Italy's 20 wine regions correspond to the 20 administrative regions. Understanding of Italian wine becomes clearer with an understanding of the differences between each region; their cuisines reflect their indigenous wines, and vice-versa. The 36 DOCG wines are located in 13 different regions but most of them are concentrated in Piedmont and Tuscany. Among these are appellations: Barolo, Barbaresco, and Brunello di Montalcino (colloquially known as the "Killer B's").
The regions are from Northwest to Southeast: Aosta Valley (Valle D'Aosta), Piedmont (Piemonte), Liguria, Lombardy (Lombardia), Trentino-AltoAdige/Südtirol, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany (Toscana), Marche (Le Marche), Umbria, Lazio, Abruzzo, Molise, Campania, Basilicata, Apulia (Puglia), Calabria, Sicily (Sicilia), Sardinia (Sardegna)
Key Italian wine varieties
Bianco (White) Arneis, Catarratto, Fiano, Garganega, Malvasia Bianca , Moscato, Nuragus, Pigato, Pinot Grigio, Ribolla Gialla, Tocai Friulano, Trebbiano, Verdicchio ,Vermentino. Non-native varieties that the Italians plant include Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer (sometimes called traminer aromatico), Petite Arvine, Riesling, and many others. Rosso (Red) Aglianico, Barbera, Corvina, Dolcetto, Malvasia Nera, Montepulciano, Nebbiolo, Negroamaro, Nero d'Avola, Sagrantino, Sangiovese. Other major red varieties are Ciliegolo, Gaglioppo, Lagrein, Lambrusco, Monica, Nerello Mascalese, Pignolo, Primitivo (Zinfandel in California), Refosco, Schiava, Schiopettino, Teroldego, and Uva di Troia. "International" varieties such as Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah are also widely grown.
Subscribe to our newsletter!