Barolo is only grown in a small DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) and there are strict rules related to its production. Italy is home to 20 wine regions. Although the wine is often compared to the well-known Nebbiolo-based Barolo and Barbaresco, Gattinara wines are usually lighter, due to different climate and rich … One of the biggest misconceptions about Sicilian wine is that all of the region’s wine styles taste fruity and ripe. Ripasso has a lot of the same flavours as Amarone, but a little more muted. These high altitudes help to preserve acidity and freshness in the grapes, resulting in cold-climate Italian reds with a distinctive flavour. This is a relatively common experience among wine enthusiasts who try Trentino-Alto Adige wines for the first time. What does Ripasso della Valpolicella taste like? Pinot Grigio (white): One of two top regions making the best Pinot Grigio in Italy. The area is home to some truly mouthwatering white wines, many of which are both tart and immensely ripe in flavor at the same time. It’s only grown 12 miles away, in a horseshoe-shaped area around the small town of Neive. In the past it was often used in table wine blends, but over the past two decades it’s grown in popularity as a single varietal wine. Free to use image from Google Images Most popular italian white wines: Pinot Grigio Veneto IGT, Villa Sandi While it’s often found blended into table wines throughout Italy, it shows its best side in the Monferrato region of Piedmont. It takes its name from its bitter (amaro) yet enjoyable finish. Tuscany is also famous for the Super Tuscan wines – red wines made from international grapes like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Journalist and avid wine enthusiast Robert Draperconsiders Friuli-Venezia Giulia one of the best Italian wine regions, and with good reason. She had drunk plenty of Zibibbo and Nero D’Avola, and she assumed that nearly all Sicilian wine tasted either sweet (in the case of Zibibbo) or fruit-forward (in the case of Nero D’Avola). Robinson’s recommendation of Piedmont wine should come as no surprise to serious collectors as it is largely considered one of the best Italian wine regions in history (alongside Tuscany). By considering what makes each region of Italy unique, and tasting these differences firsthand, your knowledge of Italian wine will deepen significantly. Any self-respecting white wine is based on the Malvasia, Trebbiano or on a mixture of the two varieties, with the most popular types being Orvieto DOC (which extends to the neighboring region of Umbria), Est!Est!Est! Photo by Todd Huffman. The requirements for this were the Alpine-Mediterranean climate, the quality of the soils, and the enviable locations of the vineyards. Wine writers Per and Britt Karlsson say that they love a good structured wine; they don’t particularly care for the soft, velvety styles that are easy to drink in their youth. This is kind of a little black dress of a white wine, changing in style through the decades but always in fashion. Under the DOC appellation there are surprisingly few red wines. Sardinia is better known for its cheese and meat production, but it does have two regional grapes that it makes excellent wines from – the red Cannanau di Sardegna and white Vermentino. While this fantastic amount of variety gives Italian wines a unique flavour that’s hard to match, it can make it difficult to pick one that you know you’re going to enjoy. Franciacorta. It’s boomed in popularity over the past ten years, especially in the UK where hundreds of millions of bottles are drank each year. MBA, Wine and Spirit Education Trust Level 2 Award in Wine Or, if you want to know more about Italian wines, we have plenty of in-depth articles: Thanks for your feedback! Both Chianti and Chianti Classico are made from the same grape, Sangiovese, but the similarities end there. Another excellent example of the wine comes from the Barbera d’Alba DOC. Photo Credit: Wikimedia CC user Megan Mallen. The northernmost part of Italy, Alto Adige is home to Europe’s highest vineyards – sitting as high as 1,100 metres. For something a little different, look for Prosecco Col Fondo. Deliciously sweet, low in alcohol, with pronounced fruity and floral flavors. Franciacorta produces sparkling wines using the Champagne-making method. We’re always obsessing over the latest (and oldest) vintages, and we want to share that knowledge and passion with our readers. If you’re looking for high-quality Barolo to