The Flavours of Italian Wines
Italy boasts 20 wine growing regions covering the entire country and ranging from the North in Trentino-Alto Adige right down to Sicily in the South. Because the climatic and soil conditions in these various regions are quite different, Italian wines have a wide variety of flavours. Most people are familiar with dry Italian wines: Classic red wines such as Negroamaro, but some white wines from Friaul are also dry Italian wines. Friaul, renowned for first class Italian white wines, also produces medium-dry Italian wines and arguably the best prosecco in the country. The South Tyrol wine growing region is also well known for its white wines, in particular dry Italian wines. While red and white wines are enjoyed with a meal, a bottle of Passito is often served with dessert. This sweet, Italian wine is a treat for gourmets and wine connoisseurs. It contains no added sugars - its exquisite sweetness is entirely natural. Sweet wines from Italy can be made from both red and white grapes that are either air-dried or sun-dried and result in a uniquely quaffable flavour with a high alcohol content.
Italian Wine and Grape Varieties
Grapes have been grown for winemaking in Italy since the Greek antiquity. Due to its very long history of cultivation, we have Italy to thank for the survival of the diverse, very old varieties we enjoy today. There are around 1000 registered grape varieties that are used for the production of excellent Italian wines. About 400 of these varieties are used for the vinification of DOC prädikatswein. Some of the varietal wines most well-known outside the Italian border are Sangiovese, Carménère, Grenache, Montepulciano, Grillo as well as Trebbiano and Grechetto. Once you get to know the characteristics of individual grapes, it is easy to imagine the flavours that can be encountered with Italian wines.
Italian Wines: Recommendations from Vinello
Barbera is one of the bolder, full-bodied grapes. A low tannin concentration and deep red colour are characteristic for Barbera wines. This Italian grape is grown mainly in Piemont, where vintners place emphasis on a reduced harvest for high quality fruit. That high quality fruit is then vinified into top quality red wines from Italy such as Barbera d'Asti, which you can purchase from Vinello. In regions like the Piemont, Barbera red wine is often vinified as a pure varietal Italian wine. In other Italian wine growing regions it is often used as a component for modern, blended wine creations.
Popular Italian Wines
The grape variety Trebbiano is known by white wine lovers all over the world. It is one of the oldest, high yield varieties. It is divided into subcategories such as Trebbiano di Soave or Trebbiano Toscano. The Trebbiano grape is also used for blending and builds the foundation for fresh white wines. Primitivo, is also an interesting grape variety known all over the world, and it is more commonly known as Zinfandel in the New World. There is a DOC region in Apulia where the Primitivo di Manduria is cultivated.
Wine From Italy and its Quality Grades
The quality grading for Italian Wines has developed over its long winemaking history. Among them are the first-class Italian wines: The DOCG wines with a controlled and guaranteed certification of origin. There are 74 DOCG wines that come from Italy alone. Next are some 333 DOC wines with a controlled certification of origin. Italian table wines follow lastly and can be recognised by the designation IGT on their labels. Even some of these table wines can be of high quality and offer very good value for money.
Fine Italian Wines...
... are generally marked as DOCG wines. An especially good Chianti such as the Sergio Zingarelli Chianti Classico DOCG 2012 is also permitted to use the designation Gran Selezione. Most DOGC wines of Italian origin come from the Piedmont, where, in the last few years, vintners have placed special emphasis on high quality characteristics. This dedication has resulted in 12 DOGC regions and another 40 DOC wines. It is easy to see that the diversity of very good Italian wines is vast, and there are always new wines to discover.
Italian Wines and Vintages
For vintners, each vintage year is an uncertainty. Prolonged dry spells hurt the grapes just as much as too much rain. A good example for Italian wines is the 2010 vintage. Cool days and rain brought about very different – and in the end surprising - results. The Tal Lùc Passito Bianco from the Lis Neris winery was even one of the winners for the 2010 vintage.
Buy Wine from Italy Online at Vinello
At the Vinello online wine shop, you will find first class Italian wines sorted by region, variety or winery. That makes it easy for you to select the right wine for your occasion. You can buy a good Italian wine as a gift for a friend at our online wine shop just as conveniently as an Italian wine for a relaxing evening at home. Browse through our „Italian Wine“ category and buy your favourite wine – for any and all occasions.