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What is the King of Italian Wines?

What is the King of Italian Wines?

As its name implies, Barolo has long been revered as "the wine of kings". It exemplifies how closely linked Nebbiolo grape variety and location are.

Piedmont wines were traditionally rustic and sweet until Camillo Benso di Cavour invited Louis Oudart and Pier Francesco Staglieno - two winemakers renowned for creating modern Barolo - into his court in the mid 19th century to help improve production and thus help create what we know today as Barolo wine.


Nebbiolo grapes are famed for containing some of the hardest and angular tannins found anywhere in wine. Skilful Barolo producers manage these tannins masterfully in their cellar, producing Barolos that are both elegant yet powerfully tannic.

Barolo wines require ample bottle ageing before reaching their full potential; typically the greatest Barolo can be enjoyed after at least 10 years from vintage to vintage.

Barolo wine quality depends on a number of variables: weather and climate as well as vineyard site. Small parcels with highly prized land produce wines that reflect their complex terroir; in Barolo region high above fog line can have an effect on growing season as well as fruit quality - in 2002 hailstorms devastated region wiped out up to 45% of crop despite great harvest resultantly.


Barbaresco boasts an illustrious past dating back to Roman conquest of Gaul. After these initial cultivation efforts by Roman settlers known as Barbaritium, modern day producers continue cultivating it to this day, creating its lighter and more feminine identity today. However, its production can vary considerably among municipalities and vineyards depending on local microclimate factors and soil composition.

Barbaresco vineyards are situated on hilly terrain and planted in terraces; their soils contain both calcareous and clayey elements that produce elegant wines with great ageing potential. Barbaresco wines boast light structures yet complex flavors reminiscent of those produced elsewhere in Italy.

When made well, Italian wine can be one of the greatest values available. Pairing it with famous Piedmont truffles only heightens its flavors further. Generally it displays perfumes of roses and violets with cherries, licorice, and fennel flavors coming through on the palate; high tannins yet light on tannins allow these wines to be enjoyed early; although many producers recommend waiting up to 10 years before opening one up!


Montepulciano is one of the finest Tuscan wines. A favorite among Renaissance poets and Francesco Redi in 17th-century Tuscany, Montepulciano was described by him as being fit for royalty.

Today, Montepulciano is best known for producing Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG -- Italy's highest wine quality level tier. DOCG wine designation is bestowed only upon regions which fulfill rigorous production and tasting standards to qualify.

Montepulciano wines are rich, dark wines characterized by boysenberry and blackberry notes with sweet, full flavors of licorice, cocoa and vanilla that pair perfectly with rich sauces or soups; slow roasted and grilled meats, pasta dishes with rich sauces or soups as well as mushrooms, winter squash or baked potatoes are excellent accompaniments for Montepulciano wines.


Chianti stands as an icon among Italian wines, offering medium body, savory characteristics and notes of strawberry or cherry fruit. Chianti goes well with many traditional Tuscan and Floretine foods such as Bistecca alla Fiorentina roast beef, cannellini beans with lemon and bay, tomato salads or delicious cured hams.

Chianti gets its distinctive taste from Sangiovese grapes. Depending on how the wine is produced, its aroma may include notes of spice, earthiness and wild berries. When labeled with the black rooster emblem it indicates approval by Italian government authorities.

Join our Chianti Tasting Safari and experience more about its heritage on a full-day journey away from Florence by off road vehicle, visiting some of the finest estates of this renowned wine region.

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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.