Parts of the Adige Valley from below Trento to Bolzano and Merano are almost carpeted with wines.
In the lower valley, the primary grape is the red Teroldego which produces a full-bodied wine. In the upper part of the valley nearer Bolzano, the reds
become softer. The best reds come from the Lago di Caldaro area.
Wine tours: Friuli-Venezia Giulia
This region in the far northeast of Italy produces many quality wines. There are 6 main areas of wine production: Eastern Friuli Hills, Western Friuli Hills,
Gorizia Hills, Isonzo, Latisana and Aquileia.
The white, gray and red pinot grapes are grown in all 6 areas. Although traditional grapes such as cabernet, merlot and riesling are found, the area is noted
for native varieties: tocai and verduzzo.
Wine tours: Liguria
Liguria, the narrow coastal strip of the Italian Riviera, does not produce much wine, but there are 2 areas famous for wine production. One is Cinqueterre or
5 villages, where some vineyards can only be reached by boat. The second area, Dolceacqua, is known for its dry red wine, called Rossese.
Wine tours: Emilia-Romagna
This is both a culinary as well as wine area. It has 4 noteworthy wines: lambrusco, a unique, semi-dry, semi-sparkling red produced from the same grape;
Sangiovese, the same grape used in chianti; trebbiano di Romagna and albana.
Wine tours: Tuscany
Tuscany is home of Italy’s most famous red wine, chianti. This wine is produced from a blend of sangiovese, cacaiolo, trebbiano and malvasia grapes. There
are 2 styles of chianti: one is young and fresh and the other is aged for 3 or more years. The best are given the designation “riserva” and can equal the
best wines of the world.
The chianti area produces a significant quantity of wine. The best region is known as the Chianti Classico area, but there are 6 other districts: Colli
Aretini, Colli Fiorentini, Colline Pisane, Colli Senesi, Montalbano and Rufina.
In Montepulciano, the same grapes used to make Chianti produce vino nobile di Montepulciano.
South of Siena, the small hill town of Montalcino produces a truly great red, brunello di Montalcino, made from a variety of the sangiovese grape.
Wine tours: Latium
Frascati, known throughout the world, comes from the Rome region. It is made dry and semi-dry. In the same Castelli Romani region, there are several additional
wines produced, including Marino, Colli Albani and Colli Lanuvini.
Farther north near Lake Bolsena the wine produced is called Est!Est!! Est!!! It is a clear crisp white wine.
Wine tours: Abruzzo and Molise
This wine region centers on the area along the Adriatic coast. The primary grapes are the red montepulciano d’Abruzzo and the white trebbiano d’Abruzzo.
Wine tours: Campania
This is one of Italy’s upcoming wine areas. Some great wines are being made from the white greco di tufo and fiano, while taurasi is a very promising red wine.
Wine is also produced on the island of Ischia and on the slopes of Vesuvius.
Wine tours: Apulia
This is one of Italy’s largest producing regions where quality has been increasing with every vintage. One of the best areas is Castel del Monte whose rosé is
considered Italy’s best. Other wines to look for from Apulia are San Severo red and white, torre quarto and locorotondo.
Wine tours: Basilicata
Inland in this region is the extinct volcano, Vulture, on the slopes of which grows the aglianico grape. With some aging, aglianico del Vulture can be one of
the best wines of southern Italy.
Wine tours: Calabria
Here in the toe of Italy the main wine is called ciró, descended from the Greek settlers of the area. There are 3 other noteworthy wines: donnici, pollino
Wine tours: Sardinia
Sardinia has made tremendous strides in improving the quality of its wines. Its most famous wine is vernaccia, but also produced are cannonau, torbato and
monica di Sardegna.
Wine tours: Sicily
This island has been producing superb wines for 200 years. Its first famous wine is marsala, a sweet fortified wine. But after the institution of the DOC
laws in 1963, Sicily has made rapid and dramatic improvements in the quality of its wines.
Corvo di Salaparuta, produced near Palermo, has a history dating back 150 years. On the slopes of Mount Etna both a red and white wine are produced. Some
great wines are being made from the native nero davola grape.
The tiny island of Pantelleria, close to Africa, produces moscato di Pantelleria, made in table wine, sparkling and dessert wine versions.