Did you know that Italy is the world’s largest producer of wine? With wine produced in every region of the country, you’ll find amazing varieties to try. It’s home to some of the oldest wine producing regions in the world. To learn more about Italian wine, here’s the top wine regions in Italy to know.
Italy’s 20 wine regions correspond to the 20 regions of the country. Each region has its own geographic characteristics, from the wine grown in the Alps to the south where the coast almost meets Africa. All these regions vary from having different altitudes, soil, and climate which bring its own distinct flavours. So the wine you taste in the north can be very different to that in the south.
Understanding the differences between these regions is very helpful in understanding the different types of Italian wine.
Here’s the wine regions in Italy that you need to know…
The island of Sardinia is famous for its robust, regional red wine called Cannonau (local name for grenache). Cannonau wine tastes amazing and has health benefits, too. It has two to three times the level of artery-scrubbing flavonoids as other wines, meaning that they clean out your arteries!
The soil here is rich in calcium carbonate limestone. Together with the sunny and windy climate, this results in some really delicious wines. A must-visit for wine lover’s.
The Piedmont region is right at the foot of the alps. The climate here is unique as the mixture between the ice-cold Alps and the warm Mediterranean provides this region with lighter tasting wines. This regions is famous for being home to Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera and Moscato d’Asti wines.
The wines produced here are ideal for keeping and aging!
Calabria is home to red wines, with over 90% of the region’s wine production being red wine. The most common grape found is the Gaglioppo grape. These wines tend to be very tannic, full-bodied, and boast strong fruity flavors. Enjoyed by the Greeks, it just may be the oldest wine on earth!
Located in the southernmost region it is “toe” of the Italian boot, it has the right soil and a variety of different climates capable of accommodating many different types of grapes.
4. Friuli-Venezia Giulia
The Friuli-Venezia Giulia region is bordered by the Alps separating it from Austria. The climate is ideal for wine production. There’s very warm days and chilly nights that help maintain a balance in the grape between acidity and sugar levels.
Nearly 62% of the wine produced in the region falls under a DOC designation. The area is famous for its white wines. Many consider the white wine here to be some of the best examples of Italian wine.
This is the mountainous central Italian region of Abruzzo along the Adriatic Sea. Abruzzo produces more than 22 million cases of wine annually in Abruzzo, making it the seventh most productive region in Italy.
Some of the best wine from Abruzzo comes from the hillside vineyards of Pescara and Teramo. Trebbiano d’Abruzzo and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo are two of the most popular DOC wines from Italy. The wines here tend to be bold and flavoursome.
Tuscany is home to some of the world’s most notable wine regions. You may have heard of Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, right? That’s just to name a few of the wines produced here in Tuscany.
Tuscany has an astonishing 41 DOC and 11 DOCG produced wines, many of these high-quality wines can be found in 5-star restaurants around the world. If you eat out at a local Italian restaurant, there’s a high chance you’ll see wine from Tuscany on the menu.
7. Aosta Valley
Aosta is Italy’s smallest province and is home to the highest elevated vineyards in all of Europe. Around 75% of the wine from here is red, mostly from the Pinot noir, Gamay, and Petit Rouge varieties.
The wines produced here are generally balanced, full-bodied, and quite persistent with a strong mineral flavour. This wine region might not get as much attention as others, but it’s excellent.
Want to discover more about Italy? See guides and things to do here.