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Well known Italian Wines

Well known Italian Wines

Italy is internationally-renowned for its wine, cured meats and olive oil production. Italy's food traditions are protected under laws known as DOP (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) and DOC (Denominazione Origine Protetta).

Italy currently produces over 605 distinct wines using indigenous grape varieties, ranging from world-renowned Barolo and Barbaresco to vibrant Sicilian DOC wines.


Sangiovese (pronounced san-joh-v-zeh) is Italy's most beloved red wine grape variety. This versatile variety can be found at the core of popular wines like Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Morellino di Scansano - among many others.

Wine of Tuscany boasts an invigorating acidity and balanced fruit and tannins profile, which make it perfect for pairing with food like pasta, pizza, tomato-based sauces and grilled meats. Furthermore, its signature Tuscan character cannot be duplicated elsewhere around the globe.

Tuscany and Umbria regions in central and southern Italy are popular places for growing Sangiovese grapes, although this varietal has also begun popping up outside Italy's borders, from California to Australia, as winemakers and growers discover its versatility and terroir-driven properties.


Nebbiolo is a light-hued grape variety known for producing bold wines with high acidity and noticeable tannins, offering wines with austere characteristics when young. Over time however, its true potential becomes apparent.

Barolo and Barbaresco wines, famously produced from Nebbiolo grapes, require years of maturation before release due to their tannic structure. These classic wines are known for their aromas of tar and rose petals as well as their rich, velvety character that complement their unique leathery flavors perfectly.

Nebbiolo grapes are also grown for winemaking in Alto Piemonte (Northern Piedmont), in Gattinara and Ghemme regions as well as Valtellina near Milan near Switzerland border; Chiavennasca grapes can also be found there. Nebbiolo planting outside Italy is still uncommon, though a few producers are experimenting with this variety in Australia's King Valley as well as California Central Coast.

Pinot Grigio

Pinot grigio resembles sauvignon blanc in that both are dry white wines with crisp, refreshing tastes and dry textures, yet differs by being lighter-bodied and having an amber or golden hue.

This mutation of everyone's favorite red wine grape, Pinot Noir, may have its origins in Burgundy; however, today it can be found growing across northern Italy (including Pinot Grigio delle Venezie DOC territory), France, Austria, Germany and even the US. Alsace boasts its own variety known as Pinot Gris which produces wine with different styles.

Italian Pinot Grigio is known for being bone-dry with high acidity levels, featuring flavors such as lemon, lime, green apple, minerality and salinity. This wine pairs well with salads, light casseroles, pasta as well as being an ideal aperitif!


Moscato wine crafted from Muscat grapes is known for its light body and sweet tropical fruit flavors, delicate bubbles, and low alcohol (usually around 5.5%). It pairs beautifully with many desserts and dishes featuring peaches or other fruits.

Moscato pairs well with richer foods like warm berry or peach tart, making it one of the more approachable styles of wine. Traditional Moscato d'Asti DOCG wines (and its pink variation, Moscato Rosa) feature light bubbles, fresh sweetness and an undeniably grapey character - ideal accompaniments for rich nuttier foods like cheeses.

DOCG designation is Italy's highest for wines, awarded to those that meet specific conditions in terms of place, production methods and traditional grapes used in production. Furthermore, quality and vintage criteria are taken into consideration in awarding it; Moscato d'Asti offers this distinction due to being extremely drinkable.


Nerello mascalese wines have long been considered comparable to Pinot Noir or Burgundy for their silky tannins and delicate strawberry and red fruit aromas, similar to Burgundy or Pinot. Carricante white grape wines, which thrive across Sicily, also shine here - producing powerful mineral-driven wines with whiffs of petrol in their youth while boasting remarkable aging potential thanks to Etna's varied terroir of its 133 defined Contrade.

Giuseppe Benanti began producing high-end wines made from indigenous varieties on his farm in Sicily in the early 1990s, initiating an unprecedented land rush on Mount Etna that reached critical mass around 2000. Leading winemakers from outside Sicily such as Belgian-born Frank Cornelissen of Passopisciaro and Marco de Grazia of Tenuta delle Terre Nere quickly joined him and helped spur this process further.

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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.