Wine forms a massive part of Italian culture. Having been producing wine for over 4000 years, it’s safe to say that the Italians know what they’re doing. Not only do they produce an impressive array of different varietals and styles of Italian wine, they also produce wine all over the country.
Popular in terms of both export and domestic consumption, Italy holds the record of being the world’s largest wine producer. With so many people and businesses wanting to buy Italian wine all over the world, the country accounts for a whopping 18% of global wine production.
While Greek settlers started making wine in Italy long before anybody else, it was the Romans who introduced the viticultural and winemaking methods that are still used to this day. This includes methods by which to succeed with large-scale production, as well as using barrelling and bottling as storage techniques.
Much like the French, an appellation system was introduced to the industry in 1963, allowing Italian wine price and quality to be controlled and regulated. There are said to be four main categories of Italian wine – Vini, Vini Varietali, Vini IGP, and Vini DOP. These classifications refer to different attributes based on geography and so on.
Italian wine is produced in 20 different regions around the country. The differing geography and terroir in each region greatly influence the wine produced in the areas. However, unlike other wine-producing nations, the wines produced in specific regions tend to correspond with the traditional cuisines of the area. This isn’t particularly surprising, however, since it’s no secret that the Italians enjoy fine food paired with good quality wine!
One of the things that makes Italian wine special is the phenomenal range of varieties available. With over 350 different wine grapes grown around the country, it may be difficult to know where to start. Some of Italy’s most popular reds are Sangiovese, Barbera, Primitivo, Nero d’Avola, Montepulciano, Nebbiolo, and Aglianico, all boasting different noses and notes. Likewise, a few of the country’s best Italian white wines are Pinot Grigio, Pino Bianco, Verdicchio, and Trebbiano.
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