If there’s one thing Italy is known for, it is wine. The Italian word “vino” is said to come from the Sanskrit word “venas” which means “to love,” and what’s not to love about Italian wine?
From the smooth Montepulciano wines that hail from the Abruzzo region to rich Barberas from Piedmont and fruity Moscatos from the province of Asti, Italian wines are hands down some of the best in the world.
Italy’s wine regions
With 20 wine unique regions, there’s virtually no part of Italy where wine isn’t produced, but some of the country’s most famous wine regions include Tuscany and Umbria, Piedmont, Veneto and Lombardy. These 20 wine regions are contained within four distinctly different areas, namely North West Italy, North East Italy, Central Italy and Southern Italy.
Each region specialises in a few main varieties of wine and wine blends, and once you understand the basics of each region, it will be easier to select the types of wine you most enjoy.
For instance, Tuscany and Umbria are best known for the Sangiovese grape, which is used for a wide range of Italian wines including Chianti wines. Veneto, on the other hand, has made a name for itself as the home of the well-loved Prosecco, and Piedmont is famous for the Barbera grape.
Varieties of Italian Wine
Italian wine is wonderfully varied, and with 350 official indigenous wine varieties you’ll be spoiled for choice. Some of its notable offerings include red wines like Chianti, Barbaresco and Lambrusco, and white wines like Pinot Grigio and Frascati; but there’s so much more to be discovered once you truly immerse yourself in the wine culture of Italy.
In fact, if you wanted to taste your way through Italy by trying at least one new Italian wine each week, it would take you 20 years. So you’d better get busy!