Italy makes incredible wines in a range of styles. Each wine growing region has a rich heritage and indigenous grape varieties that produce wines in a range of styles, and traditions. The terroir of Italy is varied and ranges from hilly, mountainous, and even volcanic. There is so much to get excited about when it comes to Italian wines. With so many options to chose from, we will take you on an Italian wine tour with six iconic producers. These six wines represent the best of Italy in a range of styles from crisp sparkling, to mineral-driven whites, to elegant reds.
Let’s take a tour of Italy, through the wine glass. We begin our tour of Italy with a renowned Prosecco producer in Valdobiadenne in Veneto. Next, we head south to Campania to taste Italy’s indigenous Falanghina, after which we head back north to Fruilli where we discover Italy’s luxury Pinot Grigio. We then switch gears to red wines, starting in charming Tuscany with one of the most historic producers from Montalcino. Then hop across the ocean and head to Etna where we taste the magical wines of Mount Etna Volcano in Sicily. Lastly, we end our tour with a legendary producer in Piedmonte.
Best White Wines of Italy – From Italy’s Most Iconic Producers
Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco Superiore
Made in the heart of the Prosecco DOCG zone, Nino Franco’s Rustico Prosecco Superiore is unquestionably the world’s finest value in a high-quality sparkling wine. Made from 100% Glera (traditionally called Prosecco), the non-vintage, light-bodied Rustico offers gorgeously elegant notes of pear, citrus, and honeysuckle. The texture is creamy, soft, and delicate with persistent effervescence.
The word ‘Rustico’ dates back to an old winemaking tradition where Prosecco was made using a short second fermentation in the bottle and leaving the sediments in the wine. Although no longer the technique, the name ‘Rustico’ has remained as a reflection of quality and tradition.
Pair with charcuterie, risotto, vegetables, seafood, and delicate pasta dishes.
Feudi di San Gregorio Falanghina 2018
Feudi di San Gregorio was established in 1986 in Sorbo Serpico, a tiny village in Campania’s Irpinia region, near Mount Vesuvius. A modern expression of a centuries-old tradition of passion and dedication to the land, it is one of Campania’s premier winemaking estates. Situated in one of Italy’s most exciting and innovative wine regions, this highly acclaimed winery encourages us to rediscover the identity of Mediterranean flavors through indigenous grapes that reach their full potential with their modern winemaking approach.
The 2018 Feudi di San Gregorio Falanghina is a straw yellow color, with brilliant green reflections. The nose is full of floral notes, like white blossoms, and delicate apple and pear. It has a medium intensity mouthfeel upon entry, crisp minerality, with hints of spice, light almond, and a slightly bitter orange peel character. The pretty floral notes and soft fruit flavors are fresh through the finish in perfect balance with the mouthwatering acidity.
Falanghina accompanies various types of appetizers, simple fish dishes, vegetables as well as fresh cheeses.
Terlato Family Vineyards Friuli Pinot Grigio 2018
Terlato Pinot Grigio is an estate-grown, handcrafted Italian Pinot Grigio from the hillside vineyards of Friuli Colli Orientali. The Friuli region is widely recognized as one of the best regions for luxury Pinot Grigio in the world. The wine is produced in modern facilities with traditional terroir-driven farming practices. It is an exceptional white wine demonstrating layered complexity, where peach and apricot notes balance perfectly with a crisp mineral finish.
The fruit for this Pinot Grigio is handpicked from hillside estate vineyards that are carefully tended to create a fuller-bodied Pinot Grigio with expressive fruit and mineral character. This bright, refreshing white goes well with shellfish, white fish, appetizers, and sushi.
Best Red Wines of Italy – From Italy’s Most Iconic Producers
Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino 2017
One of the original three producers of Brunello di Montalcino, Il Poggione and has helped to establish the standards of excellence for Montalcino. Led by father-son winemaking team, Fabrizio and Alessandro Bindocci, Il Poggione’s guiding principle is to pay great care to the vines, because the secret to producing great red wines lies in the high-quality vineyard work.
The Rosso Montalcino has a fruity bouquet of wild red berries. Very well structured, yet soft, long-lasting flavor with smooth, velvety tannins.
Pairs perfectly with roasted vegetables, grilled meats, pasta with meat sauce, and medium-strength cheeses.
This next wine hails from the black, fertile soils of Mt. Etna, Sicily. The name Alta Mora translates to “High, Black” representing the great heights and dark soils of Mt. Etna. The volcano itself is nearly 11,000ft high and vineyards are planted up to 4,000ft high! The Alta Mora project truly captures the essence of the Cusumano family. They believe in taking great risks to produce great, unique wines!
Alta Mora grapes are 100% estate grown and hand-harvested. The Cusumano family treats each wine as an artisanal piece of art and strives for pristine results in every bottle. To do so, they consult with renowned oenologist, Mario Ronco, who is equally ambitious about innovation and meticulous about winemaking techniques
Gaja Sito Moresco 2016
Perched atop a steep hill in the Langhe sits the small village of Barbaresco, home of the GAJA winery. The story of the GAJA Winery can be traced to a singular, founding purpose: to produce original wines with a sense of place which reflects the tradition and culture of those who made it. This philosophy has inspired five generations of impeccable winemaking. It started over 150 years ago when Giovanni Gaja opened a small restaurant in Barbaresco, making wine to complement the food he served. In 1859, he founded the Gaja Winery, producing some of the first wine from Piedmont to be bottled and sold outside the region. Since that time, the winery has been shaped by each generation’s hand, notably that of Clotilde Rey, Angelo Gaja’s grandmother. Her passion for uncompromising quality influenced and informed Angelo Gaja. Through Angelo, these values have become the cornerstone of the GAJA philosophy and are engrained in every aspect of wine production
Sun-kissed thyme and marjoram notes turn to forest floor earthiness before merging with juicy red berry – strawberry, cherry, plum – and citrus fruits, like blood orange. The wine gets volume in the palate with remarkable fruit concentration sustained by silky, smooth tannins and bright acidity. The wine then turns to a spicy finish, smoky notes, and a lovely salinity.
Blend: 35% Nebbiolo, 25% Barbera, 25% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon
Pairs well with assorted meat dishes such as roasted beef, steak and pork, and also seafood like grilled tuna. Other food pairings include pasta with meat sauce or pesto and eggplant.
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