Wine from Italy

All about Italian Wines

Italy is the home to some of the oldest winemaking regions of the world and the history of winemaking in Italy can be dated back to over two thousand years.

Followed by France, this is the second largest wine producer in the world by volume contributing around 45 to 50 million hl/year.

Wines from Italy

In this article, we’ll look at few important things about Italian wines.

Wine grape varieties

Italian Wines Overview

In Italy, wine is almost as essential as food and water.

We can see grapes grown in nearly all the regions of Italy.

With over one million vineyards, the country is representing almost one-third of global wine production.

The number of varieties of wine grapes in the country is more than thousand!

One of the major reasons for the extensive production of wines in Italy is its climate, which is more suitable for winemaking.

The Appellation System for Italian Wines

Italy launched its first system of classification in the year 1963.

But, the system was subjected to lots of additions and alterations to have the following latest appellation which was launched during the year 2010:

  • Vini: These are the generic wines that can be manufactured in any of the EU territories. The label of these wines will have the information about the color of the wine only.
  • Vini Varietali: These are again the generic wines that could have any of the following authorized grapes in major quantities (minimum 85%):

The label could have the information about the grapes used.

  • Vini IGP: These are the wines that are produced in specific territories of Italy following a set of regulations on grape varieties, practices, characteristics, labeling, and so on.
  • Vini DOP: This includes Vini DOC and Vini DOCG, the former being the wine which must have been Vini IGP for a minimum of five years. The DOC wines can be promoted to Vini DOCG if they have been DOC for a minimum of ten years.

In addition to the above-mentioned major categories, there are also some sub-categories in place for the sparkling winemaking.

Wines from Italy

Alcohol and Distilleries

Commonly Used Grapes in Italian Wines

Although the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has granted ‘authorized’ status to more than 350 varieties of grapes, the following are the most commonly used varieties in most Italian wines.

Common Red Grape Varieties

  • Sangiovese
  • Nebbiolo
  • Barbera
  • Lambrusco
  • Montepulciano
  • Amarone
  • Valpolicella
  • Primitivo
  • Negroamaro

Common White Grape Varieties

  • Pinot Grigio
  • Trebbiano
  • Garganega
  • Cortese
  • Verdicchio
  • Fiano
  • Arneis
  • Vermentino
  • Moscato

International Varieties in Italy

Sparkling Wines from Italy

The superior quality sparkling wines in Italy are from Franciacorta of Lombardy region.

Just as Champagne, these wines are also made from Pinot Nero and Chardonnay with a difference that these wines also contain Pinot Bianco.

The method of processing these sparkling wines is same as that for Champagne wherein the wine will be subjected to a second fermentation in the same bottle thus producing the fizz.

In addition to this, you may also see some bubbly wines like Lambrusco, as well as Moscato d’Asti in the country. These are usually manufactured by following the ‘Charmat method’.

High-end varieties of Lambrusco will have fruity flavors which are not very sweet.

In contrast to Lambrusco, Moscato d’Asti is a sparkling white wine variety that is got from Moscato grapes. This wine tastes sweet but with varying flavors.


Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam


I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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