Major Wine Regions:
Northern Italy: Alto-Adige, Trentino, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, Piedmont
Central Italy: Tuscany, Abruzzo, Umbria, Marche, Lazio/Frascati
Southern Italy: Campania, Basilicata, Puglia, Sicily
Principal Grape Varieties
Nero d Avola
Italy at a Glance
Not only is Italy a major wine region of the world, it is the largest producer at nearly 49 Mhl (Millions of hectolitres) per year! That averages to over 7 million bottles of wine produced annually. Italy is home to many, many grape varieties – the majority sold as wine domestically. However, Italy has a strong wine import industry that brings our favorite Italian wines to the U.S.
Italy has three major wine-making regions:
Northern Italy is known for several famed grape varieties and historical wine places. Its refreshing Pinot Grigio grows on the tumbling hillsides of Alto Adige, Trentino, and Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Valpolicello’s Corvina grape is famous for producing the highly concentrated Amarone wine made from dried grapes. Northern Italy is also home to the well-known wine-growing areas of Barolo and Barbaresco. Here, the nebbiolo grape is expressed in its greatest form, and aged for many years to live up to its quality and reputation.
Central Italy is dominated by the “sour cherry” Sangiovese grape. Throughout the central region, it is made as both a varietal and blend. The famous town of Chianti arguably makes some of its best expressions, especially in its “Riserva (aged)” form. Toscana (Tuscany) is famous for its esteemed “Super Tuscans,” which are Sangiovese-dominated blends that include the international grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot. Montepulciano, Italy’s rich black grape, is grown in the famous town of Abruzzo.
Southern Italy is known for its ripe white grapes of Fiano and Greco, as well as its most prestigious black grape- Aglianico. Other grapes include Primitivo (Zinfandel), Negroamaro, and Sicily’s famed volcanic ash grapes of Nero d Avola.
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