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Italian Wine Scholar Unit 1: The Wines of Northern Italy > Foundation > Flashcards

Flashcards in Foundation Deck (120)
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1

How far back have Vitis Vinifera vines been dated in Italy?

The Quaternary Period (2.5 mya)

2

Which civilization first promoted the development of viticulture and wine in the western Mediterranean?

The Phoenicians

3

Who were the Etruscans?

A winegrowing civilization that developed in Toscana and Umbria before the 8th century BC

4

What wine skills did the Etruscans teach the indigenous tribes of Italy?

How to grow grapes, make wine, and preserve wine.

5

What is alberata?

An Etruscan system of training vines high above ground using trees as supports.

6

How are vines trained in Aversa DOC?

Alberata

7

Where did the Greeks settle in Italy? What name did the Romans give their settlements?

Sicilia, Campania, Calabria, Basilicata, and Puglia, called Magna Graecia by the Romans

8

What did the Greeks call southern Italy?

Oenotria, meaning "the land of vines"

9

Who was the Greek god of wine? Who was the Roman equivalent?

Dionysus to the Greeks, Bacchus to the Romans

10

When did the Roman Republic become the dominant force in Italy?

The 4th century BC

11

In what way did the Roman road network affect the wine industry?

Made Italy a major center for production and trade because goods were easy to transport

12

Where else in Europe did the Romans spread grapevines?

Throughout Spain, the Rhone Valley, Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Mosel, and the Rhine

13

When did Rome lose its political supremacy over Italy?

330 AD, when the capitol of the Roman Empire was moved to Constantinople

14

What happened in 395 AD?

The Roman Empire was split into Eastern and Western Empires

15

How did viticulture and winemaking survive the Dark Ages in Italy?

Monasteries carried on wine production for religious and medical purposes

16

Who were the Lombards?

A Germanic tribe who settled in Italy in 568 AD and controlled most of the north

17

Which territories made up the Papal States?

Lazio, Marche, Umbria, and part of Emilia-Romagna

18

Why was Charlemagne crowned Holy Roman Emperor?

He defended the Papal States against the Lombards and drove them out of Italy

19

Who united the Kingdom of Sicilia? When?

The Normans in 1130

20

What were the communi of the Middle Age?

The kingdoms, duchies, principalities, and small political entities that evolved into city-states

21

Define metayage

An Italian form of sharecropping in which the landowner took half of each year's harvest from the farmer working the land as payment

22

Define signoria

A 14th century system in which wealthy noble families ruled over the communi

23

What made up the "Maritime Republics"?

The city-states of Venezia, Genova, and Pisa

24

Which kingdoms made up Italy by the 15th century?

Savoy, Milano, Venezia, Genova, Firenze, the Papal States, Napoli, Aragon (Spain), and Sicilia

25

What was the Rinascimento?

The Italian Renaissance

26

How did the discovery of the Americas in 1492 affect Italy?

It created an economic crisis by making Mediterranean trade routes less important to global commerce

27

What happened as a result of the winter freeze of 1709?

It destroyed the vineyards of Northern Italy, leading growers to replant with cold-resistant, but lower-quality, varieties

28

When did Barolo, Chianti, and Brunello di Montalcino adopted their contemporary styles?

The 19th century

29

What was the Risorgimento?

A period of political and civil rebirth that began in 1815 and led to Italy's political unification

30

Who began the actual process of unifying Italy?

The Kingdom of Sardegna, by defeating the Hapsburg Austrians in 1859

31

What changes took place in Italy after phylloxera?

Vineyards were replanted with international varieties, and many indigenous varieties were lost forever

32

When was the DOC system adopted?

1963

33

What was the first DOC?

Vernaccia di San Gimignano in 1966

34

Which country is the largest producer of wine in the world?

Italy and France go back and forth

35

When did Italy's "second wine renaissance" begin?

The 1990s

36

What did the EU introduce in 2009?

Regulations to standardize quality levels and labeling of wines with geographical place names

37

What are the tiers of the EU Wine Quality Pyramid?

Designation of Origin (DOP), geographic indication (PGI), generic wine with grape and/or vintage, generic wine

38

What were the tiers of the Italian Wine Quality Pyramid prior to the EU reform in 2009?

DOCG, DOC, IGT, Vini da tavola

39

What are the tiers of the Italian Wine Quality Pyramid since the 2009 EU reform?

DOCG/DOC (PDO), IGT (PGI), vino (comprising both generic designations)

40

What geographic designations do the majority of Italian wines use?

DOCG, DOC, or IGT

41

What are the EU criteria for DOP wines?

