With over 20 wine regions spread across Italy’s rich landscape, there’s a whole world to discover within each region. There’s no possible way to reveal each region’s entire story. Instead, here’s take a snapshot of five key regions and their iconic grape varieties.
Located in the North-Western corner of Italy, Piedmont is one of the country’s most stunning regions, sitting on the borders of Switzerland and France. Piedmont offers some of the finest red wines in Italy. Babera is one of the most widely planted grapes in the region and is considered an affordable and fruitful export, and the spicy notes of the Nebbiolo grape is also consistently labelled the resounding favourite. On a sweeter note, Piedmont is also known for the light and delicate Moscato.
Key grape varieties: Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, Moscato, Arneis, Cortese
Not only one of the most visited and loved regions of Italy itself, Tuscany has long been famous for its poetic and worldly Chianti, and is now becoming known for the ‘Super Tuscans’ premium wines, pushing the boundaries of Italian winemaking. Most wine produced in Tuscany is red wine, but there is a selection of delectable whites made from the Trebbiano grape.
Key grape varieties: Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Trebbiano, Vermentino
Boasting vintage wine varieties famous far beyond its borders, Sicily has a rich and complex wine heritage filled with a range of indigenous grapes – the nost notable being the Nero d’Avola red grape. With more vineyards than any other region in Italy, Sicily boasts a prosperous wine culture full of many famous grape varieties, but it is the sweet Marsala wine that is arguably the most famous of all.
Key grape varieties: Nero d’Avola, Catarratto, Grillo, Inzolia
On the border of central Italy is the mountainous Abruzzo wine region, with winemaking traditions dating back to into the sixth century B.C. With a past immersed in bulk wine, this region has turned the focus back to quality-led boutique wineries, with a bountiful land perfect for grape growing. Abruzzo is most referenced in relation to the Montepulciano grape variety.
Key grape varieties: Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Trebbiano
Home to the stunning Lake Como and Lake Garda, Lombardy is a scenic wine region attracting tourists from every corner of the world. Most notably, Lombardy is famous for its well-aged reds, with the gem of the region being the Valtellina Superiore, made from the Nebbiolo grape variety. Another key grape variety within the Lombardy region is the intoxicating Pinot Noir.
Key grape varieties: Nebbiolo, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Verdicchio, Pinot Bianco
Every Italian region has its own distinct flavour, and from these iconic grape varieties, we come to know the most famous wines to transcend Italy.