Italy is the world’s largest producer of wine, and is home to some of the oldest wine-producing regions. Its contribution is about 45–50 million h per year, and represents about a quarter of global production. Italian wine is exported around the world, as popular among Italians. Italians rank fifth on the world wine consumption list by volume with 42 litres per capita consumption. Grapes are grown in every region of the country and there are more than one million vineyards under cultivation.
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For many years, the Abruzzi region relied on of high-yielding, indistinguished bulk wine to drive its output, but recent times have seen a renewed focus on quality and the vineyards are now producing some excellent wines from a diverse set of grapes. The area is home to some quality production zones, the most prestigious being the DOCG Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Colline Teramane, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and Trebbiano d’Abruzzo. Montepulciano typically produces smooth, lightly tannic and medium bodied wines, with easy-going fruit and gentle character.
Perhaps one of the most beautiful wine regions in the world, Chianti Classico Wine Region is an area that has miles and miles of hill topped medieval villages and valleys covered in vines, all between the two beautiful cities of Florence and Siena.
Piedmont is one of the most useful wine regions to get to know. For one, Piedmont introduces us to a completely new set of wine grapes to taste and understand – from Nebbiolo to Cortese. Secondly, Piedmont (Piemonte) is considered a top wine region in Italy (like Tuscany).
Blessed with consistently bright sunshine and reliably moderate rainfall, Sicily’s classic Mediterranean climate is ideally suited to the production of wine grapes The warm, dry climate means that mildews and rots are kept to a minimum, particularly in well-ventilated areas that benefit from coastal breezes. This low disease pressure means that chemical sprays are hardly needed, so much Sicilian wine is produced from organic grapes.
Veneto is one of Italy’s largest wine-producing regions and home to some of its best known wines like Pinot Grigio and Prosecco. The region extends from the Alps foothills in the north to the Po river plains in the south and ranges from the south of Lake Garda in the west to Venice in the east. The warm climate is moderated by the cooling influences of the altitude, granting the vineyards in the foothills a large diurnal temperature range, while breezes from Lake Garda cool the vineyards in the western side of the region.