A Wine Cellar guide to Italian wines


Old World | Mediterranean climate

Italy is a land of diversity and has wine-growing roots that stretch back at least two thousand years. The country has a Mediterranean climate and a variety of soil types, often with some volcanic components.

Italy produces a vast amount of wine across the country but the 4 major regions are Veneto, Tuscany, Piedmont and Sicily.

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Veneto is famous for Valpolicella wines which are made from the Corvina grape. These typically display black fruit and herbal qualities and are generally light and fruity.


Home to some of Italy’s most sought-after reds. Nebbiolo from Barolo and Barbaresco, characterised by spice, red fruit aromas and high acidity, tannin and alcohol, are particularly prized.


Produces Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino which are made from Sangiovese. These acclaimed reds are high in acidity with medium tannins and have an earthy, rich, red fruit character.


Sicilian wines are produced in large volumes by co-ops and are relatively inexpensive. They are most commonly made from Chardonnay and Nero d’Avola, as well as some Cabernet Sauvignon.

Common white varieties

Trebbiano, Malvasia, Verdicchio, Garganega and Cortese.

Common red varieties

Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Barbera, Dolcetto, Corvina, Montepulciano and Primitivo.

Our recommendations

Did you know?

The 70s gave rise to the Super Tuscan movement, which saw international grape varieties blended with traditional Italian varieties. Despite their superlative quality, and prices to match, the Super Tuscans were not permitted to be classified as anything more than table wines as they did not meet the strict DOCG requirements. Though the rules concerning blends have since been relaxed, many Super Tuscans continue to be sold as IGTs.

Produttori del Barbaresco

Tenuta delle Terre Nere

Did you know?

Pinotage is a South African-born variety. It was created in the 1920s by crossing Pinot Noir and Cinsaut and has given rise to the Cape Blend, which is generally made from Bordeaux varieties along with a small percentage of Pinotage.

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