Italian Wine

italian wine region :

see this link about list italian DOC wines :

Basilicata (bah-zee-lee-cah’-tah) A wine region in Southern Italy. Most of the wines are simple, and are best enjoyed locally.

Calabria (cah-lah’-bree-ah) If Italy is shaped like a boot, then Calabria is the wine region at the toe. Mountainous country, the wines from this region are not well known elsewhere.

Campania (cahm-pah’-nyah) A wine region in southern Italy, around the town of Naples. The wines are not well known outside of the region, but visitors to the active volcano, Mount Vesuvius, usually run across some examples in the local eateries.

Colli … (coh-lee) No less than 7 wine regions thoughout Italy begin with the word Colli. The quality and style of the seven wine regions are not in anyway related, but few are exported to the US

  • Colli Albani (ahl-bah’-nee)
  • Colli Berici (beh-ree-t’chee)
  • Colli Bolognesi (boh-loh-n’yay’-zee)
  • Colli Euganei (eh-yoo-gah’-neh)
  • Colli Lanuvini (lah-noo-vee’-nee)
  • Colli Orientali del Fruili (oh-ree-en-tah’lee del free-oo’-lee)
  • Colli Paicentini (p’yah-t’chen-tee-nee)

Emilia-Romagna (eh-meel’-yah ro-mah’-n yah) The Italian region north of Tuscany that is situated around the city of Bologna. Many visitors to Italy ignore this region because of the great deal of industry that is evident. What they do not realize is that this is the center of gastronomy for Italy. Parmesan cheese and Proscuitto Crudo both hale from nearby Parma, and Bologna is the cross roads for food from all over Italy. The most famous wine of the region is Lambrusco, a light, sometimes sparkling wine. Lambrusco is often overlooked as well, because the overly commercial Riunite is technically a Lambrusco.

Friuli-Venezia Giulia (free-oo’-lee veh-net’-zee-ah joo’-lee-ah) The wine region in the northeastern corner of Italy. The wines tend to be high quality, and the labels are usually marked with the name of the grape. This makes the wines friendly and easy to buy for most Americans. Merlot and Pinot Grigio (Pinot Gris) are among the best known red and white grapes grown here.

Latium (lah’-tyum) The wine region in Italy around Rome. Most of the wine made here is white from the ubiquitous Trebbiano grape.

Liguria (lee-goo’-ree-ah) A wine producing region of Italy that stretches along the Mediterranean from the French border down to Tuscany. The region is also unofficially known as the Italian Riviera and is dotted with famous resort towns.

Lombardy (lom-bar-dee) A principal wine producing region of Northern Italy.

Marche (mahr’-kay) The Marches, as it is known in English, is an south eastern Italian region along the Adriatic Sea. This is the home of the well known white wine Verdicchio (which is both the wine and the grape name).

Piedmont / Piemonte (peed-mont / p’yay-mon’-the) One of the most important wine producing regions in Italy, it is situated in the northwestern corner of the country, up against the Alps. This is the home of the intense red wines Barolo and Barberesco, as well as the refreshingly light sparkling wine Moscato d’Asti and the well known sparkler Asti Spumante. Piemonte is the Italian name for the region.

Puglia (poo’-lyah) A southeastern Italian wine producing region. Every country has a region that excels in making bulk wines, and this is Italy’s.

Sardinia (sar-din’-ia) A large island off the coast of Italy. For generations the wines here were coarse reds, or almost “sherry-like” whites. Modern wine making has allowed the producers of this area to discover an entirely new direction, with lighter, fresher tastes.

Sicily (sis-ill-ee) This island is not only the largest in the Mediterranean, it is also one of Italy’s largest producers of wine. Marsala has long been the best known wine of Sicily. The oxidized white wine, that so many know for cooking, typified the wines made here until only a few years ago. New plantings on cooler hillsides and modern techniques have allowed the new generation of Sicilian wine maker to produce lighter, fruitier wines.

