Remember how we talked about how important it is to visit a wine region, in your journey to becoming a wine expert? Ideally, you get to acquire some knowledge, put what you already know to a test and have fun too! After all, this is supposed to be a combination of learning more about wine and take some holidays as well! So since I have already talked about the 5 Top French Wine Regions, I thought that this time I should move on with the 6 top Italian wine regions and that is exactly what I am going to do!
So, are you ready for this?
Well, let’s start with the basics and get on with further details about each one on the way…
Here’s a list of the 6 top Italian wine regions we are going to see…
- Tuscany Wine Region
- Piedmont Wine Region
- Veneto Wine Region
- Lombardy Wine Region
- Puglia Wine Region
- Campania Wine Region
No #1: Tuscany Wine Region
The Tuscany Wine Region is situated along the Tyrrhenian coast in Italy and it is one of the most famous wine regions amongst the ones of Italy but of the world as well. This wine region goes way back in the history of wine making and it has 42 wine appellations (DOC and DOCG). There is another unofficial classification for the wines of the area called “Super Tuscans”. Although not within the official regulations they refer to high-quality wines. The Tuscany wine region accounts for some of the greatest and widely known wines, such as Chianti and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, while the major grape varieties that grow in the region are the red grape variety Sangiovese, and the white grape variety Trebbiano. It is third in ranking when it comes to the production wine volume in Italy and it has a warm climate.
The wine region is one of the most idyllic and romantic ones and you will definitely enjoy your time there. Antinori Chianti Classico, Castello Di Nipozzano and Badia a Coltibuono are some of the wineries you could visit within the Tuscany wine region while you can find more here. Generally, there are quite a few wine tours and wine tastings you can attend to in the wine region along with cooking classes using local ingredients, restaurants and sightseeing tours. Planning your visit to Tuscany wine region will be a piece of cake!
No #2: Piedmont Wine Region
The Piedmont Wine Region, or Piemonte in Italian, is located in the northwestern part of Italy with Turin being its capital. It borders with France and Switzerland while the name of this wine region came from its location at the base of the Western Alps. The name Piemonte means “at the foot of the hills” in English. The region holds the first place in wine production amongst Italy’s wine regions and Asti, Cuneo and Alessandria are the provinces of Piedmont to make most of the region’s wine.
Barbera and Dolcetto are the major grape varieties used for the region’s red wines while the Nebbiolo grape variety is the one that can be attributed for the famous wines Barolo and Barbaresco of the wine region. By the way, did you know that one of the most widely known white sparklers also comes from the Piedmont Wine Region? Which one? Well, Moscato d’ Asti is that white sparkler! Made from the grape variety Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, with the Charmat method (a method also called Metodo Italiano and Metodo Martinotti) using only one fermentation tank.
Ok, so what can you do there to enhance your knowledge and have fun as well? Vacation is still one part of the equation after all! Well, since we are talking about a wine region, you can definitely go on a wine tour and take part in a wine tasting. Ca’ del Baio, Cantina Marsaglia and Cantina del Glicine are only some of the wineries available for you to visit. But hey, you can also take cooking AND photography classes. Now that’s an experience to remember!!
Apart from that, keep in mind that you will get the chance to take a look at a very special territory. You see the Langhe-Roero and Monferrato vineyard landscape of Piedmont has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as of June 2014.
No #3: Veneto Wine Region
The Veneto Wine Region is a small region located in the north-eastern part of Italy. Along with Friuli Venezia-Giulia, Alto Adige and Trentino, they form the Triveneto or Tre Venezie, a group of regions that are distinguishingly high in wine production. The Veneto wine region is mostly producing white wines with the DOC classification. The famous Prosecco and Soave wines are coming from this wine region along with the also known Recioto Della Valpolicella and Amarone Della Valpolicella. Corvina, Garganega, Rondinella and Glera (Prosecco is made out of the Glera grape variety) are some of the grape varieties grown in the western part of the Veneto Wine Region while Merlot, Raboso Piave, Tocai and Marzemino are some of the ones grown in the eastern part of the region.
It is quite notable the fact that one of the most important wine fairs of Italy is being conducted in Verona, a province of the Veneto wine region, during spring time every year! This international fair is called Vinitaly and it is one you wouldn’t want to lose if you choose to visit the Veneto wine region. You get to experience great wines from all over Italy but from other countries as well. Delicious food is definitely not excluded as well as the sound of beautiful music and different kinds of entertaining performances.
Novaia, located in the Alta Valpolicella, and Cantina Fratelli Zeni, located in the Bardolino area, are two of the wineries you may visit within the Veneto Wine region. There are quite a few wine tastings to attend along with several other activities you can enjoy, and this is where you can find more information depending on the time period you choose to visit this beautiful and idyllic wine region.
No #4: Lombardy Wine Region
The Lombardy wine region or Lombardia, as it’s called in Italian, is situated in the north central part of Italy and includes 13 wine producing areas.
