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The Wines of Central Italy

The Wines of Central Italy

Central Italy wines offer an exquisite balance between traditional flavors and experimental twists, and refreshing, full-bodied options. No matter your palate preference - whether crisp and refreshing or full-bodied and luxurious - central Italian wines should definitely be on your radar!

Calabria and Sicily wines are heavily influenced by sea climate, providing meatier notes than their northern counterparts. Grapes grown here possess a more robust tannic structure which improves with ageing.


Sangiovese is one of the world's most versatile grape varieties and one of Italy's premier varieties, playing an integral role in premium appellations such as Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino. Additionally, this grape is widely planted outside Italy where its high acidity may be mitigated with blends featuring Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot to produce smoother wines.

Sangiovese derives its name from Latin sanguis Jovis, or Jupiter's Blood, as its characteristic blood-like quality makes this wine incredibly popular with Italian cuisine and an ideal pairing with its dishes.

Signature aromas of red fruit such as cherry, plum and red currant can be found alongside subtler undergrowth notes reminiscent of fennel, fern thyme or spice such as black pepper. When aged in oak further secondary aromas like vanilla coffee or tobacco may develop.


Croatina has long been considered an underdog among its noble counterparts in northern Italian wine districts, yet now appears to be making strides as both an individual varietal wine and part of classic blends such as Bonarda and Buttafuoco blends.

Grapes grown for this variety can produce wines with both spicy and tannic characteristics, creating wines with equal parts spice and tannin. However, when done right they have an astringent edge; poor examples often overpower it and define their entire character.

Winegrowers appreciate Barbera for many reasons - provided a good site and event-free autumn, it produces a delectably dark fruited style that stands up well to ageing, complementing foods like charcuteries and meat-based pasta dishes like agnolotti as well as braised or roast meats beautifully. Furthermore, Barbera serves as the parent variety in creating the new cv Ervi cross between Barbera and Croatina that has been developed over several years to improve some oenological qualities from both parents.


Lambrusco producers face the formidable task of moving beyond years of pink, sweet fizzy wine's "Riunite on Ice, Riunite so Nice" tagline and are producing serious wines with distinct terroir character. Reviving this once-dead grape variety has been made possible thanks to reduced vineyard yields, modern production techniques for managing bubbles more effectively and the identification of optimal vineyard sites.

Lambrusco di Sorbara wines, for instance, are naturally bottle-fermented and drier than their mass market counterparts, making them the ideal pairing with cured and smoked meats, pizza and richly sauced pasta dishes - not forgetting classic pairings such as melons with ham. Available across North America from rose to deep red hues - and produced exclusively in Emilia-Romagna region's four DOP zones offering various wine styles that perfectly compliment local cuisine such as Aceto Balsamico di Modena's famous Aceto Balsamico di Modena's Aceto Balsamico di Modena's famed Aceto Balsamico di Modena; Parmigiano Reggiano; prosciutto di Parma are just three food-centric gems in Emilia-Romagna region's rich food culture that perfectly complement local cuisine as local cuisine is complimented by wines of various colors from rose to deep red that are readily available throughout North America and Canada. Its four DOP zones boast a vast variety of different wine styles from rose to deep red; available globally as well.


Traditional pergola training proved ineffective at controlling its vigorous growth; now this late-ripening variety is often grown with the French Guyot (VSP, vertical shoot positioning) system instead. Due to being highly susceptible to botrytis fungus which causes bunch rot during humid years, growers must practice careful canopy management practices in order to keep it under control.

Teroldego wines have long been used as an integral component in blends from Trentino-Alto Adige/Sudtirol regions, yet an increasing number of producers are crafting single-varietal Teroldego wines to highlight its fruity characteristics. Dureza shares its parentage with Syrah as well as being related to Lagrein.

Handpicked grapes were combined in a closed-top tank at first light for early fermentation, before being pressed off after two weeks on their skins and aged in French oak barrels for at least eight months before pressing and bottling as this wine serves as an example of Teroldego standing alone without needing another component to bring its best qualities out.

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What makes a wine a real Cellar Classic? From time to time we find ourselves marvelling at the creativity of the wine grower we always look to enrich our taste buds with something rather remarkable and share this with you.