Quality wines of distinct regional character grown and made within the DOP's boundaries

42

What distinguishes DOCG wines from DOC wines?

DOCG wines have more stringent production criteria; may include lower yields, higher planting density, higher potential alcohol, higher final alcohol, longer aging requirements

43

In order to be sold as DOCG, how are wines evaluated?

Lab analysis and blind tasting

44

What is a fascetta?

The golden seal on DOCG (blue on DOC) wines that ensures authenticity. Prior to 2011 DOCG seals were purple for reds, green for whites, pink for sparkling

45

How long must an appellation hold DOC status before it can be promoted to DOCG?

10 years

46

How many DOCGs are there in Italy?

74 (as of 2017)

47

What are the requirements of a DOC wine?

Type of wine produced (red, white, etc.), grape varieties, vineyard yields, minimum potential alcohol, final alcohol, minimum period of aging

48

How many DOCs are there in Italy?

334 (as of 2017)

49

What is a sottozona?

More restricted areas within a DOCG or DOC that have special climatic, topographical, or soil conditions, usually requiring more stringent production rules

50

Define classico

A DOCG or DOC sub-zone corresponding to an original or historical production area for a specific wine

51

What does MGA stand for and what is it?

Menzione Geografica Aggiuntiva, a specific delimited vineyard area within a DOCG/DOC analogous to the French "Cru"

52

What are the requirements of an IGT wine?

Middle tier of the quality pyramid defined by geographic indication. May show grape variety and vintage. At least 85% of the fruit must come from the stated region and production must take place there

53

How many IGTs are there in Italy?

118 (as of 2017)

54

What is a disciplinare di produzione?

The legal document containing guidelines and production rules for a DOCG, DOC, or IGT

55

For DOCGs and DOCs, what does the disciplinare di produzione formalize?

Label nomenclature, varieties, geographic boundaries, where vineyards can be planted, viticultural and winemaking requirements, chemical-physical and organoleptic parameters

56

What is a consorzio?

A voluntary association of producers, merchants, and cooperatives belonging to a specific DOCG or DOC

57

What is the purpose of the consorzio?

Protecting, promoting, and developing the reputation and interest of the DOCG/DOC

58

What must be contained on an EU wine label?

Appellation, quality designation, country, vintage, name and location of the bottler, indication of batch, ABV, volume, residual sugar (if sparkling)

59

What countries does Italy border?

Switzerland and Austria to the north, France to the northwest, and Slovenia to the northeast

60

What are the important mountain ranges of Italy?

The Alps and the Apennines

61

How do the Alps affect wine production in Italy?

They block the cold Northern European winds and the humid currents from the Atlantic Ocean, moderating the climate of northern Italy

62

What are the Prealps?

Lower altitude mountains contiguous to the Alps that links the northern Italian plains with the Alps proper

63

The origin of many Italian mountains is...?

Volcanic

64

On what topographical feature are most Italian winegrowing districts found?

Hillsides flanking both sides of the Apennines

65

What are the three main categories of Italian hills?

Sedimentary, Morainic, and Volcanic

66

What are sedimentary hills, and where are they found in Italy?

Hills formed by the uplift of the ancient sea bed, found in Langhe, Monferrato, and Chianti

67

What are Morainic hills, and where are they found in Italy?

Hills formed by Alpine glacial deposits with high gravel and sand content, found parallel to the Prealps and Alps (as in Lake Garda and Franciacorta)

68

What are volcanic hills, and where are they found in Italy?

The remains of ancient, extinct volcanoes, found in Veneto, Toscana, Lazio, Campania, and Sicilia

69

What is Italy's largest plain?

The Padana Plain (or Po Valley), making up 2/3 of Italy's total plains

70

What is Italy's largest river?

The Po

71

The Padana Plain is made up of parts of which regions?

Piemonte, Lombardia, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, and Friuli Venezia Giulia

72

Which seas surround Italy?

The Adriatic in the east, Ionian in the southeast, Tyrrhenian in the southwest, and Ligurian in the northwest

73

Where does the Po River empty?

The Adriatic Sea

74

Which lakes play a role in moderating the cool Alpine climate?

Lake Garda, Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, and Lake Iseo

75

What metric is key to determining the climate of Italian winegrowing areas?

Elevation (not latitude!)

76

What is the unifying feature of Italy's cllimate?

Interplay between elevation and Mediterranean influences - Italy has some of the latest harvests in Europe

77

What is the climate of Northern Italy?

Fully continental in the Padana Plain, with Alpine influence in Alps, with Mediterranean influence in coastal areas

78

What is the climate of Central and Southern Italy?