Trentino-Alto Adige (tren-tee’-no ahl’-to ah’-dee-jay) The northernmost of Italy’s wine producing regions. A large amount of red wine is made here as well as whites, and even sparkling wines. This is a huge region with a great many wines and a great many grape varieties.

Tuscany (tuss-can-ee) A wine region in central Italy that extends from the city of Florence to the south. Some of the best known Italian wines come from this region. Notable are the Chianti wines, and Brunello di Montepulciano. The rising trend to create Cabernet Sauvignon based, or blended wines, has led to the unofficial designation “Super Tuscans” for these expensive and much sought after wines. Sangiovese (or Brunello as one of the clones is called) is the important red wine grape of the region. Malvasia is the important white for quality, and Trebbiano for quantity.

Umbria (oom’-bree-ah) The central Italian region that is home to the well known white wine Orvieto.

Valle d’Aosta (vah’-leh dah-aw’ss-tah) The smallest wine producing region in Italy. Skiers know the area for the famed Courmayeur ski resort, which is just on the other side of Mount Blanc from France’s famed ski town, Chamonix. The crisp, dry white wines of the region are enjoyed by skiers, but rarely seen elsewhere.

Veneto (veh’-neh-toe) A large Italian wine region that includes the cities of Venice and Verona. Nearly a fifth of all the DOC wines of Italy come from this region. Soave and Valpolicella are two of the best known wines that are produced here.

Departement pertanian dan kehutanan italia ( MIRAF ) telah mendokumentasikan lebih dari 350 anggur dinyatakan dengan status ” RESMI” dan lebih dari 500 varietas didokumentasikan lainnya dalam sirkulasi juga. Berikut ini adalah daftar yang paling umum dan penting dari varietas Italia

Bianco ( White Wine ) :

  • Arneis(ahr NASE)– It is low in acidity and fairly flavorful, making soft and round wines with notes of melon, almonds, and flowers
    A crisp and floral variety from Piedmont, which has been grown there since the 15th century.
    • Catarratto – Common in Sicily – this is the most widely planted white variety in Salaparuta.
    • Fiano (fee AH no): – Grown on the southwest coast of Italy, the wines from this grape can be described as dewy and herbal, often with notes of pinenut and pesto.

Its wines are medium-bodied and capable of aging, developing aromatic richness as they do.

  • Garganega (gar GAH nae ga): – The main grape variety for wines labeled Soave, this is a crisp, dry white wine from the Veneto wine region of Italy. It’s a very popular wine that hails from northeast Italy around the city of Verona. Currently, there are over 3,500 distinct producers of Soave, wines with character and class.
  • Malvasia Bianca – Another white variety that peeks up in all corners of Italy with a wide variety of clones and mutations. Can range from easy quaffers to funky, musty whites.
      • Moscato(moh SKAH toh) – Grown mainly in Piedmont, it is mainly used in the slightly-sparkling (frizzante), semi-sweet Moscato d’Asti. Not to be confused with moscato giallo and moscato rosa, two Germanic varietals that are grown in Trentino Alto-Adige.

The Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains grows all over Italy, making all sorts of wines, from delicate Moscato d’Asti to rich dessert styles; its most famous version is the sparkling wine, Asti. The floral, perfumed notes that Moscato attains in the North are among the most finesseful expressions of this variety anywhere in the world. The golden and red types of Moscato are also used to make certain Italian wines. Another Muscat, Muscat of Alexandria or “Zibibbo,” makes some of Southern Italy’s dessert wines.