lay down, then consider one of these top Piedmont producers: Many of the producers above also make Barbaresco and other classic Piedmont wines, although in most cases their Barolo is the most valuable on the secondary market. Everyone knows Pinot Grigio. But just as the best-selling big-brand American wines do not suggest the potential for quality in the United States wine industry, these genres reveal little of how far Italian white wine … latest ranking, of the 39 Italian wines that qualified, only one was white. Le Camarde 2016, Negroamaro & Primitivo, Salento IGP by Feudi di Guagnano, Uras 2016, Cannonau di Sardegna by I Garagisti di Sorgono (sold out), 306 Biologico Nero d’Avola 2017, Sicilia DOC by Savlatore Tamburello, Chianti Classico, 100% Sangiovese, Chianti Classico DOCG, by Castello Di Radda, Treuve 2015, Arneis, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Langhe DOC by Malvirà, Diecianni Primitivo (Zinfandel) 2017, Salento IGP by Feudi di Guagnano, Prosecco Superiore Millesimato Extra Dry 2018, Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG by Ca’ di Rajo, Francone Barolo 2015, Nebbiolo, Barolo DOCG by Francone, Francone Barbaresco Gallina 2016, Nebbiolo, Barbaresco DOCG by Francone, Fiero 2017, 60% Merlot, 40% Sangiovese, Super Tuscan IGT by Ridolfi, Palladium 2018 Gewurztraminer, Alto Adige DOC by K.Martini & Sohn, La Regia Specula 2016, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOCG by Orlandi Contucci Ponno, Pinot Grigio 2018, Venezia DOC by Ca’ di Rajo, We update our customers’ best sellers list every couple of months to give you a good idea of what’s currently trending, and what Italian wines people just can’t get enough of. What does Vermentino taste like? Chenin Blanc The Nebbiolo grape is the backbone of Piedmont. Dried black fruits (like cherries and prunes) are met with spices (liquorice, cinnamon and clove) as well as aromas of sweet tobacco, leather and chocolate. You can’t do much better than a glass of Pinot as a … These are Primitivo, more famously known by its American name Zinfandel, and the native grape Negroamaro. The best examples come from the Salento Peninsula, particularly the Salice Salentino DOC. It’s a part of the annual food and wine festival held each year in the Alpine spa resort Merano. The climate is relatively cool and foggy, giving its red wines a sharp, acidic flavor profile. This ancient Italian wine region produces bold red wines that are based on Nebbiolo grapes, locally known as Spanna. Wines are dry, lean, and minerally with subtle notes of white peach, lemon-lime, and subtle salinity. What does Franciacorta taste like? treasured bottles of wine. Over the past two decades, however, California’s Central Coast has emerged as an important new producer of Viognier wines. Cormons Cormons, Italy Cormons might be the best little wine town you’ve never heard of. From earthy Nerello Mascalese to fresh, fragrant Carricante, Sicily is so much more than just easy-drinking styles that appeal to casual wine fans. Sassicaia and Tignanello were two of the first Super Tuscans to grab global attention during the 1970’s. You may be wondering which of these unique regions to try first. No matter the feast or f ê te there is a French white wine perfect for the occasion. This region has traditionally been very underappreciated when it comes to wine. A single-vineyard wine, rather than a multi-vineyard blend. The region’s cool climate is similar to that of Germany, and the soil is very mineral-heavy, lending these wines a steely personality. Puglia has always been one of the most exuberant wine areas of Italy, but despite the wine tradition has a very ancient history, the production was almost always dominated by rustic and popular wines, which were consumed locally or sent to the north of Italy for the supermarkets’ export trade. What does Pinot Grigio taste like? White peach and apple flavours are common, with tangerine, almond, nutmeg and yuzu also making appearances. For dry, full bodied, or indeed sweet wine, the Verdicchio grape can provide all, and will captivate you. However, it’s unwise to write this area’s wines off entirely. The waiter returned with Venica Collio, a wine that Draper had never heard of before. As with most wines, you’ll find differences between “Old World” and “New World” pinot grigio. Try Fiano di Avellino if: you’re looking for an age-worthy white wine. This wine ages well and has an interesting flavour profile. Best with tomato-based red sauces, it also works with cream- or