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Wines of Italy
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RED AND WHITE ITALIAN WINES
Italy vies with France for the title of the largest wine producing country, but no other country can equal "il bei paese" for diversity and individuality. It’s a great topic for discussion, the three largest European wine producers, France, Spain and Italy-----who is the largest who is the best? Its not an easy debate, since often the discussion is about grape varieties and styles of individual regions within the one country itself, let alone comparing with another country. We in the UK may compare one country against another, but for example, within Italy the competitive debate would be between Italian regions themselves probably 95% of the time.
Italy has a wonderful richness of viniculture stretching back thousands of years and today its not just about Barolo and Brunello its about all the different grape varieties and styles from very North to extreme South and then West to East. Most Countries wine regions are separated by some distances----Italy is one big continuous vineyard and the wine choices are mind boggling.
Italy with all its famous wine regions is a wine enthusiasts dreamland and at Alexander Hadleigh Wine Merchants, Southampton, Hampshire, UK we try our very best to encompass much of what this wonderful wine country has to offer as follows:
Piedmont is synonymous with the Barolo and Barbaresco wines which develop via the combination of soil, geology and climate in the beautiful Langhe and Monferrato hills and we should not forget Nebbiolo d'Alba or Asti Spumante. Yes, a region entirely of appellation wines and well represented on our list.
Veneto is one big vineyard from the shores of Lake Garda the edge of Treviso. Four of the Veneto fifteen sub regions are are numbered among the top ten in Italy and are, Valpolicella, Soave, Prosecco di'Conegliano and Bardolino. It is often that Veneto wines are better known outside of Italy than within, this assumption is well supported by the fact that over 70% of wine production is exported to all corners of our planet.
Friuli-Venezia Giulia is a wine region on the far east of Italy bordering Slovenia and is probably the least known of all Italian wine regions in the UK. Merlot accounts for over 50% of the grapes and wine produced in this region and it also some of the lesser known varieties such as Refosco del Peduncolo Rosso and the more rare Picolit.
Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino have the champions Tuscany it seems for ever, the region may be the realm of these two famous wines, but there is much else to discover. If Chianti and Brunello wines are kings of Tuscany then Sangiovese and Trebbiano are the great Tuscan Couple.
The viticulture of the Italian Marches, once a region known only for its white wines, including the illustrious Verdicchio, can now today be well contented of its red wines. Careful selection and one will always be rewarded with some really great wines.
Abruzzo a wine region of little reputation for most of its life has come to life in recent times with thanks to the passionate reception accorded to its Montepulciano. Montepulciano accounts for over 50% of the wine produced each in the small region of Abruzzo.
The vineyards of Puglia (Apulia) are best known for their full bodied reds and the region's vineyards are among the largest in Europe in terms of surface area. Over recent years wines from this region have increased in popularity mainly through the many tourists from the UK visiting the lovely beaches around the Puglia region.
Sicily is now an important producer of wines for the UK market and vineyards like the Island itself, can be divided into three large wine growing areas: the western part in the provence of Trapani, famous for the celebrated wines of Marsala; the northeastern area around Mount Etna and the southern area in the province of Ragusa.
Sardinia an Island of excellent quality whos reputation in the UK is catching up with that of Sicily. A pristine natural World and ancient traditions of winemaking are one of the many strong points of Sardinian viticulture
with its most prominent flag bearer being Vermentino DOCG.