The Wine Regions of Italy

Oct 13, 2023by Andrew Lowry

Italy is a country known for its rich history, stunning landscapes, and of course, its incredible wine. The Italian wine world is divided into 73 DOCGs, 330 DOCs, and 118 IGTs, so to explore the world of Italian wine is to embark on a thrilling, yet way too complicated adventure. In this blog post, we will only get into Italy's 20 administrative zones or regions, and their major grapes and top 3 wine producers (by volume sold/general popularity). In the future, we will dive into the DOCs and DOCGs one by one! Yay...

The Wine Regions of Italy

Italy is divided into 4 big geographic regions and inside those are 20 more specific wine regions that follow the Italian administrative separation scheme (kind of like states in the U.S.), and each of these has its distinct terroir and winemaking traditions. The big regions are the North East, the North West, Central, and South. Here is a list of all the wine regions in Italy:

Pictured: Val d'Aosta DOC

North West:

  1. Valle D'Aosta
  2. Piedmont
  3. Liguria
  4. Lombardia

Pictured: Emilia-Romagna DOCG/DOC

North East:

  1. Trentino-Alto Adige
  2. Friuli-Venezia Giulia
  3. Emilia-Romagna
  4. Veneto

Pictured: Marche

Central:

  1. Marche
  2. Umbria
  3. Lazio
  4. Abruzzo
  5. Tuscany 

Pictured: Trulli of Alberobello, Puglia

South:

  1. Molise
  2. Campania
  3. Puglia
  4. Basilicata
  5. Calabria
  6. Sicily
  7. Sardinia

The Major Grapes of Each Wine Region

Now let's dive deeper into each wine region and explore the major grapes that thrive in their vineyards:

North West

Pictured: Piedmont (Langhe DOC)

Val d'Aosta

Major Grapes: Petit Rouge, Fumin, Prié Blanc

Top 3 Wine Producers: Les Cretes, Cave des Onze Communes, La Kiuva

Piedmont

Major Grapes: Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto

Top 3 Wine Producers: Fontanafredda, Gaja, Vietti

Lombardy

Major Grapes: Nebbiolo, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay

Top 3 Wine Producers: Ca' del Bosco, Bellavista, Nino Negri

Liguria

Major Grapes: Vermentino, Pigato, Rossese

Top 3 Wine Producers: Cantine Lunae, Terre Bianche, Durin

North East

Pictured: Trentino-Alto Adige (Santa Maddalena DOC)

Trentino-Alto Adige

Major Grapes: Pinot Grigio, Gewürztraminer, Lagrein

Top 3 Wine Producers: Alois Lageder, Tramin, Hofstätter

Veneto

Major Grapes: Garganega, Corvina, Prosecco (Glera)

Top 3 Wine Producers: Allegrini, Masi, Tommasi

Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Major Grapes: Friulano, Pinot Grigio, Ribolla Gialla

Top 3 Wine Producers: Livio Felluga, Jermann, Schiopetto

Emilia-Romagna

Major Grapes: Lambrusco, Sangiovese, Albana

Top 3 Wine Producers: Cleto Chiarli, Fattoria Monticino Rosso, Podere Cipolla

Central

Pictured: Tuscany (Montalcino DOCG/DOC)

Tuscany

Major Grapes: Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot

Top 3 Wine Producers: Antinori, Marchesi de' Frescobaldi, Tenuta San Guido

Marche

Major Grapes: Verdicchio, Montepulciano, Sangiovese

Top 3 Wine Producers: Umani Ronchi, Garofoli, La Staffa

Umbria

Major Grapes: Sangiovese, Sagrantino, Grechetto

Top 3 Wine Producers: Lungarotti, Arnaldo Caprai, Tabarrini

Lazio

Major Grapes: Malvasia, Trebbiano, Cesanese

Top 3 Wine Producers: Casale del Giglio, Falesco, Marco Carpineti

Abruzzo

Major Grapes: Montepulciano, Trebbiano, Pecorino

Top 3 Wine Producers: Masciarelli, Emidio Pepe, Cataldi Madonna

South

Pictured: Sicily (Mt. Etna DOC)

Molise

Major Grapes: Montepulciano, Aglianico, Trebbiano

Top 3 Wine Producers: Di Majo Norante, Borgo di Colloredo, Cianfagna

Campania

Major Grapes: Aglianico, Fiano, Greco

Top 3 Wine Producers: Mastroberardino, Feudi di San Gregorio, Villa Matilde

Puglia

Major Grapes: Primitivo, Negroamaro, Malvasia Nera

Top 3 Wine Producers: Leone de Castris, Tormaresca, Cantele

Basilicata

Major Grapes: Aglianico, Malvasia, Moscato

Top 3 Wine Producers: Elena Fucci, Cantine del Notaio, Paternoster

Calabria

Major Grapes: Gaglioppo, Greco Bianco, Nerello Cappuccio

Top 3 Wine Producers: Librandi, Statti, Ceraudo

Sicily

Major Grapes: Nero d'Avola, Catarratto, Grillo

Top 3 Wine Producers: Planeta, Donnafugata, Tasca d'Almerita

Sardinia

Major Grapes: Cannonau, Vermentino, Carignano

Top 3 Wine Producers: Argiolas, Sella & Mosca, Cantina di Santadi

Exploring the wine regions of Italy is like embarking on a thrilling journey, where each sip of wine tells a story of the land it comes from. Whether you prefer the bold reds of Tuscany or the crisp whites of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, there is a wine region in Italy that will captivate your taste buds and ignite your sense of adventure. So, grab a glass, raise it high, and toast to the incredible diversity and beauty of Italian wine!

Image source: Getty Images


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