Map of italian wine

Italian wines are, like French ones, a point of reference for international enology by virtue of their ancient tradition. It is attested that the production of wine in Italy began in the Etruscan era, around the eighth century BC. It continued with the Greeks but it was with the Romans that the real turning point was known, as their commitment was strong in spreading winemaking techniques and in marketing wines throughout Europe. After the fall of the Roman Empire there was an arrest for the entire sector, until important traders of the time, including the ancient noble families Antinori and Frescobaldi, started a flourishing trade, especially with the countries beyond the Alps, in particular with Bordeaux. Piedmont and Tuscany were the regions in which, also thanks to the application of French knowledge, there was a strong production impulse: the first Barolo, Brunello and Chianti were born in this period. But, with the arrival of phylloxera and the advent of the two world wars, Italian viticulture suffered a new brake. After the war there was a definitive recovery even if the attention of the winemakers shifted to the adoption of native and international vines that gave life to great Tuscan wines.

Today Italy has reached important levels, becoming a giant in the production of wine on a global level, both in terms of quantity and of high quality. The regulatory system for the protection of quality classifies Italian wines as table wines, produced outside the regulations. Higher in terms of quality we find wines with Typical Geographical Indication (IGT), which at least 85% come from the geographical area they represent with their own name. On the other hand, the Quality Wine Produced in a Determined Region (VQPRD) which is processed in particularly suitable wine-growing areas is a step higher. Among them it is possible to distinguish wines with Controlled Designation of Origin (DOC), in which the entire production is subject to quality and compliance controls, and wines with Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin, in which the wines follow the most rigid. Within each denomination, the legislation also provides for sub-zones, that is particular areas limited to a municipality, a farm or a vineyard that are subject to even stricter rules and therefore represent wines of superior quality. For wines produced in the historic areas of each denomination, the mention "Classico", "Superiore" for wines with an alcoholic strength of 1% higher than the minimum established by the specification, and "Riserva" for wines that undergo a period of aging are foreseen, much longer than the minimum required by the specification.

Italy is characterized by a very important heritage of indigenous vines that are better suited in some regions than in others, offering excellent and unique results. In Northern Italy we recognize the high quality achieved by Piedmontese red wines, produced with native varieties such as Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto. Valle d'Aosta, Friuli Venezia Giulia with its Gewürztraminer and Ribolla Gialla wines, and Alto Adige, hold the primacy of Italian whites, which, by virtue of the climatic conditions, have inimitable characteristics elsewhere. In Veneto, one of the most famous sparkling wines in the world is produced, which derives from pure Glera grapes, namely Prosecco. Exceptional cases, in Lombardy, are Franciacorta, and the Trento DOC sparkling wines, in which the international chardonnay and pinot noir vines have been particularly successful, giving life to exceptional Classic Method sparkling wines. Going down through Italy you will find the fresh Ligurian whites made from Vermentino grapes, the Lambrusco Emilia, then the great Tuscan red wines born from the main Sangiovese grape. Very particular and very interesting are the Verdicchio Marche, the Sagrantino of Umbria, but also the Trebbiano and Montepulciano d'Abruzzo wines. Campania has made itself known for white wines made from Falanghina, Greco Bianco di Tufo and Fiano grapes, while Basilicata is the undisputed kingdom of Aglianico, which finds its highest expression in the Aglianico del Vulture appellation. In Puglia we find extraordinary red wines based on Negroamaro but above all the Primitivo di Manduria obtained from the homonymous grapes. And again we remember the great Sicilian wines: the great reds made from Nero d'Avola grapes or the whites produced with Grillo and Catarratto grapes. In conclusion, but not least, with the Cannonau of Sardinia and the reds made from Carignano grapes.

The inspiration given by the Italian Super Tuscans was fundamental, which triggered in a strong and decisive way the desire to experiment with the great international vines on Italian vines. The result is legendary wines such as Sassicaia, Masseto, Ornellaia, Tignanello. Furthermore, we must not forget that in Italy there are important liqueur wines such as the Sicilian Marsala, aromatized wines of great prestige such as Vermouth and a distillate produced only from Italian pomace and therefore it is possible to produce it only in the Bel Paese, namely Grappa.

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