Italian Wine Regions
The Italian wine world is full of wine-related terminology that many consumers struggle to understand. Learning the meaning of a few key terms can increase your confidence level and help you make informed decisions when selecting your next glass, or bottle, of vino. We have compiled a list of 25 common terms and phrases that we know will help you navigate the delicious world of vino Italiano!
Any wine student or lover of Italian wines can name the country’s most famous red wines, such as Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino or Amarone della Valpolicella. But given the variety of Italian wines and grape types, it stands to reason that there are many more examples produced throughout the country. This article is the first in a series about a few of the lesser known red wines of Italy; we begin with Piemonte. While there are three famous red varieties in Piemonte – Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto – there are several others that produce very expressive wines.
Summary: JC is one of the most passionate promoters of Italian wines you can find! His tour of Sardegna reveals the fascinating history of the island and is sure to entice viewers to sample the wines of this fascinating place. We will be guessing that a few of our viewers will be booking vacations to Sardegna as a result of JC’s beautiful tour! The history of Sardegna is tumultuous and captivating. Populated for prehistory, it was once at the crosspoint of several
Apart from the Côte d’Or in Burgundy, perhaps no other wine territory has been dissected in greater detail than the Barolo zone. This makes perfect sense, as these are arguably the two most ideal representations of the concept of terroir; just as Pinot Noir from one village in Burgundy reveals different flavors than that of another nearby hamlet, so too offerings of Barolo from various communes often display diverse characteristics, despite the fact that every wine here is made exclusively from Nebbiolo. There are 11 approved communes in the Barolo production zone. For this article, we will deal primarily with the five largest: La Morra, Serralunga d’Alba, Monforte d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto and Barolo itself. The remaining six are Cherasco, Diano d’Alba (interestingly, planted more to Dolcetto than Nebbiolo), Grinzane Cavour, Roddi, Verduno and Novello; these last two are home to two of the most in-demand vineyards in the entire zone: Monvigliero in Verduno and Ravera in Novello.
Summary: The region of Campania is one of Italy’s most glorious wine territories, yet the fame of these wines is generally not as well documented as examples from several other wine regions throughout the country. This is a shame, as Campania is certainly an important wine region, one where historical varieties, such as Greco, Fiano and Aglianico take center stage, while other varieties from the widely planted Falanghina to the lesser-known Pallagrello Bianco and
Wine professionals and consumers share a similar aspiration when they visit a wine region; they want to enjoy the area’s best dining experiences so they can pair their favorite local wines with the territory’s typical food offerings. While commonplace throughout Italy, this situation is nowhere more prominent than in Piedmont, especially in the region’s southern Langhe district. Lunch or dinner in the Barolo and Barbaresco production zones here is more than a simple pleasure; this is wine, and food pairing elevated to an art form.
Summary: Join us for a WSG Live on wines from Oltrepò Pavese, Lombardy’s largest viticultural area. The region sits on the border of three regions and is a center of excellence for Pinot Noir in Italy, for Sparkling wines, and indigenous varieties of note such as Croatina and Barbara. From sparkling to sweet, Oltrepò Pavese will surprise you! Presenter: Susannah Gold Susannah teaches Italian wine classes for the Italian Trade
Summary: Calabria is one of the most undiscovered wine regions in Italy, although its wine history and heritage goes back to very ancient times. The ancient Greeks called it “Oenotria”, land of wine, when they first reached the Ionic coast of Calabria, discovering a wonderful land with perfect conditions of climate and soil to grow grapes and produce wine. A wine that was even offered to the winners of the Olympic games as
The best-known wines of Piemonte, such as Barolo, Barbaresco, Roero Arneis and Moscato d’Asti are produced from grapes grown in the southern sector of the region; this includes the province of Cuneo and Asti, in districts such as the Langhe and Roero. But farther north, Alto Piemonte is a territory that is home to some of the region’s most complex, yet least understood wines. Gattinara, Boca and Ghemme are a few of these selections, and these days, greater attention is being paid to these wines and this relatively unknown viticultural outpost.
