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Italian Wine

Italy has a rich vinicultural heritage dating back more than two thousand years. Over the centuries the Greeks, Etruscans and Romans all played a significant role in the development of different wine styles, the way grapevines were grown, the evolution of winemaking traditions and the considerable changes in storage methods as wine moved from amphorae to bottle.

Italian wines are made with the aim of partnering Italy's rich and varied cuisine; subtle flavors work in harmony with the food without making too bold a statement. As they say in Italy, wine should be non impegnativo, meaning it should not demand too much attention.

The classic Italian hillside vineyard

There is no mistaking Italy on a map, with its long, boot-like shape. Famed for its huge diversity of terroirs, grape varieties and wine styles, Italy is third only to France and Spain in terms of land under vine, producing 51.5 million hL of wine per year. Italian wine is the most widely exported in the world, with Germany, Great Britain and the United States being the main importers.

Several factors have contributed to this success story, including the fact that Italy’s vine-growing conditions are so favorable. This is not surprising, considering the abundance of Mediterranean sunshine, moderated by cool, mountain air currents and sea breezes. There are also myriad terrains, from Italy’s lengthy coastlines to foothills with slopes ideal for growing grapes. The mountain ranges – such as the Italian Alps in the north and the Apennines running through the centre of the country – provide high altitudes for cool-climate viticulture and help moderate the high temperatures. Each zone also has its own macroclimate, resulting in significant variation in wine styles.

Italy offers a larger, more diverse array of wine styles than almost any other nation, most of which are officially named, defined and protected under the Italian wine classification system, which lists more than 330 DOCs, roughly 70 DOCGs and almost 120 IGTs. More than 2000 indigenous grape varieties are available and Italian wines are recognized for their incomparable variety and choice of aroma and flavor. It was not until the late 20th century that the native grapes were joined by some of the more well-known classics. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot now play leading roles in the so-called Super Tuscan wines, and Sauvignon Blanc is a star player in Friuli. (© Wine-Searcher)

Italy is divided into 20 wine regions. The three in the northeast – Veneto, Trentino-Alto Adige and Friuli-Venezia Giulia – are known collectively as the Tre Venezie. This area boasts the most superior wine technology and is home to two of the country’s leading wine schools: San Michele all'Adige in Trentino and Conegliano in the Veneto. It also houses the world’s largest vine nursery at Rauscedo in Friuli.

In the north and northwest there are five wine regions: Lombardy (Lombardia), Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont (Piemonte), Liguria and Aosta Valley (Valle d’Aosta). Together, they account for 20% of Italy’s total wine production as well as approximately 30% of its DOCs.

The six central regions are Tuscany (Toscana), Lazio and Umbria, Marche, Abruzzo and Molise. They produce less than a quarter of Italy's wines but account for a third of its DOCs or DOCGs. This area enjoys superior climatic conditions, with abundant sunshine and moderating temperatures.

In the south of Italy, including its islands, there are six wine regions, producing around 40% of the country’s total wine production but accounting for less than 7% of its DOCs. These areas are Campania, Basilicata, Puglia, Calabria and the islands of Sicily and Sardinia.

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Here are some wines produced in this region and all sub-regions, only the first 500 will be shown.
Wine Name
Grape 
Popularity
Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy Cabernet Franc - Cabernet Sauvignon $223 14
Marchesi Antinori Tignanello Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Cabernet - Sangiovese $102 26
Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Masseto Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Merlot $735 36
Tenuta dell'Ornellaia 'Ornellaia' Bolgheri Superiore, Tuscany, Italy Bordeaux Blend Red $203 41
Marchesi Antinori Solaia Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Cabernet - Sangiovese $252 50
Giacomo Conterno Monfortino, Barolo Riserva DOCG, Italy Nebbiolo $672 96
Gaja Barbaresco DOCG, Piedmont, Italy Nebbiolo $198 107
Fontodi Flaccianello della Pieve Colli della Toscana Centrale IGT, Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese (Nielluccio) $100 132
Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Annata, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Italy Sangiovese (Nielluccio) $151 144
Gaja Sperss Barolo - Langhe, Piedmont, Italy Nebbiolo $235 150
Castello del Poggio Moscato Provincia di Pavia IGT, Lombardy, Italy Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains $11 170
Masi Costasera, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG, Italy Valpolicella Blend $52 175
Marchesi Antinori Tenuta Guado al Tasso 'Tenuta Belvedere' Bolgheri Superiore, Tuscany, Italy Cabernet - Merlot - Syrah $97 176
Giacomo Conterno Cascina Francia Barolo DOCG, Piedmont, Italy Nebbiolo $159 182
Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese (Nielluccio) $55 184
Montevertine Le Pergole Torte Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese (Nielluccio) $109 188
Case Basse di Gianfranco Soldera Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese (Nielluccio) $502 195
Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio Alto Adige, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy Pinot Grigio $21 197
Marchesi Antinori Villa Antinori Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Cabernet - Merlot - Sangiovese $20 205
Bartolo Mascarello Barolo DOCG, Piedmont, Italy Nebbiolo $139 210
Ruffino Riserva Ducale, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, Italy Sangiovese (Nielluccio) $23 213
Bertani Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG, Veneto, Italy Valpolicella Blend $132 222
Fattoria Galardi Terra di Lavoro Roccamonfina IGT, Campania, Italy Aglianico - Piedirosso $80 251
Ruffino Chianti DOCG, Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese (Nielluccio) $8 254
Produttori del Barbaresco 'Barbaresco DOCG', Piedmont, Italy Nebbiolo $33 255
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