Map of italian wine

Italian wines are, like French wines, a benchmark for international oenology for their very ancient tradition. It is certified that the production of wine in Italy began in the Etruscan era, around the VIII century BC It continued with the Greeks but it was with the Romans that the real turning point was known, as their commitment to the diffusion of winemaking techniques and wines promotion throughout Europe was strong. After the fall of the Roman Empire there was a stop 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. Piemonte and Toscanawere the regions where, also thanks to the application of French knowledge, there was a strong productive impulse: the first Barolo, Brunello and Chianti were born during this period. But, with the arrival of phylloxera and the advent of the two world wars, Italian viticulture suffered a new restraint. After the war there was a definitive recovery even if the attention of the winemakers shifted to the adoption of native vines and international vines that gave life to great Tuscan wines.

Today Italy has reached significant levels, becoming a giant in the production of wine globally, both in terms of quantity and high quality. The quality framework classifies Italian wines into Table Wines, produced outside the specifications. Higher in quality, we find wines with a Typical Geographical Indication (IGT), which come from at least 85% of the geographical area they represent with their own name. At a higher level, however, the Quality Wines Produced in a Specified Region (VQPRD) are processed in particularly suitable wine-growing areas. Among them it is possible to distinguish wines with Controlled Designation of Origin (DOC), in which the entire production is subject to quality and conformity controls, and wines with Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin, in which wines follow the most rigid specifications. Within each denomination, the legislation also provides sub-areas, meaning particular areas limited to a municipality, a property or a vineyard which are subject to even more stringent rules and therefore represent wines of superior quality. For wines produced in the historic areas of each appellation, the terms "Classico", "Superiore" are provided for wines with an alcoholic strength of 1% higher than the minimum established by the specification, and "Riserva" for wines that undergo a much longer aging period than the minimum required by the specification.

Italy is characterized by a very important heritage of native vines which adapt better in some regions than in others, offering excellent and unique results. Northern Italy recognizes the high quality achieved by Piemonte red wines, produced with native varieties such as Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto . Valle d'Aosta, Friuli Venezia Giulia with their Gewürztraminer and Ribolla Gialla wines, and Alto Adige, hold the primacy of Italian whites as the climate conditions confer them inimitable characteristics. In Veneto is produced one of the best known sparkling wines in the world which is made exclusively from Glera grapes, namely Prosecco. Exceptional cases, in Lombardia , Franciacorta,and the TrentoDOC sparkling wines, in which the international Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines have been particularly successful, giving life to exceptional Classic Method sparkling wines. Heading South we meet the fresh Liguria whites made from Vermentino grapes, the Lambrusco from Emilia, then the great tuscan red wines born from the prince Sangiovese grape. Remarkable and very interesting are the Verdicchio from the Marche region, the Sagrantino from Umbria, but also the Trebbiano and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wines. Campania has made itself known for the white wines made from Falanghina, Greco Bianco di Tufo and Fiano grapes, while Basilicata is the undisputed kingdom of Aglianico, considered in the Aglianico del Vulture appellation as the "Barolo of Southern Italy". In Puglia we find extraordinary red wines made from Negroamaro but above all the Primitivo di Manduria obtained from the homonymous grapes. Not to mention the great sicilian wines: the great reds made from Nerod’Avola grapes or the whites produced with Grillo and Catarratto grapes. Concluding, but not least, with the Cannonau of Sardinia and the reds made from Carignano grapes.

The inspiration given by the Italian Super Tuscans was crucial and they triggered the desire to experiment the great international vines on Italian vines in a strong and decisive way. 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 Sicilian Marsala, highly prestigious aromatised wines such as Vermouth and a distillate produced only from Italian marcs and therefore can only be produced in the "Bel Paese", that is Grappa .

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