• Monday, Day 28/09/2020
  • Vines are planted in almost every part of Italy, from the Alps in the north to the island of Sicily in the south. The two most important regions, however, are Piedmont and Tuscany, both capable of making high-quality, long-lived red wines.

    Piedmont, in the northwest of the country, is home to the Nebbiolo grape, responsible for some of the greatest wines in Italy, the most famous of which are deep, brooding Barolo and slightly less weighty Barbaresco. At their peak these wines are highly aromatic with full flavours and balanced acidity, and can age for many years. The most widely planted grape, however, is Barbera, which is used to make fresh and fruity Dolcetto, designed to be drunk young. While Italy is mostly associated with light, acidic white wines, the Gavi produced here can reach appealing levels of richness. The Sangiovese grape is widely planted throughout the country, but its spiritual home is Tuscany, in central Italy. It forms the basis of famous wines like Chianti and Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montelpuciano. In years when the weather is kind, this grape can achieve rich wines with the ability to age but always with a touch of acidity, making it a particularly good wine to match with food.

    More recently the region has become famous for its so-called Supertuscans, extraordinary (and expensive) wines usually based on Cabernet Sauvignon with perhaps a little Sangiovese and Merlot blended in.