  • Nuragus – An ancient Phoenician variety found in southern Sardegna. Light and tart wines that are drunk as an apertif in their homeland.
  • Pigato – A heavily acidic variety from Liguria, the wines are vinified to pair with a cuisine rich in seafood.
  • Pinot Grigio(pee noh GREE joe) – A hugely successful commercial grape (known as Pinot Gris in France), its wines are characterized by crispness and cleanness. As a hugely mass-produced wine, it is usually delicate and mild, but in a good producers’ hands, the wine can grow more full-bodied and complex. The main problem with the grape is that to satisfy the commercial demand, the grapes are harvested too early every year, leading to wines without character.
  • Ribolla Gialla – A Slovenian grape that now makes its home in Friuli, these wines are decidedly old-world, with aromas of pineapple and mustiness.
  • Tocai Friulano – A variety distantly related to Sauvignon Blanc, it yields the top wine of Friuli, full of peachiness and minerality. Currently, there is a bit of controversy regarding the name, as the EC has demanded it changed to avoid confusion with the Tokay dessert wine from Hungary.
  • Trebbiano – This is the most widely planted white varietal in Italy. It is grown throughout the country, with a special focus on the wines from Abruzzo and from Lazio, including Frascati. Mostly, they are pale, easy drinking wines, but trebbiano from producers such as Valentini have been known to age for 15+ years. It is known as Ugni Blanc in France.
  • Verdicchio – This is grown in the areas of Castelli di Jesi and Matelica in the Marche region and gives its name to the varietal white wine made from it. The name comes from “verde” (green). The white wines are noted for their high acidity and a characteristic nutty flavour with a hint of honey.
  • Vermentino – This is widely planted in northern Sardinia and also found in Tuscan and Ligurian coastal districts. Wines are particularly popular to accompany fish and seafood.

Other important whites include Carricante, Catarratto, Coda de Volpe, Cortese, Falanghina, Grechetto, Grillo, Inzolia, Picolit, Traminer, Verduzzo, and Vernaccia(ver NAHTCH cha) one in Tuscany and the other in Sardinia. (There’s also a red Vernaccia from Marche!) The Tuscan Vernaccia is the finer of the two whites. Although its wines have the trademark Italian high acidity and light to medium body, the best examples show depth and character, with mineral nuances. Vernaccia usually makes un-oaked wines, but can sometimes age quite nicely in oak barrels.

Non-native varieties that the Italians plant include Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer (sometimes called traminer aromatico), Petite Arvine, Riesling, and many others.

Rosso ( Red Wine ) :

