Italy – Where wine is a way of life
The Italian wine regions are extremely diverse, and this is made clear in their wines. Established varieties such as Merlot, Syrah, and Sauvignon can be found on just 15 percent of the total vine growing area. The remaining 85 percent is reserved for autochthonous, indigenous varieties. More than 2,000 different grape varieties are grown under diverse conditions and pressed with various techniques into wines that reach the top tier of the international wine market.
Sparkling wines from Italy
White wines from Italy
Rosé wines from Italy
Red wines from Italy
Sweet wines from Italy
Spirits from Italy
Italy is among the oldest wine-growing regions in the world. Its beginnings stretch back to 1000 BCE. While the Romans eventually cultivated winemaking across the whole of Europe, it was the Greeks who brought grapes to Italy, which they named Oinotria Tellus, “The Country of Wine.”
During the Roman conquest, time was still found to exchange grape varieties and knowledge of cultivation and processing techniques. The center of wine cultivation was the areas south of Naples, from where wine cultivation rapidly spread to every provinces in the Empire.
Collapse and resurgence
The commercial network of wine producers collapsed along with the Empire itself. Wine culture fell into obscurity, maintained only by the monks of the Roman Catholic Church. Officially, this was to guarantee the inventory of sacramental wine. But when the wealthy cities of northern Italy came to monopolize the wine trade in the 11th century, Italy once again ascended to be the main wine supplier in Europe.
Regional, individual, and – above all – traditional.
Italian wine is held in high regard worldwide, but Italian winemakers place especially high demands on themselves. They carefully combine modern insights with ancient traditions and, despite their ancient knowledge, are curious and open to innovation. Winemakers place great emphasis on giving their vines the proper soil, and thus will sometimes give up varieties with higher yields for varieties that thrive less but produce better wine.
Italians love wine, particularly the native ones.
The Italian wine industry is one of the most important sectors of the nation's economy, providing jobs for over half a million people. In addition, there are another ten thousand in positions relating to wine-tourism and marketing. Wine has long been the only positive entry in the Italian agricultural ledger. Italy is one of the largest wine exporters in the world, while hardly any is imported, with the exception of champagnes.