A journey to the wineries of Italy is a wine lover’s dream come true! From breathtaking views to a deep appreciation for artisanal craftsmanship, explore the Italian countryside as you tour some of the most renowned vineyards in the world. Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture, and stunning scenery and enjoy some delicious wines of course. Ready to discover Italy’s wines beyond your classic Pinot Grigio or Prosecco and find out some Italian wine destinations that aren’t Tuscany? Let’s go!
Learn more about Italy’s Wine Scene
Italy boasts over 600 native grape varieties cultivated within its peninsula, so it’s safe to say that covering all of them here is impossible. However, I encourage you to look up local grapes wherever you go and try some new varietals within Italy’s wine offering. Here are a few suggestions to switch up your drinking:
- When in Tuscany, explore Canaiolo instead of Sangiovese, or try Ansonica for white wine.
- In Piedmont, apart from the delicious Nebbiolo-based Barolo and Barbaresco, find a bottle of the rare Ruchè.
- Veneto is known for its local blends that create Amarone and Valpolicella, but if you want to go further, try a Refosco or Garganega.
The best way to learn is to keep drinking and keep track! Download Vivino or start a notebook to record your Italian wine adventures.
You should also familiarize yourself with the many DOCG and DOC wines of Italy.
DOC & DOCG
DOCG and DOC are designations of origin for Italian wines, with DOCG being the highest quality level. DOC stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata, which translates to “controlled designation of origin,” and DOCG stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita, which translates to “controlled and guaranteed designation of origin.” These designations ensure that the wine was produced in a certain geographic area using specific methods and grapes. DOCG wines also undergo a tasting panel to ensure quality and can only be bottled in limited quantities.
Plan Visits to Local Wineries
Embark on an adventure to discover some of Italy’s finest wineries! Although the wines you find in supermarkets and restaurants are usually quite good, there’s nothing like going to the source. Few experiences compare to enjoying a glass (or two) of local wine from an authentic Italian vineyard. Take your time in each area–enjoy some local cuisine and take photos of the stunning views to document your journey.
What you need to know about visiting wineries of Italy
When visiting different wineries around Italy, you should know it is important to call ahead! Not every winery will require a reservation, but since hours can change often, it is important to double-check.
Know also that without a tour guide to take you around, you’ll probably have to rent a car to get to the more stunning wineries of Italy.
However this isn’t always the case, in Tuscany, you can reach many towns in the Chianti region by bus; if you take the train from Torino to Alba or Asti you won’t exactly be surrounded by the vineyards, but you will get a better idea of the region and get to taste local food and wine.
Italy’s Wine Destinations that aren’t Tuscany
We get it, Tuscany has a great marketing team. But the truth is Italy has way better wine regions waiting for you. While Tuscany offers excellent accessibility, comfort, and wines that you might already be familiar with, why not venture further, and expand your palate and your Italian wine knowledge? Italy’s wines are sure to impress you throughout the peninsula.
Here are just three other wine destinations that are sure to wow you:
- Piedmont: known primarily for its Nebbiolo-based Barolo and Barbaresco, as well as welcoming Barbera. This region has tens of DOC and DOCG wines to be tasted. While its rich reds made a name for it, Piedmont also has crisp white wines and delicious metodo classico sparkling wines. Plan your visit with this guide.
- Veneto: here you will find local blends that create the noble Amarone and Valpolicella. But Veneto too has something for everyone: if these wines are too structured for your taste, you can explore Bardolino, Prosecco, and Garganega regions.
- Sicily: known for its Nero d’Avola and Etna red wines, as well as its white wines made from Grillo and Inzolia grapes. Truly Sicily is beautiful enough for a visit without the wine, but its extensive wine history and diverse flavors in reds and whites make it a perfect wine destination.
Ready to plan a trip to discover Italy’s wines and wineries? Contact me and let’s get started!
Leave a Comment