Italy has many thousand years of wine production history, and it is one of the largest and most famous wine producing country in the world.
The most famous Italian wine regions are Toscana, Piemonte, and Veneto:
Toscana is famous for the city of Firenze, and red wines made from Sangiovese.
Toscana is most famous for the majestetic city of Firenze.
On the wine side, the region is best known for the Sangiovese based red wines:
A copy of the Bordeaux Blend, named Super Tuscan, is also popular all over the world.
Vermentino is the best known white wine from the coastline, and Vernaccia is an internationally recognised white wine from the medieval town of San Gimignano.
On the sweet side, Vin Santo ("Holy Wine") is the national drink in Tuscany.
Toscana has 11 DOCGs:
Chianti DOCG (70% Sangiovese)
Chianti Classico DOCG (80% Sangiovese)
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG (100% Sangiovese)
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG (70% Sangiovese)
Montecucco Sangiovese DOCG (90% Sangiovese)
Morellino di Scansano DOCG (85% Sangiovese)
Piemonte has been an important wine province since Roman times. The area is influenced both culturally and climatically by the Alps in the north, and the Ligurian coast in the south.
Nebbiolo (the power of the Barolo and Barbaresco) is the most famous grape of Piemonte, followed by the red grapes Barbera and Dolcetto.
For whites, Cortese and Arneis are the most popular grapes.
For dessert, the off-dry, sparkling Moscato d'Asti is the queen.
The most important wine regions are:
Piemonte has 17 DOCG regions:
Veneto is famous for its capital Venezia, and the wines Prosecco, Soave, and Amarone.
Trentino-Alto Adige is located in northern Italy. The capital is Trento.
Alto Adige is also called Südtirol (South Tyrol).
Italian and German are official languages, but the locals also speak Ladin.
Before 1918, Südtirol was part of the Austrian-Hungarian empire, but was annexed to Italy after the first World War.
Early wine production was dominated by Austrian red wines like Lagrein and Vernatch (Schiava).
Today white wines are more important, mostly Pinot Grigio, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Bianco, and Chardonnay.
Upcoming wines are Savignon Blanc and Pinot Nero.
Friuli-Venezia Giulia is best known for its capital Trieste.
Lombardia, in the north of Italy, is one of the richest regions in Europe.
The capital Milano is the largest metropolitan area in Italy with about 10 million inhabitants.
Lombardia is blessed with spectacular lakes: Como, Maggiore, Garda, and Iseo.
Lombardia has 5 DOCG Regions.
Valle d'Aosta has a population of less than 130.000.
Italian and French are official languages, but the population also speak Valdôtain.
The Capital is Aosta.
Tourists know Liguria as the Italian Riviera. The Capital is Genova.
Bologna (the capital) and the other big cities, Parma, and Modena are known as the mecca of food.
In the wine world, Emilia Romagna is best known for Lambrusco.
Marche is located on the Adriatic coast. The Capital is Ancona.
Umbria is located in the center of Italy. The Capital is Perugia.
Abruzzo is located in central Italy. The capital is L'Aquila.
Lazio is located is located between the Apennines and the Mediterranean Sea.
The capital is Roma.
Molise is located on the Adriatic coast. It is Italy’s second smallest region.
The capital is Campobasso.
Basilicata is known for the Unesco city of Matera. The Capital is Potenza.
Calabria, on the Italian "toe", is separated from Sicilia by the Strait of Messina.
The Capital is Catanzaro.
Campania is one of the oldest wine regions in Italy. The capital is Napoli.
The grapes in Campania were introduced by the Greeks and cultivated by the Romans.
The name "Campania" derives from "Campania Felix" ("Happy Land").
Puglia is not very famous in the wine world, but the interest is growing.
The capital is Bari.
Sardegna is best known for vacation and beaches. The capital is Cagliari.
In the wine world, Sardegna is best known for the white Vermentino and the red Cannonau.
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean. The capital is Palermo.
It is known for old ruins, sandy beaches, seafood, and the Marsala dessert wine.
Sicily is also well respected for the dry wines of Etna and Vittoria.
Alcohol can be addictive. Drink in moderation.
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