oil-based sauces. The jewel in Lombardy’s crown is the fashionable city of Milan. Dark and savoury, Negroamaro combines flavours of ripe black fruit with spicy and herbal notes of clove, cinnamon and thyme. The list of Italian wine regions is organized by highest volume of DOC wines. This powerful wine is a blend of Nebbiolo from two vineyards in La Morra and Monforte – two of the five most prestigious villages in Barolo DOCG. Expect flavours of black fruit compote and aromas of leather, blueberries and fig. Liguria is an Italian wine region located in the northwest region of Italy along the Italian Riviera.It is bordered by the Piedmont wine region to the north, the Alps and French wine region of Provence to the west, the Apennine Mountains and the Emilia-Romagna wine region to the east with a small border shared with Tuscany in the south-east along the Ligurian sea. It seemed like every village had its own method for making wine, and I learned that, How to Sell Port Wine: Choosing the Most Profitable Method, How Soil Affects Wine: From Minerality to Acidity, 2016 Brunello di Montalcino: A Vibrant Red To Add To Your Collection, How to Find the Perfect Super Tuscan Food Pairing. Meanwhile, Chianti Classico Riserva is a collectible version of Chianti that tends to be a bit more refined than Superiore or plain Classico, so it’s worth buying if you want an elegant but easy-drinking option. It’s pressed from 100% garganega grapes, local from the Veneto region. If you usually prefer New-World wines, then Aglianico di Taurasi is a great gateway to the wines of Campania and Italy as a whole. Overall, Trentino-Alto Adige is a great place to find light, complex red wines and acidic, aromatic whites. This guide will dig into the eight most important wine regions in Italy to help you make wise investment decisions about this complicated country’s wine. Some of the respectable and most popular brands have created their reputation in producing quality wine over the years. The diverse climate of France along with its variety of terroirs are ideal for harvesting a variety of grapes, rendering French wine among the world’s most revered. Beautifully perfumed and aromatic, Gewürztraminer is one of Alto Adige’s most distinctive wines. This wine accounts for the majority of all the wine produced from the region. Don’t worry, we’ve put together the below tables to offer an at-a-glance look at the most popular Italian denominations and their grapes. Piedmont is a legendary wine region that leaves a lasting impression on anyone who visits. Acidity plays a major role in many Trentino-Alto Adige wines; this sharp acidity is often accompanied by flinty notes as well. Its full-bodied, concentrated structure is reminiscent of Napa Valley wines, and yet it has a distinctive dryness and unique floral expression that places it firmly in Campania. Draper first discovered Friuli-Venezia Giulia when he visited Venice a number of years ago. Author: Oleg Dmitriev (Wine Geek), Co-founder of Independent Wine. The best Prosecco comes from the cru villages in the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene DOCG. A case won’t be enough.”. What does Barbera wine taste like? Fruity aromas of sour cherries dominate, and are amplified by some dried herbs and earthiness. Independent Wine Ltd | Independent Wine® is a registered trademark. France is famous for its wine, so here’s a look at five of the top wine regions you should visit. Pinot Grigio If you're making scallops, mussels, or chicken with white wine, then Pinot Grigio should be your go-to choice. Getty. To this day, I’m amazed by the diversity of styles and the sheer number of wines made here. Case. The very best Barbera wines come from the Barbera d’Asti DOCG – Asti’s Nizza sub-zone has recently been granted DOCG status, too. It all comes down to the vineyard. Regional differences. Journalist and avid wine enthusiast Robert Draper considers Friuli-Venezia Giulia one of the best Italian wine regions, and with good reason. This was the region that most impressed Robert Draper, and I’ve heard a number of wine enthusiasts express a similar adoration for Colli. Vermentino combines zingy flavours like green apple, grapefruit and lime. Currently, you can see all Decanter’s results up to 2019 (search form), and the 2020 results are expected on 22 September 2020. Here’s a closer look at each of them, with a focus on which wine regions produce the best wines with these grapes. The cellars of the Collio and Colli Orientali appellations are known