The one thing people commonly associate Italy with is fine wine. This is mainly due to the fact that one third of the wine sold globally is produced in Italy, the country where some of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world are located. Viticulture is engraved deeply into the Italian history, hence the importance of wine in the Italian culture and everyday life.
Versatility is the trademark of the best Italian wines. It is estimated that more than eight hundred different wine grapes are grown in this Mediterranean country. There are many Italian grape varieties that are well-known, sought after and purchased by consumers from different parts in the world.
Red Wine Grape Varieties
- Sangiovese – Planted throughout the entire country, the best Italian wines are produced from this red wine grape. Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino are the two wine-producing regions in which Sangiovese wine grape is prevalent.
- Nebbiolo – The main characteristic of wines produced from this grape is the age-worthy, high tannin. This grape is mostly grown in Piemonte wine region and it is commonly found in wines, such as ‘Barolo’ and ‘Barbaresco’.
- Montepulciano – Full body, high tannin and black pepper note is what distinguishes the ‘Montepuliciano d’Abruzzo’ wine, produced in Central and Southern Italy.
- Valpolicella – This is one of the well-known wine styles coming from Ceneto. The structure of this wine is comprised of three grapes: Molinara, Corvina and Rondinella.
- Barbera – It is a dark-skinned grape, mostly grown in Piemonte. Main features of the wines produced from this grape include high acidity and low content of tannin.
White Wine Grape Varieties
- Pinot Grigio – ‘Pasqua Pinot Grigio delle Venezie’ is one of the best Italian wines you can find in Australia. This white wine grape and other varieties of the Italian Pinot Grigio are mostly grown in Alto Adige, Friuli and Lombardy.
- Trebbiano – This white wine grape variety is used in a wide range of Italian white wines. Besides wine, this grape variety is also found in cognac and balsamic vinegar.
- Vermentino – It is a white grape variety from which crisp white wines are produced. Toscana and Sardegna are the two Italian wine regions where this grape is mostly cultivated.
- Moscato – Another grape planted in Piemonte. Aromatic, sweet and bubbly texture is what characterizes Moscato wines.
- Cortese – This is a grape variety very similar to Pinot Grigio. Some of the best Italian wines are made from this grape that features light citrus and floral acidity.