  • Aglianico – Considered the “noble varietal of the south,” it is primarily grown in Campania and Basilicata. The name is derived from Hellenic, so it is considered a Greek transplant. Thick skinned and spicy, the wines are often both rustic and powerful.
  • Barbera – The most widely grown red wine grape of Piedmont and Southern Lombardy, most famously around the towns of Asti and Alba, and Pavia. The wines of Barbera were once simply “what you drank while waiting for the Barolo to be ready.” With a new generation of wine makers, this is no longer the case. The wines are now meticulously vinified, aged Barbera gets the name “Barbera Superiore” (Superior Barbera), sometimes aged in French barrique becoming “Barbera Barricato”, and intended for the international market. The wine has bright cherry fruit, a very dark color, and a food-friendly acidity.
  • Corvina – Along with the varietals rondinella and molinara, this is the principal grape which makes the famous wines of the Veneto: Valpolicella and Amarone. Valpolicella wine has dark cherry fruit and spice. After the grapes undergo passito (a drying process), the wine is now called Amarone, and is extremely high in alcohol (16% and up) and full of raisin, prune, and syrupy fruits. Some Amarones can age for 40+ years and command spectacular prices. In December 2009, there was celebration when the acclaimed Amarone di Valpolicella was finally awarded its long-sought DOCG status.[12]
  • Dolcetto – A grape that grows alongside Barbera and Nebbiolo in Piedmont, its name means “little sweet one””, referring not to the taste of the wine, but the ease in which it grows and makes great wines, suitable for everyday drinking. Flavors of concord grape, wild blackberries and herbs permeate the wine.
  • Malvasia Nera – Red Malvasia varietal from Piedmont. A sweet and perfumed wine, sometimes elaborated in the passito style.
  • Montepulciano – The grape of this name is not to be confused with the Tuscan town of Montepulciano; it is most widely planted on the opposite coast in Abruzzo. Its wines develop silky plum-like fruit, friendly acidity, and light tannin. More recently, producers have been creating a rich, inky, extracted version of this wine, a sharp contrast to the many inferior bottles produced in the past.[13]
  • Nebbiolo – The most noble of Italy’s varieties. The name (meaning “little fog”) refers to the autumn fog that blankets most of Piedmont where Nebbiolo is chiefly grown, and where it achieves the most successful results. A difficult grape variety to cultivate, it produces the most renowned Barolo and Barbaresco, made in province of Cuneo, along with the lesser-known Sforzato, Inferno and Sassella made in Valtellina, Ghemme and Gattinara, made in Vercelli’s province. The wines are known for their elegance and power with a bouquet of wild mushroom, truffle, roses, and tar. Traditionally produced Barolo can age for fifty years-plus, and is regarded by many wine enthusiasts as the greatest wine of Italy.[14]
  • Negroamaro – The name literally means “black and bitter”. A widely planted grape with its concentration in the region of Puglia, it is the backbone of the Salice Salentino: spicy, toasty, and full of dark red fruits.
  • Nero d’Avola – Nearly unheard of in the international market until recent years, this native varietal of Sicily is gaining attention for its plummy fruit and sweet tannins. The quality of nero d’avola has surged in recent years.[15]
  • Sagrantino – A native to Umbria, it is only planted on 250 hectares, but the wines produced from it (either blended with Sangiovese as Rosso di Montefalco or as a pure Sagrantino) are world-renowned. Inky purple, with rustic brooding fruit and heavy tannins, these wines can age for many years.
  • Sangiovese – Italy’s claim to fame, the pride of Tuscany. Traditionally made, the wines are full of cherry fruit, earth, and cedar. It produces Chianti (Classico), Rosso di Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montepulciano, Montefalco Rosso, and many others. Sangiovese is also the backbone in many of the acclaimed, modern-styled “Super-Tuscans”, where it is blended with Bordeaux varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc) and typically aged in French oak barrels, resulting a wine primed for the international market in the style of a typical California cabernet: oaky, high-alcohol, and a ripe, jammy, fruit-forward profile.[16]

Other major red varieties are Ciliegolo, Gaglioppo, Lagrein, Lambrusco, Monica, Nerello Mascalese, Pignolo, Primitivo (Zinfandel in California), Refosco, Schiava, Schiopettino, Teroldego, and Uva di Troia.

“International” varieties such as Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah are also widely grown.

Super Tuscans ( blended italian wine ) :

The term “Super Tuscan” describes any Tuscan red wine that does not adhere to traditional blending laws for the region. For example, Chianti Classico wines are made from a blend of grapes with Sangiovese as the dominant variety in the blend.  Super Tuscans often use other grapes, especially cabernet sauvignon, making them ineligible for DOC(G) classification under the traditional rules.

What is a Super Tuscan wine?
Wine makers wanted experiment with other grape varieties as they did in California. Super Tuscan wines are Sangiovese blends with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. These wines were outside the laws of the D.O.C. so they had to be labeled as Vino da Tavola (Table Wine, an official designation). Today, Vino da Tavola can be inexpensive table wine or wines that are outside of the current style and variety laws. Thus a high quality wine may carry this designation.

We found a Super Tuscan that we think you will enjoy. This label is in English and serves as a good introduction to reading Italian wine labels.

Let’s take a look at this label.
Carpineto, the producer, is a partnership between winemakers Giovanni C. Sacchet and Antonio M. Zaccheo. Their original mission was to produce a world-class red wine from the Chianti Classico appellation. This was a radical departure from the marketplace of the times when most Chianti was still produced in the traditional winemaking style.