for being among Italy’s most innovative and technologically advanced. Your Guide to the Best Wine from Saint-Émilion, 2015 Brunello di Montalcino: A Fruit-Forward Crowd Pleaser, What is Winery Direct? The modern sommelier sources the best wines for each dish whether or not they come from the same place. This rich wine combines flavours of cherry, chocolate and spice. The Piedmont region also produces excellent quality Barbera. Barolo is a very complex wine, with a flavour described by some as “tar and roses”. You may also enjoy Kerner, an aromatic white wine with complex layers of flavors similar to a dry German Riesling. DOC is a designation for both Italian wine and Italian cheese. It’s subtly flavoured, and a fantastic everyday option. Although there are 22 DOC and five DOCG areas in Lombardy, most of the wine grown there is for local consumption and rarely reaches the export market. Negroamaro has been grown in Puglia for at least 1,500 years, and its name translates as “black and bitter”. Because Lageder Krafuss is from a single vineyard at a higher altitude, the wine is much more expressive. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Let's look at some of Italy's top wine regions—and pair up a few recipes with the wines we find! This white wine is produced north of Venice in a region called Valdobbiadene and is made primarily from Glera grapes, though other grape varieties can be incorporated in a small percentage. Because of its size, Friuli-Venezia Giulia is home to a diverse range of wines. In terms of Italian white wines, the most famous is Pinot Grigio which is made from the grape of the same name. The WineHunter is a competition that only rates Italian wines. She says Piedmont “has won [her] heart for its sheer joie de vivre.” She describes how every village she’s visited over the years, even the smallest, most unassuming little towns, were home to incredible local cuisine, including perfect food and wine pairings that Robinson says are some of the best she has ever had. As many readers will be aware, Veneto is one of Italy’s largest wine producing regions. In general, this varietal is light, on the drier side, and slightly citrusy on its finish. Understanding Italian wine can be overwhelming if you’re not familiar with the names: which wines are made from Sangiovese or Nebbiolo? It’s made from the white grapes Trebbiano and Malvasia, which are left to dry in the sun to concentrate the sugar as they slowly transform into raisins. You can't spend $35 and try one of the world's best Champagnes, but you can try one of the world's best Prosecco. Lives in: Edinburgh, Scotland. Suite E With so many fantastic Italian wines, it's difficult to select the top wines but easy to make recommendations for great bottles. As a trending wine region, Campania has plenty of fascinating options right now. What does Vin Santo taste like? Bottle $16.95 . In wine terms, it’s most famous for two bold reds which have a huge following in the UK. If you’re a serious wine collector, you’ve likely thought about buying or have already purchased some Super Tuscan wines. Italy is romanticized for many reasons, not least of which for its delicious wines. Franciacorta is a DOCG sparkling wine, made in the traditional method. The Friuli region should be your destination for top-quality, cutting-edge white wines. 2020 marks the 17th annual ceremony, and their experts assess around 16,500 wines from all over the world, including Italy. These premium wines are far more complex, with concentrated aromas of red fruits, spices and herbs. Italian wine is notoriously difficult to navigate in part because the differences between the regions are so pronounced. He found gorgeous notes of baking spice, cranberry, and even a hint of pine; this was the complex Alto Adige Pinot Noir he had been waiting for. It’s used to make the red Lagrein Scuro (also known by its German name, Lagrein Dunkel) and the fragrant rosé Lagrein Rosato (Lagrein Kretzer). This firsthand experience gave me insight into Italian wine regions and the best places in those regions to find collectible wines. Some areas – like the Vermentino di Gallura DOCG – create rounder and richer wines. FOR WHITE SAUCES: Here are some of the best producers of this wine: Additionally, producers like Dell’Ornellaia make interesting examples of Merlot and other international grapes that combine New-World flavors with Italian tradition. At first, I was only familiar with Veneto’s Prosecco and Pinot Grigio, but I’ve since discovered