Warm Mediterranean

79

What special effect does the Tyrrhenian Sea have on Italy's western climate, and why?

It is deeper and larger than the Adriatic, exerting a stronger moderating influence on Western Italy than the Adriatic in the east

80

Why can vineyards be found in moderate climatic conditions even in the south of Italy?

The inland areas of Italy are mountainous, and are therefore cooler due to higher elevations

81

Where in Italy is hail a serious threat?

In the north

82

Define sedimentary rock

Rock formed over a period of time through the accumulation and cementation of sediment of various origins, transported by water, ice, wind, or gravity

83

What are the origins of most sedimentary Italian soils?

Alluvial or marine matter, the formation of mountains, or from glaciers

84

What are the origins of Italy's alluvial soils?

The result of sediment transported by flowing rivers, largely composed of gravels, sand, silt, and clay

85

What is the composition of Italy's marine soils?

Sedimentary limestones, calcareous marls, and dolomite formed by the accumulation of marine fossils and mineral deposits when Italy was covered by the sea

86

Which major Italian wine regions have sedimentary soils?

The Langhe, Valpolicella, Collio, Colli Orientali del Friuli, Conegliano Valdobbiadene, Chianti, and Montalcino

87

Define a moraine

A deposit of sediment (rocks and soil) transported by a glacier. Think of it as a sedimentary mound

88

Which Italian wine regions have moraine soils?

Northern Piemonte, Franciacorta, Valtellina, and the areas around Lake Garda

89

Define metamorphic rock with examples

The result of sedimentary or igneous rock changed by high temperatures and extreme pressure. Schist and gneiss are examples

90

Which Italian wine regions have high metamorphic rock content?

Sardegna, Calabria, northeastern Sicilia, and some areas along the Alps

91

Where in Italy are vineyards cultivated on active volcanoes?

Etna in Sicilia and Vesuvio in Campania

92

Where in Italy are volcanic soils caused by the formation of the Apennines found?

Toscana, Lazio, Basilicata, and Campania

93

Where in Italy are volcanic soils caused by the formation of the Alps found?

Veneto, particularly Lessini, Colli Euganei, and Colli Berici

94

What is a regioni, and how many are there in Italy?

The administrative regions of Italy. There are 20

95

How are regioni divided?

Into smaller provincie (provinces), named for the main city located within the province

96

How are provincie divided?

Into comuni (municipalities)

97

What is significant about the current regional and provincial boundaries of Italy?

They follow the pre-unification territorial borders, and represent major differences in culture, traditions, languages, food, and wine

98

What are the top three countries for area under vine in the world?

Spain, France, Italy

99

What are the viticultural drawbacks of mezzadria?

It incentivizes quantity over quality, disincentivizes limiting yields, and provides no capital for subsistence farmers to invest in advanced equipment or methods

100

When was mezzadria abolished?

The 1960s

101

What high-trained vine systems are descendants of the alberata system?

Pergola and tendone

102

Where is the pergola system used in Italy?

Trentino, Alto Adige, Veneto, and Romagna

103

Why has the tendone system been largely replaced?

It is highly productive

104

What are the broad categories of Italian Vertical Shoot Positioning systems?

Cordone Speronato and Guyot

105

Define cordone speronato

A single spur-pruned, permanent cordon, trained horizontally, suitable for medium-to-poor soils and allowing for mechanized pruning

106

Define Guyot training

One or two new canes are kept every year and trained horizontally, particularly suited for poor, dry, hillside soils

107

Define alberello

Bush-trained vine system found in Sicilia, Sardegna, Puglia, and Valle d'Aosta

108

When were international grape varieties introduced to Italy?

The 19th century

109

What are the three most widely-planted variety in Italy?

Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Catarratto Bianco

110

What is the most widely-planted white variety in Italy?

Catarratto Bianco

111

Is chaptalization allowed in Italy?

No

112

Define arricchimento

Must enrichment by rectified concentrated grape must, permissible in some DOCGs/DOCs

113

Is acid adjustment permitted in Italy?

Yes, but strictly regulated by climate zone

114

High-quality red wine producers still use macerations of what length?

3-4 weeks

115

How were red wines traditionally aged in Italy?

Large Slovenian oak or chestnut botti

116

What Italian white wine production practice was largely abandoned in the 1970s?

Fermentation on the skins

117

How are most Italian sparkling wines produced?

Tank (charmat) method

118

Two examples of Italian traditional method sparkling wines

Franciacorta DOCG and Trento DOC

119

How are most Italian sweet wines produced?

Drying the grapes after harvest (appassimento)

120

How are most Italian rosatos produced?

Direct press or bleeding the tank