Summary: In this WSG Live we will explore Abruzzo's varied terroir and indigenous grape varieties and see how much this beautiful region has to offer. We will discuss the DOC/DOCG appellations as well as the principal grape varieties. Abruzzo has remarkable white, red and rose wines and a long history to boot. We will also look at the styles and aging vessels winemakers are using to express the nuances of their locations. Presenter: Susannah Gold Susannah teaches
Summary: Once a resident of Sicilia, Ciro Pirone is well acquainted with the incredible Mongebello (Mount Etna) and its fascinating wines. Ciro takes viewers on a journey to discover more about the history and the bright, vinous future of this magical mountain. Etna is a mountain but also a volcano, located in the heart of the Mediterranean sea, on the island known as Sicily that for thousands of years was the crossroad of civilizations,
Summary: In this live one-hour webinar, we explore the origins of Italy’s first-ever DOCG, Brunello Di Montalcino DOCG, where we see Sangiovese reach its full potential. An appellation where history, climate and influence of highly skilled winemakers play key roles in the evolution of its wines.
Summary: In this webinar, we will develop a greater understanding of Liguria's history which has impacted winemaking, cuisine and people today. We will explore the key grape varieties, appellations, vinification methods and terroir. From Colli Di Luni to Rossese di Dolceaqua and Taggiasca Olive Oil to Farinata, we will gain an appreciation for this region's wines and cuisines. Presenter: Roger Bissell For the last 20 years, Roger Bissell has been on an
Whether it is in the bilingual wine labels of Alto Adige, or the occasional Slavic grape name in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italian wine often reveals the duality of culture present in some of the country’s border regions. Tucked into Italy’s northwestern corner, Valle d’Aosta certainly demonstrates this, as its language, cuisine and wine seem to have one foot in Italy and another in France.
Walking along the path that leads to the summit of the Cartizze hill, the town of Santo Stefano gradually emerges in the distance, its bell tower and a few quaint houses standing as a punctuation mark amidst the harmonious mosaic of woodland patches and vineyards. Like real-life topographic contour lines, the intricately arranged, labyrinthine rows of Glera vines ascend and wind through the characteristic, humpy “hogback” hills. Ciglioni – small, narrow cultivated terraced plots that have been utilised here since at least the 17th century – lend rigour and a sense of order to the vegetative profligacy of this landscape.
Summary: Heroic viticulture can be defined in several ways. Surely, to grow grapes under quasi impossible conditions must be included in that definition. The lagoon of Venice is perhaps the most unlikely place in the world to grown grapevines. Yet, few know that the Serenissima has centuries old history of growing wine grapes and making wine for its population. This seminar explores different type of heroic viticulture,
Summary: Drinking and discovering Montepulciano (the grape) d'Abruzzo is like looking at a painter's palette, so many colors, so many shades and so many possibilities. Montepulciano is one of Italy's most versatile grapes that can produce terrific rosatos, quaffable reds for any occasion but also some of Italy's boldest and age-worthy wines, worth every sip. Presenter: Ciro Pirone
When the Consorzio Brunello di Montalcino was established in 1967, one year after the wine received DOC status (it became one of the initial DOCG wines in 1980), there were only twenty-five members. Today, there are more than two hundred Brunello producers; given the reputation of this wine for its ability to age for twenty-plus years in the finest vintages, this is hardly surprising.
Summary: The province of Irpinia represents the heart of the Campanian wine industry. On the map, this is the province of Avellino, but vintners here refer to this territory by its ancient name of Irpinia. From this land, some of Italy's most complex and longest-lived whites wines, such as Fiano di Avellino and Greco di Tufo are produced, while Coda di Volpe and Falaghina are other local stylish whites. As for red wines of
Wine Scholar Guild is pleased to provide its readers with vintage and harvest reports for some of Italy’s most famous regions, from 2010 onward. We felt it was time that we expand our assessment of vintages and harvest reports outside of France and Italy was first on our list. To compile this in-depth report, we reached out to Italian wine specialist Tom Hyland. Tom seemed like the perfect fit for this project, as he has been reporting on and promoting Italian wines for more than twenty years as a journalist, educator, and photographer. He has made more than 75 trips to wine regions throughout all of Italy from his home in Chicago. In that time, he has written for numerous publications, including Decanter, wine-searcher.com and most recently Wine Spectator. He has written two books on Italian wine: Beyond Barolo and Brunello (2013) and The Wines and Foods of Piemonte (2016). Tom has conducted seminars on Italian wine for the trade and public; over the past year, he has led more than two dozen webinars with Italian producers; among these were several for Wine Scholar Guild. He also served as US ambassador for Consorzio I Vini del Piemonte for five years. He is also an accomplished photographer, having been named Wine Photographer of the Year (Category: Places) in 2020 at the prestigious Pink Lady competition in England. Andrea Eby, Italian Programs Director, asked Tom to provide a short blog article describing how he went about compiling this fantastic resource. We hope you enjoy the article and find the vintage charts as useful as we do. As always, we look forward to your questions and comments!
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