These are the 13 wine producing areas included in the Lombardy wine region…
- San Colombano Al Lambro
- Garda Bresciano
- Garda Mantovano
- Oltrepò Pavese
- Capriano del Colle
- San Martino Della Battaglia
The wine region borders with 3 other wine regions of Italy, the wine regions of Piedmont, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna and the Swiss area of Ticino. The Lombardy wine region goes way back in the history of winemaking and it has almost every type of wine produced within it, from sparkling wines to red, rosé and whites still ones. However, the Rosso di Valtellina wine and the Franciacorta sparkling wine are probably the most famous wines of the wine region. There are 42 wine appellations in total in the wine region, 5 DOCG wine appellations, 22 DOC wine appellations and 15 IGT (Indicazione Geographica Tipica) wine appellations.
Some of the Grape Varieties used within the Lombardy wine producing areas are…
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Pinot Grigio
- Pinot Noir
- Sauvignon Blanc
Lombardy wine region has a lot of wine tours to offer! Wine tastings are included along with further entertaining activities. There is a wide variety of knowledge for you to acquire from this region and due to the its borders as well as the many different areas within it, you will get to experience quite a multicultural range of changes during your visit. Apart from that, you will be surprised to know that there are 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites within the region! Not one! Not two or even three! Eight of them! I think that if you had not been interested in visiting this wine region, you are definitely now!
No #5: Puglia Wine Region
The Puglia Wine Region or Apulia, as it is widely known, is situated in the south part of Italy and Bari is its capital. It borders with 3 among the rest of the wine regions of Italy, Campania, Molise and Basilicata as well as with the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea. It has a long history of winemaking and it has 36 wine appellations (4 DOCG wine appellations, 29 DOC wine appellations and 6 IGT wine appellations). The region does not produce a very big quantity of wines, however, the quality tends to be quite high. Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Malvasia, Primitivo, Negroamaro and Bombino Nero are only some of the grape varieties used across the region for the wine production.
Of course, there are quite a few wineries you may visit in case you choose Puglia wine region as your ideal destination. Antica Masseria Jorche, Castel di Salve and Tenure Eméra are three of them while you will find a more detailed list right here. The time period between June and September is considered to be the best time to visit Puglia due to its location and climate. Moreover, at this time of year you get to enjoy a lot of outdoor activities such as hiking and bike riding while throughout the year there are wine tastings, wine tours but food tours as well. And what do you know? You get to have your own cooking classes on top of that! Now that sounds really exciting if you ask me! Another plus, if Puglia wine region is your choice, is the fact that Unesco has declared the town of Alberobello, a small town within Bari, as a World Heritage Site due to its special cone-roofed houses, as the one you may see on the top.
So, keep that in mind and let’s move to our last wine region for today…
No #6: Campania Wine Region
The Campania Wine Region is located in the south part of Italy, on the Italian Peninsula and the city of Naples is its capital. The Phlegraean islands along with the Capri island are also included in the Campania region. The name “Campania” means “fertile countryside” in Latin as the name remains from the era of the Roman Empire. Although the region was named after the Romans, it was firstly colonized by the Ancient Greeks, thus, it has been influenced by both of these cultures.
The grape varieties Greco and Fiano, account for the region’s two most famous wines, Greco di Tufo and Fiano di Avellino. Aglianico, Piedirosso and Falanghina are also used for the wine production of the region. The Campania wine region has 28 wine appellations in total, 4 DOCG wine appellations, 14 DOC wine appellations and 10 IGT wine appellations.
Feudi di San Gregorio, Cantine Marisa Cuomo and Cantina del Vesuvio Azienda Vinicola di Russo Maurizio are three of the wineries there are in the Campania Wine Region. You may find further information about the wine tours and wine tastings taking place here and here. You may also get a “guide” for your visit in Campania and the different kinds of entertaining events taking place at the time of your visit. The Campania Wine Region is your perfect destination if your ideal vacation includes some sunbathing or a few dives into the sea to accompany your wine learning activities! After all, there is nothing more refreshing and relaxing as drinking a glass of chilled wine on a warm day by the sea! (But I suppose that might be MY ideal of relaxing and filling my energy bars 😉 )
And That Was It…
So, this is the end of this post about the 6 top Italian wine regions but remember! There are more regions to come!
You see, in this post I gave you a little bit of information about each one of the Italian wine regions and it is on you to decide which one you would like to v!
Others might prefer having a walk watching a beautiful mountain scenery while others might prefer having a swim at the sea! Whichever your type and no matter which wine region you choose from the above, there are always wine activities and events that will give you the chance to learn and add to your wine expertise!
So! Give them a good look, make your own personal research and get on your trip to an Italian Wine Region!
Do you think I should add another top Italian wine region to this post? If yes, then please let me in on that in the comments below… Otherwise, if you got your research and made your trip please let me know how that went!!Remember how we talked about how important it is to visit a wine region, in your journey to becoming… Click To Tweet