Italy, the world's largest producer of wine, is also one of the most diverse,
with hundreds of classified regions. Italy's major wine regions are seen to
Move your mouse over each region to see a brief description of
that region. Clicking on a region will bring you to a list of
wines available from that region in our stores.
Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, has more vineyards than any other
Italian region. Yet, with the emphasis shifting from quantity to quality, wine production
has diminished recently to slightly less than that of Veneto. Most notable for producing
Marsala, Sicily also produces the pale white, bone dry Bianco d'Alcamo.
Venice's region has emerged in recent times as Italy's largest producer of wine with a major
share classified as DOC or DOCG (more than 300 million bottles a year). Leading the flow
is Verona's trio of Soave, Valpolicella, and Bardolino. But since DOC represents less than
a third of the region's total, the Veneto also figures as a major producer and exporter
of IGT wines, often of moderate price.
Located in Northern Italy near the Austrian border, Alto Adige has been extremely influenced
by the German and Austrian wine making traditions. Thus, wines produced from this region
are unlike those of more well-known regions in Italy. Most notably, Alto Adige has become
synonymous with Pinot Grigio - full, scented white wines that have become quite popular
throughout the world.
Because of its location, Friuli is very successful with traditional French red grapes including
Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Pinot Noir. The Friuli region has also
had great success with white wines made from Pinot Grigio and Tocai Friulano.
Located between Florence and Rome, Umbria produces some very good wines including Orvieto,
a fresh white wine that is either dry or semi-sweet. As for red wines, Umbrian wines are
often made primarily from Sangiovese, although Cabernet Sauvignon has become increasingly
With over 212,000 acres of vineyards, Tuscany is one of the most important wine regions in
the world. Most of this region's red wines are based on the Sangiovese grape. Tuscany is
most famous for its wines from Chianti, located between Florence and Siena. Another red
wine that rivals Chianti in quality is the Brunello di Montalcino. Although white wines
are not very common from this region, Tuscany does produce an outstanding dessert wine
called Vin Santo.
The chief grape variety in Piedmonte is Nebbiolo, which is used for many of the best
Italian red wines including Barolo and Barbaresco. Another important red grape from
Piedmonte is Barbera which yields robust red wines. Piedmonte is also a region of intense
white grape production, most notably used for the production of Vermouth. Other popular
white grapes grown in this region include Moscato (used in Asti sparkling wines) and
Cortese, found in the Gavi area of Piedmonte.