Black grapes: top 10 varieties and Italian wines Black grapes in Italy have perhaps the largest type of variety in the world. Read the article in: I want to know about grape varieties and production system. Nebbiolo produces full-bodied, characterful wines that are high in acid and have marked tannin, but generally have only medium color intensity. Italian wines are labeled in different ways. Writing about Italian indigenous grape varieties is somewhat like counting pebbles on a beach. Required fields are marked *. Ed also wrote Champagne For Dummies. The Origin of Viticulture and a Brief History of Italy’s Grape Varieties Part II. Well-known oenologist in Languedoc warns producers of wild yeast, Trebbiano Toscano /Ugni Blanc, 21000, 3,1 %. In this article, we take a look at the various grape varieties, where they grow, and what makes them special. The ten most planted grapes account for only 38% of the total plantings. J. Robinson, J. Harding and J. Vouillamoz Wine Grapes - A complete guide to 1,368 vine varieties, including their origins and flavours pgs XXVIII-XXX Allen Lane 2012 ISBN 978-1-846-14446-2 “World’s Top Wine Tours” and many other accolades. Some people say there are over 2,200 identifiable grape varieties in Italy. It still grows in many parts of the Italian peninsula, but its finest wines come from Piedmont, Barbera’s home turf. Text and images may not be used without our permission. The characteristics of Sangiovese include only a medium intensity of color, high acidity, firm tannin, and aromas and flavors of cherries and herbs. We had (probably) the first web site on wine in Scandinavia in 1996. The number of different grapes means Italian wine is fantastically varied, including dry and sweet varieties that can be either bold, medium or light flavoured and feature fruit and earth tones. Maker of World's Top Wine Tours. For the true wine lover. 50% of Montepulciano is cultivated in Abruzzo and the remaining can be found in Marche, Lazio, Puglia, Tuscany, and Puglia. Montepulciano: It is one of the most planted Italian Red Grape Varieties. This unsung native variety is the pride of the Campania and Basilicata regions, in Southern Italy, where it makes Taurasi and Aglianico del Vulture (ahl YAHN ee co del VUL too rae), respectively. Those with the highest proportion of indigenous rather than international varieties are, in declining order – 100% down to 66% – Cyprus, Georgia, Spain, Greece, Croatia, Portugal and Italy (although Italy is the only one whose proportion of indigenous varieties waned quite substantially between 2000 and 2016 when many growers were still besotted by French glamour). Wine Profile of the Year 2011. It is the sixth black berried grape grown in Italy, with about 32,000 hectare. Originally from the Italian Piedmont region, in our country Barbera is cultivated near San Rafael, a Southern Mendoza region … Sangiovese Vines at Felsina, Chianti Classico. The indigenous Sangiovese (san joe VAE sae) is the most planted red variety in Italy’s vineyards. Many of these Italian grape varieties come from Italian regions unfamiliar to most Americans. It’s the lifeblood of red wine production in the central Italian regions of Tuscany and Umbria; it also grows in several other regions. By contrast, 93% of Napa and Sonoma Valley are planted with only eight varieties (in descending order: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel. There is also a higher quality designation called D.O.C.G. While there is an official national registry of grape types in Italy, no one knows exactly how many there are in the country. Supplemental references used for chart. You can also subscribe without commenting. Sangiovese and Montepulciano are decreasing, while Glera (used for the incredibly popular prosecco) and Pinot Gris both show strong increasing trends. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Italy has authorized over 350 different grape varieties but there are over 500 different kinds of grapes in circulation within the country. The finest Nebbiolo-based wines take many years to develop and can live for decades; many approachable, young-drinking wines from Nebbiolo also exist. Your email address will not be published. Some are bright and shiny and stand out for all to see, pick up, and polish while others are smaller, hidden, and often overlooked. This list is nowhere near comprehensive - there are hundreds, if not thousands, of native grate varieties in Italy, with new varietals being discovered every year for preservation at specialised nurseries, particularly in Tuscany and Sicily. Here they are in alphabetical order: Mary Ewing-Mulligan and Ed McCarthy co-authored the bestselling Wine For Dummies. This native Italian grape makes two of Italy’s very greatest red wines, Barolo and Barbaresco, as well as several less exalted wines. Nebbiolo’s aromas and flavors vary according to the vineyard site, but cover a wide spectrum, from fruity (strawberry) to herbal (mint, camphor, and anise) to earthy (mushrooms, white truffles, and tar) to floral; these aromas can be very vivid and pure. Ampelology: The Art and Science of Grape Variety Identification 2. Explore this “fab four” … One of Italy’s most compelling white grape varieties, Vermentino is grown up and down Italy, but almost always by the coast (in Liguria, for instance, as well as in Tuscany and Sardinia). Four of these are especially important, either for the quality of wine they produce or for their dissemination throughout the country. Common blending partners for Sangiovese include the native Canaiolo (can eye OH lo) grape, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. What most people don’t know is just how many Italian grape varietals there are. They have won many national and international awards, from the Gourmand International and OIV-International Organisation of Vine and Wine and others. The best … Barbera. The variety is named for the nebbia (fog) which settles over Barolo in early autumn. Nevertheless, it is one of Italy’s