Description 1 of 4

Wine in Italy is as much an integral part of everyday culture as love, family, cuisine and using hand gestures when speaking. There is a long relationship with wine, and its history dates back thousands of years. Ancient cultures such as the Mesopotamians, Phoenicians and Moors all came to Italy at one point, bringing in vines and methods of wine-making. The Greeks in particular had a large impact on what would transition into the Etruscan and Roman passion for wine. They settled in southern Italy in the 7th and 8th centuries BC, finding the conditions in the region perfectly suited to viticulture. They called their new territories “Oenotria,” which translates to “land of wine.” 

The Romans improved on many Greek wine-making traditions, such as updating grape presses, using props and trellises in the fields, aging wines in wooden casks, and using sealed containers with corks to store and present the wine. They also understood which grapes were best suited to certain soils and climates, and attempted to plant accordingly. But they also used additives to “improve” them that would be frowned upon now, such as mixing in honey, sugar, salt water and even herbs and spices. One also has to consider that ancient Roman wines were far more alcoholic than modern table wine. From what we know about their partying habits, this should come as a surprise to know one. 
Modern day Italian wines now run the gamut from the apex of global prestige to cheap bulk wine that’s maybe only steps away from what the Romans consumed. But they were on to something with the regional plantings. There are now twenty different regions, each with their own unique varietals and styles. Consider Nebbiolo, Barbera and Arneis of Piedmont. Sangiovese and Vernaccia of Tuscany. Garganega, Corvino, Molinara and Rondinella of the Veneto. Aglianico and Falanghina of Campania. Lagrein of Alto Adige. Nero d’Avola of Sicily. Lacrima in the Marche. Lambrusco in Emilia Romagna. And countless other grapes and their specific territories. Within Italy, perhaps more than any other powerhouse wine-producing country, each varietal, with few exception, has its own region, its sense of place. Home. Familia. 
In the 20th century, much like the rest of Europe, regions were attributed specific label designations. The Italian system is as follows:
*VDT = vino de tavola 
*IGT = Indicazione Geografica Typica (wine from a specific area, but may include a blend of grapes from different regions)
*DOC = Denominazione di Origine Controllata (wines from a defined region; requires more stringent labeling standards)
*DOCG = Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (a region of superior ranking; wines must pass very strict standards to be labeled as such) ~Amanda Schuster
– Description from Amanda Schuster

Back to top

Description 2 of 4

Very few countries can boast the winemaking legacy that Italy takes for granted. Vines for wine have been growing in Italy for more then 4,000 years. The Ancient Greeks arriving in Southern Italy named the countryside Enotria - land of the vine. Over the centuries differing conquerors and travelers added their particular expertise and insights forming and shaping Italian wine along the way. Despite its ancient origins, we can also say that Italian wine has only recently planted itself firmly in the pantheon of great wine producing countries to rise up and become the oldest new kid on the block and one of the most exciting wine producing regions in the world today. So what is Italian wine? Is it represented by the storied Barolos, Brunellos and Chiantis? Perhaps the more modern Super Tuscans or wines made from the well-known international varieties. Then we can't forget about the regional wines made from one or more of Italy's hundreds of native varieties. Maybe it's the ocean of Pinot Grigio or the specialty wines like the sparkling red Lambrusco. The truth is Italian wine is all of these wines and so many more. There is no more a typical Italian wine then there is typical fingerprint. Where does that leave the Italian wine lover? The very factors that create confusion - the myriad of native varieties, small and unfamiliar place names, the sheer type and number of wines and producers - also make it one of the most fascinating topics to explore. The renaissance of the past thirty years continues unabated with producers old and new dedicated to producing the finest expressions the land has to offer. New wines are being created that stand side-by-side with the best traditional wines in the country. Because of this vastness you may never get to the bottom of Italian wine, but the journey is well worth the effort. – Description from Robert Scibelli

Back to top

Description 3 of 4


– Description from bernie2301

Back to top

Description 4 of 4


– Description from bernie2301

Back to top

« Back to Italy Overview

View larger map

Best Wine Deals

See More Deals

Italian Wine Top Lists

Recent Forum PostsView all

Italian wine ratings and reviews

Snooth Media Network