Italy

Italy has several thousands of years of winegrowing experience. The Greeks called Italy: Oenotria or the land of wine. It has an extraordinary diversity over its entire territory, from the Alps in the North to the Puglia and Calabria in the South and its main islands (Sicily, Sardinia). It ranks in the top three in the world for production and exports, together with France and Spain.

Surface : 769 000 ha      Production: 40 Mhl    Consumption : 22,6 Mhl

Terroir 

  • soils : mainly clay and limestone, along the coast, pebbly alluvium in the mountains
  • climate: mediterranean warm and dry. In the South, water shortage results in hydric stress, while North and Center are more temperate.
  • grape varieties: more than 300 varieties are authorized for the controlled denominations, of which the main reds are: Barbera, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Montepulciano, and the main whites :Trebbiano, Vermentino, Chardonnay, Malvasia (used also for red)

Main wine regions

  • Piemonte with Barolo, Barbaresco, Asti
  • Trentino High Adige, where vines in pergola may still be found
  • Venetia with Valpolicella, Soave, Bardolino
  • Tuscania with the famous Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile de Montelpulciano
  • Emilia-Romagna with Lambrusco
  • Ombria with Orvieto
  • Latium withFrascati
  • Puglia with Castel des Monte and Salice Salentino
  • Sicily with famous mutes wine of Marsala
  • Sardinia with its Vermentino di Oristanoa

Legislation

Since 1960, Italy has adopted a legal framework for its wine denominations of origin, with 4 levels :

  • Vino di tavola, tabel wine
  • Indicazione geografia tipica (IGT) since 1992
  • Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC), equivalent to the French AOC with 300 zones
  • Denominazione di origine controllata e garantita (DOCG), the highest level of quality and requirements

Sites : www.vinsditalie.com/  and www.istitutoenologico.it/