In the center of the label, we have the name chosen for the wine and a pronunciation key. We see that it is classified as a table wine. On the Italian label, it has Vino da Tavola 

In the bottom right corner, we see the vintage, the winery, the growing region, and the volume. Now that we understand the label, let’s review our tasting notes.


Italian appellation system :

italy’s classification system has four classes of wine, with two falling under the EU category Quality Wine Produced in a Specific Region (QWPSR) and two falling under the category of ‘table wine‘. The four classes are:

Table Wine:

  • Vino da Tavola (VDT) – Denotes simply that the wine is made in Italy. The label usually indicates a basic wine, made for local consumption.
  • Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) – Denotes wine from a more specific region within Italy. This appellation was created in 1992 for wines that were considered to be of higher quality than simple table wines, but which did not conform to the strict wine laws for their region. Before the IGT was created, “Super Tuscan” wines such as Tignanello were labeled Vino da Tavola.


Both DOC and DOCG wines refer to zones which are more specific than an IGT, and the permitted grapes are also more specifically defined. The DOC system began in 1963, seeking to establish a method of both recognizing quality product and maintaining the international and national reputation of that product. The main difference between a DOC and a DOCG is that the latter must pass a blind taste test for quality in addition to conforming to the strict legal requirements to be designated as a wine from the area in question. After the sweeping wine laws of 1992, transparent rules were made regarding requirements for DOCG entry, imposing new limits regarding the production of grapes per hectare and minimum natural alcohol levels, among others.

The overall goal of the system is to encourage producers to focus on quality wine making.

Terms you may find on Italian Wine Labels

Denominazione do Origine Controllata (deh-noh-mee-nah-t’zee-oh’-neh dee oh-ree-jeen-eh con-troh-lah’-tah) The Italian term for their appellation laws, established in 1963. Abbreviated DOC.

Denominazione do Origine Controllata e Garantita (deh-noh-mee-nah-t’zee-oh’-neh dee oh-ree-jeen-eh con-troh-lah’-tah eh gah-rahn-tee-tah) The highest level of the Italian DOC laws. The wines must not only be typical of their region, but must pass a blind tasting. The first wines that began using this designation went on sale in the mid 1980s. Abbreviated DOCG.

Imbottigliato (im-boh-tee-l’yah’-toe) Italian for “bottled.” “Imbottigliato all’origine” is the term for estate bottled.

Indicazione Geographica Tipica (in-dee-katz-ee-oe-nee jee-oe-graf-ee-ca tee-pee-cah) A relatively new quality designation for Italian wines. It is used for wines that are typical of what is being made in the region, but may not be made with the official grapes or in a traditional style. Many of these wines are simple, but some are the most expensive wines in Italy. Usually abbreviated to IGT.

Liquoroso (lee-kwoh-roh’-soh) An Italian term for a dessert wine that is made sweet by adding spirits to stop the fermentation process while there is still sugar left unfermented. The English term is “Fortified Wine.”

Riserva (ree-zair-vah) In Italian wine laws this term can only be used for wines that have been aged for a period before release. The length of time varies by region. It is three years for Chianti Riserva, but five for Barolo or Brunello Riserva. Unlike the similar Spanish term, Italian wines do not necessarily have to be aged in barrel to qualify for Riserva.

Rosso (ross’-oh) Italian for red and used as part of the name for some red Italian wines.

Secco (seck’-oh) The Italian term for dry (meaning a wine without any residual sugar).

Tenuta (teh-new-ta) A holding or estate. Similar to the word Château in French.

Vino (veen-noh) Italian for wine.

Vino da Tavola (vee-no dah tah’-voh-lah) The Italian term for “table wine.” As with other European countries, this is the lowest designation for wines. Since some of Italy’s greatest wines are made in a style or grape variety inconsistent with their regions, this lowly designation has appeared on the label of some of the most popular and expensive Italian wines. To help reduce confusion, Italy created a new designation for the best of these wines called Indicazione Geographica Tipica.


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