finest red varieties, and has excellent potential. Following are five particularly key varieties in their rough order of importance. Get our free monthly newsletter, the BKWine Brief and join 25,000 other wine and travel enthusiasts. We can expect even more Prosecco in the future. This is the fate of biancone, a minor grape variety that doesn't even get a mention in… People also site about 300 different varieties that are commonly vinified (made into wine) in Portugal. (Click the link for greater detail on … We will take you to meet the winemakers and explore the wine regions like no other wine tours. We've been named World's Top Wine Tours by Travel + Leisure Magazine. Italian wine could easily be considered the final frontier of wine knowledge. The 10 most planted grape varieties in Italy (in hectares): Chose your language. But its production is relatively small, and in many cases the variety is merely part of a blend with other southern varieties. Grape Groups and Families 4. Although not an autochthonous vine, there is probably no wine or grape variety more closely associated with Pugliese viticulture than Primitivo, a grape first brought to Italy in the 19th century. 2015 estimates Source: Agea data. One family, of clones responsible for many of the best Sangiovese wines is called Sangiovese Grosso (“large Sangiovese”). While Sangiovese and Nebbiolo still reign supreme, numerous grape varieties have re-emerged from hiding in recent years to spellbind wine lovers around the world. Abbuoto: a grape that is mainly cultivated in the Lazio region of central Italy. We've written a wine book that won the award World's Best Wine Book for Professionals and another that's been awarded Best Wine Book in Sweden for Professionals. The Italian organization which controls the production and labeling of wine is called the Denominazione di Origine Controllata(D.O.C.). Silky smooth in texture and with a similar taste profile to Cab (dark fruits – although often plums in the case of Merlot), it is seen as the perfect partner for the fuller bodied, more austere Cabernet Sauvignon grape. Major Native and Traditional Grape Varieties 5. And this is just Piedmont—there are many other little-known grape varieties throughout the country, although exactly how many is unclear. Until Sangiovese dethroned Barbera sometime in the past 20 years, Barbera (bar BAE rah) was the most planted red variety in all of Italy. The combination of high acid, low tannin, and vivid flavor make Barbera wines particularly refreshing. Dozens of clones, or subvarieties, of Sangiovese exist, some finer than others. And lots of other things we're proud of too. Prosecco:Vine native of North – Western italy, white grape used to produce the eponymous wine slightly fizzy. My last choice is a grape that I have loved for over 25 years, but hardly ever had the chance to drink. Nowadays it clings to southern Italy, but it was taken there by the ancient Greeks and it has been farmed in Basilicata and Campania ever since. Photo ©Tom Hyland. Fredholms VingÃ¥rd (Winery) in Scania wins a Great Gold Medal in Rioja, Biodynamic, Organic and Natural Winemaking. ("G" stands for Garantita). Italy's vineyards are home to more than 2,000 grape varieties, many of which are on the brink of extinction. This list of grape varieties includes cultivated grapes, whether used for wine, or eating as … On WBI's Power List of wine journalists. We have written ten books on wine. © Copyright 1996-2020 BKWine AB, all rights reserved. The more serious wines based on Sangiovese are capable of developing forest-floor aromas and a seductive smoothness and harmony with age. The Nebbiolo (nehb be OH loh) variety is a specialty of the Piedmont region. Mary, the only woman Master of Wine in the U.S., owns International Wine Center, a New York wine school. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. Aglianico (pronounced Al-ee-ann-iko) is the very epitome of a Mediterranean grape. I have reviewed VIVC, Native Grapes of Italy (D’Agata), Wine Grapes (Robinson, Harding & Vouillamoz), National Grape Registry (UC Davis) and other sources as well. It is the major grape of Chianti and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and the only variety in Brunello di Montalcino; many critically acclaimed Super-Tuscan wines also derive largely from Sangiovese. In fact, it is considered one of Italy’s most successful crossings. Moscato di Scanzo : It is an aromatic grape just available in … Abrusco: Is an ancient grape from Tuscany and is used in the wines of Chianti D.O.C.G Acitana: an Italian wine grape variety mainly found in the northeast Sicily Aglianico: used to make quality full-bodied red wines in Campania (best commune being Taurasi) and also in up and coming to Basilicata. News » The most popular grape varieties in Italy – the country of many grapes. Your email address will not be published. Four of these are especially important, either for the quality of wine they produce or for their dissemination throughout the country. Primitivo. Its most notable incarnation is in the top red wines of Piedmont: Barolo and Barbaresco. I have verified 10,170+ wine grape varieties (two thirds of this is Vitis vinifera )–obviously not all are grown commercially and many are kept in agriculture collections at universities and nurseries worldwide. The following 17 red varieties are also quite important in Italy. Italy’s Native and Traditional Grape Varieties and Wines 3. The country of the boot presents a great diversity of relief, soil, climate and cultural diversity that favor the expression in each territory. Italian wines are some of the quirkiest, most exciting wines on this planet, and there will perhaps never be enough time to appreciate the full spectrum of its 2000 grape varieties or its various appellations.This article has listed some of the most notable wines that go with a broad palate of food, most notably meats, seafood, desserts, and predictably, Italian food. 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