From Sicily to Lombardy, here’s your guide to the most breathtaking Italian wine regions.
When you think of Italy, you probably imagine fresh pasta, eye-catching art, and historic museums. And of course, Italy has one of the largest and most popular wine regions in the world. Therefore, a successful and fun trip to Italy must consist of wine tasting and learning the history behind the best Italian wine regions. From the beautiful island of Sicily to the industrial world of Lombardy, here’s a guide to the beautiful wine regions.
Before we begin this guide, it’s important to understand what DOCG and DOC means. DOCG and DOC are basically labels that tell us that their wines is top-notch quality. However, there are a few tiny differences to keep in mind when you are distinguishing the differences between the two labels.
To begin, DOCG stands for the “Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin.” When a wine gains its DOCG status, it indicates that the wine producer has followed a list of regulations to produce the best and most high-quality wines. On the other hand, DOC is more lenient in regulations and it’s more commonly found in wines than DOCG.
Veneto is a famous northeastern Italian region that extends from the Dolomites to the Adriatic Sea and produces some of the most popular wines in Italy. However, it is considered to be slightly smaller compared to other wine regions like Tuscany and Lombardy.
Veneto is well-known for many wine districts, but their most popular one is the Valpolicella. Valpolicella is a popular red wine district that gained its DOC status in the 1960s. The Valpolicella blend has a unique taste that can vary between tangy fruit to sour cherry.
When here, try some of the stars of the region including Amarone di Valpolicella, Breganze Bianco, Bardolino and Soave. Sparkling wines (spumante) are also a favorite , in particular Prosecco from Conegliano-Valdobbiadene. Grappa production is remarkable in Bassano del Grappa and in Conegliano.
Piedmont, surrounded on three sides by the Alps, with the highest peaks and largest glaciers in Italy, is well-known for delicious food and delectable wines. According to Cellar Tours, Piedmont has two popular wine regions: Barolo and Barbaresco. Most people would say that these two wine regions are the King and Queen of Nebbiolo. Notably, they gained their nicknames due to the fact that they make their wines with 100% Nebbiolo grapes. According to wine experts, Nebbiolo grapes are light in taste and smell, but the color is very bold and red.
Umbria is located in central Italy and it is most popular for its medieval villages and delicious cuisines. Unfortunately this lovely area is one of the lesser-known wine regions in Italy. Some wine experts and enthusiasts have claimed that Umbria’s wine quality is equally comparable to its popular competitors.
According to this guide, you will usually spend $16-$40 for Umbria’s wines. Apparently, their price points are considered “slightly affordable” compared to other wine regions. Whether that is true or not, Umbria has left positive impressions on tourists, visitors, and wine connoisseurs. Therefore, this is a hidden gem that more people need to visit when they come to Italy.
Lombardy is Italy’s leading agricultural, industrial, and commercial area. However, Lombardy has a reputation for producing sparkling wines and it is one of Italy’s popular wine regions too. Two of their popular wine productions are in the Franciacorta and Oltrepò Pavese area.
Franciacorta is located in the warm side of Italy where it has a lot of sun exposures. With the help of the sun, Franciacorta grows fuller and ripper grapes. As for the Oltrepò Pavese area, they’re located in a mild climate area that generally has cooler soil. When soil is at a lower temperature, it can affect the acidity of the wine.
Tuscany is popular for its Renaissance art and architecture. However, it has a solid reputation for producing high-quality wines too. In fact, many visitors and wine experts have recommended wine tasting in Tuscany. One of their popular wines is the Tignanello and many people, including Duchess of Sussex (Meghan Markle), has made positive remarks on this wine.
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According to Marchesi Antinori, “Tignanello” is Italy’s most finest wines. It has a unique mixture of cherry, spice, red fruit, and herby flavors. It’s also described as a timeless and classic wine too. Therefore, it doesn’t surprise me that this elegant wine has gain international popularity.
Friuli-Venezia Giulia, also known as “Friuli,” is located in northeastern Italy. It is mostly popular for outdoors adventures, their slopes, and their hills. However, Friuli is well-known for its white wines, even though their style of wine isn’t very popular among Italians.
To continue, Friuli’s wine is made in the hills where it has more sun exposure compared to other vineyards. According to experts, grapes that are grown in the hills can lead to better tasting wines due to more sun exposure. However, it’s good to note that not every hill has equal sun exposure. Therefore, not every wine in Friuli will taste identical to each other or achieve the same acidity.
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It’s s worth mentioning that this lovely island because they produce some of Italy’s most popular wines. Their wines are made of international and native grapes. Many wine experts has expressed their love for Sicily’s dry and sweet wines. The most popular wine from Sicily is Marsala. Whether it’s dry or sweet Marsala, its delicious flavors will create the perfect sauce for Italian dishes.