Italy has 20 wine regions. Each region has its own unique style of wine, influenced by the local culture, cuisine and climate.
Piedmont, in the north of Italy, produces Barolo wine and Asti Spumante. The soil in this region is made up of clay and marl which tones down the natural high acidity of the Nebbiolo grapes used in Barolo production. Whilst Asti is a non-vintage wine which can be consumed within 1 to 2 years of bottling, Barolo is best after around 12-15 years. The region also produces Barbaresco produced from the same grape as Barolo but is ready to drink in 5 – 10 years.
Tuscany is the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, and home to Chianti of which it produces over 8 million cases per year. A beautiful region rich in culture and history Tuscany also produces the desert wine Vin Santo. This region also produces the third of the Killer B’s – Brunello di Montalcino, some of the most sought after wines in the world.
These two regions produce most of Italy’s wine. Other regions are Lombardy, also in the north, which produces mostly sparkling wine; Lazio which is home to Frascati and other predominantly white wines; Sicily which produces more wine than New Zealand, Austria and Hungary put together!
Whatever your taste in wine you will find an Italian wine to delight the palate, whatever the occasion! Even if you are not a wine lover, the vineyards and the surrounding countryside are beautiful to visit and the cuisine well worth the journey!