italian wine; some of these wines have been known to have superb flavor even after one hundred years!
The Super-Tuscans are wines made from Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other grapes. Often blended, they have a range of flavors that have made them a favorite of wine lovers.
The Tre Venezie, or Three Venices, were at one time part of the Venetian Empire. They are Friuli-Venezia Giulia, of simply Friuli; the Veneto, and Trentino-Alto Adige. They are located close to the Alps, so their climate is cool.
The area produces some outstanding white wines, such as Soave and Bianco di Custoza, made from Trebbiano, Garganega, and other grapes. Notable reds include Valpolicella, Amarone, and Bardolino, made from Rondinella, and Colinara grapes.
Other Notable Wine Regions
The wine regions of Italy include other notables such as: Lombardy, known for light-bodied reds from the Nebbiolo grape.
Emilia-Romagna produces Lambrusco from the grape of the same name. It is a fizzy, though not sparkling, red wine.
Umbria makes both reds, such as Torgiano, and whites, such as Orvieto.
Sicily is best known for Marsala, a fortified sweet wine; but it also makes red wines from the nero d'Avola, or calabrese, gapes.
There is so much to know and explore about Italian wine.
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