Italy is world renowned for its wines. Divided into 20 regions and boasting various styles and grape varieties, Italy boasts world-class wine production.
Tuscany is famous for producing Sangiovese-based wines, while Barolo and Barbaresco produced from Nebbiolo grapes in Piedmont are revered. Sicily also produces at an impressive rate; boasting 23 DOC areas.
Tuscany is Italy's most acclaimed wine region, best-known for producing Sangiovese. An intense red, Sangiovese is wonderfully fruity when young but matures into something deeper with notes of cinnamon and cocoa as it matures.
Tuscany's landscape is filled with vineyards and medieval towns. Take a wine tour through its beauty, sampling some of Tuscany's best wines. Visit Michelangelo's David in the Accademia Gallery, or indulge in local desserts - there is much to do in Tuscany!
Umbria is home to Orvieto, an iconic sweet white wine beloved by locals and international wine enthusiasts for over two millennia. At Basil & Grape, you can sample Orvieto as well as other wines produced in Umbria including Trebbiano, Vermentino and Franciacorta (an Italian version of Champagne) produced using Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc grapes from Brescia province in Lombardy.
Puglia, Italy's heel, boasts several delectable wine regions renowned for their robust flavors. Apulian wines pair beautifully with savory first courses and meat dishes alike.
Due to its proximity to the sea, this region offers an abundance of seafood including fresh crustaceans and fish species. Cuisine here is rustic yet straightforward with vegetables, durum wheat pasta and golden olive oil taking center stage.
Puglia's wines are known for being dense and full-bodied, such as primitivo with its dark fruit notes. MasterClass notes that primitivo shares genetic similarities with American zinfandel, offering lush jammy flavours with notes of fig, blueberries, and baked blackberries reminiscent of its American counterpart.
Puglia boasts an expansive, rugged coastline lined with picturesque beaches and picturesque villages, known for its delicious orecchiette pasta and burrata cheese dishes, along with popular drinks like orecchiette spritz. Additionally, popular appetizers in Puglia include plump juicy olives, bite-size slices of local cheese or tarallini rings shaped like ears - served along with their respective glasses of wine of course!
Italy stands at the forefront of history; an active hub of cultures, political power, religion and art. Yet beneath this dynamic culture there exist powerful geological faults which create vast wine regions and varieties.
Rome and Lazio boast 27 individual DOC wines registered individually, making Rome an exquisite wine destination with many specialty wine bars, stores, and restaurants to explore.
Frascati from Rome's southeast is an ideal match with pizza; made from malvasia del lazio grapes and sometimes blended with trebbiano toscano and bellone for added complexity and structure. Torre del Piano from Casale Marchese makes an especially delicious Frascati Superiore aged longer in oak for structure and body, as well as Cesanese from their vineyard in Cerveteri; both use Cultigens that contribute unique notes.
Sicily defies its southern stereotypes of heat and aridity by leading the nation in wine production. With its rugged soils, Mediterranean climate, mountainous topography and ideal conditions for grape cultivation.
Sicily's indigenous varieties that helped establish its viticulture remain the cornerstone of its wines, though there has been an increased interest in international varieties like Pinot Noir, Syrah and Chardonnay grown by some growers in Trapani, Etna and beyond.
Marsala, one of Sicily's iconic wines, can age for 50 years before reaching maturity. Crafted with Grillo, Inzolia and Catarratto grapes, its fortified sweet taste makes an excellent digestif, aperitif or dessert when enjoyed alongside soft cheese-stuffed figs or chocolate and cherry tart pastries.