the region’s many other wines, including Soave, Amarone, and Bardolino (a light, fruity cousin of Valpolicella). Made from the Sagrantino grape, this utterly unique wine has extremely high levels of tannin, which make it possible to cellar these wines for three decades or more. There are stunning versions of these wines being made all over Tuscany every year, and more are still waiting to be discovered. Top Italian white wine types. In the . Bottled wine exports from the Veneto region topped one billion euros in the first half of 2018, accounting for a third of all Italian wine exports by value, according to Italy’s national statistics agency, Istat. The other Pinot Nero wines that Day had tasted in the past were made from multi-vineyard blends and from the valleys of Trentino-Alto Adige. The first few times that wine enthusiast Kevin Day tasted Pinot Nero from Trentino-Alto Adige, he wasn’t all that impressed with the region’s offerings. However, when Day tried his first bottle of Lageder Krafuss, his opinion of Trentino-Alto Adige wines changed forever. After this, the wine is usually aged in small barriques to add pleasant notes of vanilla and toast. We have varieties from all the best regions in Italy. These are some of the best white Italian wines. Another very important wine rating is Gambero Rosso’s “Tre Bicchieri” (three glasses). The truth is that Sicily has a more diverse climate than it’s given credit for, from the cool, sometimes even snowy conditions on Mount Etna to the warm, dry vineyards that lie along the western coastline. July 3, 2019 - Updated on August 25th, 2020. This wine style thrives in volcanic soil and is very tannic, making it more age-worthy than other Campanian wines. South Italy. Although this wine typically isn’t collectible, it’s a good option if you’re looking for an unusual, traditional Italian wine that pairs well with a variety of foods. Italy is a country with a great food and wine culture: some of the best Italian wines are produced in different regions of Italy and they have become wordwide famous.The reason for the success of Italian wine is mainly due to the presence of many wineries scattered from north to south. As well as showing which wines are trending this year, it also shows which wines people consider to be good value for money. The complete guide to the best Italian wine with maps and tasting notes, Gagliole Valetta 2017 Organic | Super Tuscan, Rubinelli Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC 2015, K.Martini & Sohn, Paladium 2017 | Pinot Noir | Alto Adige DOC, here’s more information about the awards, and a list of “Gold” and “Rosso” wines you can buy in the UK, buy the Gambero Rosso “Tre Bicchieri” catalogue on Amazon, Vigna Saglietto Arneis 2016, Roero DOCG by Malvirà, Spèra Vermentino 2018, Vermentino di Gallura DOCG by Siddùra, Francone Barolo DOCG 2015 | Nebbiolo | Silver Medal, Forte Masso Barolo Castelleto 2015 | Barolo DOCG | 100% Nebbiolo, Francone Barolo 2016 | Barolo DOCG | Decanter Silver Medal, Francone Barbaresco Riserva 2014 | Barbaresco DOCG | Decanter Gold Medal, Francone Barbaresco DOCG 2016 | Nebbiolo | Gold Medal, Azörd 2017 | Monferrato DOC | Barbera, Cabernet, Nebbiolo, Francone “I Patriarchi” | Barbera d’Alba Superiore DOC, Malvirà San Michele Barbera 2006 | Barbera d’Alba Superiore DOC, Sansi 2017 | Barbera d’Asti DOCG | Barbera, Malvirà Arneis No Sulfites 2017 | Roero DOCG, Malvirà Saglietto Arneis 2016 | Roero DOCG, Malvirà Treuve 2015 | Langhe DOC | Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Arneis, Ridolfi Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2015 | Decanter Silver Medal, Castello di Radda 2016 | Chianti Classico DOCG | Decanter Gold, Castello di Radda Riserva 2014 | Chianti Classico DOCG | Decanter Silver, La Castellina – Squarcialupi Gran Selezione 2015 | Chianti Classico DOCG | 92/100, Rubinelli Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2012, Massimago | Conte Gastone | Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2015, Prosecco Superiore DOCG Cuvée Brut Millesimato 2018 | Bronze Medal, Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Dry Millesimato 2018 | Gold Medal, Lo Sparviere Brut Cuvée n.7 NV | Franciacorta DOCG | Sparkling wine, Le Camarde 2016 | Negroamaro & Primitivo | Decanter Bronze Medal, Diecianni 2017 | Primitivo | Sakura Double Gold Medal, Diecianni 2018 | Negroamaro | Decanter Bronze Medal, Uras Cannonau 2016 | Sardinia | Gold Medal, Siddùra Bèru 2015 | Vermentino di Gallura DOCG, Siddùra Spèra 2018 | Vermentino di Gallura DOCG, 306 Biologico Nero d’Avola 2017 | Sicilia DOC | Decanter Silver Medal, Weissburgunder Pinot Blanc 2017 | Alto Adige DOC | Gold Medal, K.Martini & Sohn, Paladium Gewurztraminer 2018 | Alto Adige DOC, Francone Antichi Poderi dei Gallina | Sparkling Muscat | Moscato d’Asti DOCG, Volo Di Farfalle 2019 | Moscato d’Asti DOCG | Muscat Sparkling Wine, Siddùra Nùali Passito 2016 | Moscato di Sardegna DOC | Muscat Dessert Wine, Read our articles about pairing Italian wine with food, Check out our ultimate guide to finding your favourite Italian red wine, Our visual guide to Italian red wines makes it easy to see the best wines at a glance, Finding the best wine to buy for Father’s Day? Friuli-Venezia Giulia is technically two regions in one; it consists of the separate Friuli and Venezia Giulia regions, which have been grouped together into a single, much larger region. Traditionally it is aged in large oak barrels, although some producers prefer to use smaller barriques for that distinctive oak spice. Cannonau is rumoured to be the oldest surviving grape in the Mediterranean at 3,200 years old. It’s also made from similar grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Bianco (in place of Pinot Meunier). While Italy’s production of Vermouth, cooking wines, and table wines are high, there are three primary regions that pump out the best drinking wines you can buy. Italian white wines come in varieties that run from sparkling and sweet to smooth and fruity to crisp and dry. We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. It is actually harvested most prominently inside the Friuli in order to a cheaper level the Alto-Adige and Veneto parts of Northern Italy. This expression is made using natural techniques and native grapes other than Glera. The volcanic soil of Etna makes these wines taste especially mineral-rich. Grape: Garganega. While Super Tuscans and age-worthy Barolo receive much of the attention on the wine market, Umbrian Sagrantino di Montefalco is still fairly unknown outside serious wine collecting circles. What does Barbaresco taste like? It goes through a lengthy aging period of two years, and is often aged in small barriques which lend notes of spice and vanilla to the wine. Find an exquisite selection of Italian wine online at Wine Express. The classic grape of Burgundy, Pinot Noir has a new home in the high vineyards of Alto Adige. Italian Wines for Summer: Pinot Grigio. The traditional home of Viognier is the Rhone wine region of France. For those who want a good Nebbiolo, the Barolo wines are considered some of the best in Italy. There are some truly well-priced yet collectible Sicilian wines that are worth a space in your cellar. Some producers in Friuli-Venezia Giulia also make fascinating orange wines–this is the perfect style for red wine lovers looking for a white they’ll enjoy. As a result, some serious wine collectors are hesitant to call Veneto one of the best Italian wine regions. If you’re looking for wines that have some of the best value in the entire Piedmont region, then you may wish to explore wines from Ghemme and Gattinara. While dining in a restaurant, he asked the waiter to bring him a bottle of Pinot Grigio–any bottle of the waiter’s choice. If Barolo is the king of wines, Barbaresco is the queen. As it has relatively low acidity, it produces wines with a rounded texture. If you prefer Old-World styles, then try mature Barolo or Barbaresco from Piedmont or Brunello di Montalcino from Tuscany. Named “Oenotria” by the ancient Greeks for its abundance of grapevines, Italy has always had a culture virtually inextricable from red, white and sparkling wine. By Maria Miyashiro. passionate and slightly obsessed oenophiles--we love sharing a great A few useful things to know: Most Italian wines are labeled by region rather than grape variety, something typical of Europe in general (the exception is wines … Veneto is Italy’s most productive wine-growing region. Every mouthful brings a bouquet of ripe fruits including blackberry, plum and sweet cherry. Each year we put together one of the most comprehensive wine vintage charts a vailable, chronicling nearly 25 years of wine across the globe.Our goal is … Back. Best is a subjective term in wine. When I first began learning about Italian wine, the Veneto region was both fascinating and intimidating all at once. Golden colour, thanks to the city of Milan were the Alpine-Mediterranean climate the... 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