Italy’s strong reputation for wine is well earned, as it produces and exports more wine than any other country in the world. Its climate, soil and very old traditions make Italy a natural wine-growing country. Italy also offers the greatest variety of wines, ranging through nearly every color, flavor and style of wine imaginable. Some of Italy’s signature wines include popular reds like Sangiovese, Barbera and Merlot, while Trebbiano and Pinot Grigio are leading white wines.
With about 80 million hectoliters being produced in Italian vineyards annually, France is the only country that comes close in production. However, not even France can compete with Italy in wine consumption. Italians are well known as enthusiastic wine drinkers, with an average annual consumption of around 90 liters (over 23 gallons) per person.
Take a Tour of Tuscany
If you want to experience Italian winemaking, a trip to Tuscany will provide you with lasting memories. Tuscany produces more than thirty unique wines. In addition to the great, well-known and appreciated red wines like Chianti, Tuscany also produces some distinguishable whites including Vermentino and Bolgheri Bianco.
Summer is the best time to visit Tuscany, as small villages throughout Tuscany host festivals each weekend like the Sagra di Porcini of Monte Catini in August. At these festivals, which are often free, thanks to sponsored part of UK.PapersOwl.com, you’ll have the opportunity to sample the featured food and taste wines from that village and other regions of the country.
Many guided tours in Tuscany consist of full- or half-day visits to villa and castle wine producing estates. Tours include the world-renowned Chianti region near Florence, where the Chianti Classico and Gallo Nero wines are produced. The two famous hilltop towns of Siena and San Gimignano offer cellar visits and tastings of Chianti Classico and Vernaccia wines.
How to Read an Italian Wine Label
Unless you’re fluent in Italian, reading Italian wine labels can be a bit tricky. The following list explains the significance of the main terms found on most Italian wine labels:
- DOC (Demoninazione di Origine Controllata)specifies that the wine comes from a specific vineyard, locality or region and is produced using traditional methods.
- DOCG (Demoninazione di Origine Controllata Garantita) certifies that the wine has been produced under strict government regulations.
- Classico guarantees that the wine was produced from grapes grown in the oldest vineyard area in that locality.
- Riserva certifies that the wine has been aged for at least three years before bottling.
- Vino da Tavola refers to table wine.