Casa Wines - A Guide to Wine Regions - Italy
Next up in our journey through the world’s best known wine regions is Italy. The second of our “Old World” regions, Italian wine is beloved for its diversity of style, variety of grapes and air of romance. An essential visit for any wine connoisseur, Italy has established itself as one of the most popular producers of wine in the world. From sparkling to smooth, crisp to dry here is our guide to Italy's best loved wines.
Second only to France, Italy has over 800 wine grape varieties and several designated wine growing regions. Despite being significantly smaller than its rival regions, Italy produces more wine than any other country on Earth. Which is why when combined with its beautiful landscapes and unrivalled vineyards, Italy remains to be the most popular destination for wine tasting tours. With the range of grape varieties and price points available you are sure to find a wine to your taste.
Shopping Italian wine however can be a little daunting, with over 20 wine producing regions labelling is not always consistent. Wines are either named after the grape they are made from or the region or town they come from. That said, some towns may have the same name as grape varieties but grow something else entirely, leading to confusion. This is why it is good to get a little background knowledge on your wine of choice prior to buying. Below is a flavour profile of Italy's 3 main wine regions, so you can find a wine perfect to your palette.
Starting with the most celebrated of Italy’s wine regions, Piedmont is a hot spot for wine lovers. Located in North Eastern Italy, it is home to the ‘nebbia’ grape variety that produces the region's most famous red wines: Barolo and Barbaresco. Other well known red grapes are Barbera and Dolcetto, which are enjoyed for their accessible price points and drinkability. Lesser known white wines include the medium bodied Arneis and cotton candy flavoured Moscato. Beyond its diverse range of wines, Piedmont is also renowned for its slow food and position both at the foot of the Alps and beside the Mediterranean. This backdrop creates the growing conditions that give Piedmont wines their unique taste and style.
In the north east of Italy is Veneto, a region that thanks to its location and climate generates more wine than any other. Veneto has numerous microclimates due to its proximity to the Alps, Lake Gard and the Adriatic Sea which leads to a breadth of grapes, styles and flavour combinations. The UK’s favourite fizz, Prosecco, originates from this area along with the popular Pinot Grigio and Garganega. In total the region boasts 12 different grape varieties, 3 of which are used to produce the areas most bought red wine, the fruity Valpolicella.
Home to the most beautiful of Italy’s vineyards, Tuscany is perhaps the most visited of the country's wine bearing regions. The landscapes of rolling hills and awe inspiring views are home to the Sangiovese grape variety, which depending on where it is grown can range from an earthy to a fruity flavour. The most famous Sangiovese based wines are Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino. For white wine fans, the fruity flavours of the Trebbiano are a popular choice while Vin Santo makes for a perfect dessert wine.
These are just a few of Italy’s world renowned wine regions, with many more grape varieties and flavour profiles available you are sure to find a wine for every budget and every taste. Use this short and smooth guide to find your favourite, shop Casa Wine’s unique range of red and white wines here.