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WSET Diploma: Unit 3: Italy > Italy 1 > Flashcards

Flashcards in Italy 1 Deck (317):

What is the maximum pressure allowed for Moscato D' Asti?

17 Atmospheres


What is Carricante?

A white grape used for the white wines on Etna DOC in Sicily


What super Tuscan DOC shares the same territory as Brunello Di Montalcino?

Sant' Antimo DOC


What are the two varieties authorised for Etna Rosso DOC?

Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Capuccino


What is the primary grape of Torgiano Rosso Riserva DOCG



What is the driest style of style of Madiera?



Vitigno (It)

Grape Variety


Millesimato (It)

Sparkling wine with a vintage date


Muso (It)

A holding in a farm or estate


Invecchiato (It)



Imbottigliatto All' Origine (It)

Bottled by producer


Imbottiliato Dal Produttore All' Origine (It)

Bottled by producer at the source (estate bottled)


Imbottigilatto (It)



Governo (It)

Practice of adding dried grapes or concentrated grape must to a wine after fermentation, causing a secondary fermentation to increase body and Flavor


Fattoria (It)

Farm or estate (or a collection of farms and estates)


Ettolitro (It)



Ettato (It)



Classico (It)

The original "heart" of a DOP wine region


Chiaretto (It)



Name the five villages of Barolo...

Castiglione Falletto
Serralunga D' Alba
La Morra
Monforte D' Alba


Cascina (It)

Farmhouse or wine estate


Annata (It)

Vintage Year


Chanti Colline Pisane

Italy, Tuscany
Chianti sub region


Muffa Nobile (It)

Noble Rot


Ossidato (It)



Podere (It)

A small estate


Scelto (It)

Selected, usually late harvested


Uva (It)



Solaio (It)

The loft where the grapes are dried for passito wines


Uva passa (It)

Dried grape, usually for passito wines


Uva secca/ uvetta (It)



Vendemmia (It)

Harvest or vintage


Vigneto (It)



Vinacce (It)



Vite (It)



Which of the following is not from the South of Italy? Aglianico del Vulture, Ciro, Prosecco Di Conegliano, Salice Salentino

Prosecco De Conegliano


What is the most famous white wine of Tuscany?

Vernaccia De San Gimignano


What region produces Frascati?



Which of Italy's regions is known for wines made from Spanna, Arneis and Brachetto?



In which of Italy's regions is one most likely to encounter Treroldego, Muller- Thurgau and Riesling?

Trentino- Alto Adige


Vermentino Di Gallura comes from which of Italy's 29 regions?



What is the name of the Sangiovese clone used to make the rich reds of Montalcino?

Brunello or Sangiovese Grosso


What renowned Umbrian wine is made from Trebbiano and Malvasia?



What is the Italian name for Pinot Noir?

Pinot Nero


How does Vin Santo differ from Vermouth?

Vermouth is an aromatised (Flavors added), Vin santo is maiderised dessert wine/ both can be dry or sweet


Which Italian wine region produces Taurasi?



Chiavennasca is a synonym for?

Nebbiolo, used in Valtellina


Name the red grapes of Valtellina Superiore

Nebbiolo, Valtellina Superiore is now a DOCG zone.


Great vintages in Piedmont?

2006, 2004, 2001, 2000, 1998, 1997, 1996
2006 Classic and Structured, 2005 Horrible, 2004 Balanced with ripe fruit, 2001 Excellent aging potential, 96- 98 classic trio of vintages


What are the 3 grapes of Orivetto?

Dessert Trebbiano, Verdello, Grechetto


What is the main white grape in Etna Bianco?



What is Cannonau and where would you find it?

Grenache, Sardinia


What is the difference between an IGT wine and a Vino De Tavola?

IGT has some laws, VdT cannot use vintage, geographical location or varietal



Business. Azienda Agricole equivalent to domaine. Azienda vinicola may buy in grapes.



Cellar, wine shop or winery


Casa Vinicola?

Equivalent to a French Negotiants









Wine Shop



Farm or wine estate


What is the grape in Vino Nobile de Montepulciano?

Prugnolo (Sangiovese)


What is the grape responsible for Rosso Di Montalcino?



What grapes (besides Sangiovese) were often used in the production of Chianti Classico?

Canaiolo Nero



Farm usually smaller than a Fattoria






Denominazone De Origine Controlata



Denominazione Di Origine Controllata Y Garantita (only 5 wines @ this category)



Indicazione Di Geografica Tipica



Term indicating extended aging before release



Higher category than DOC due to increase alcoholic strength



Hillside Vineyard



Overhead vine training system



Large wooden cask


Luigi Veronelly

Italy's most influential food and wine critic. Championed small producers.


Vino De Meditazione

Wines to complex, sweet or alcoholic to be drunk with food.



Herb flavoured fortified wine.






Sparking wine



Semi sparkling



Base of the main experimental viticultural station in Veneto.


San Michele All Adige

Italian Wine School


The Schiava grape is indigenous to what region of Italy?

Alto Adige/ Sudtirol


Where is the Aversa DOC?



What does Abboccato mean on an Italian wine label?

Semi- dry


What is the premier subzone of Colli Orientali Del Fruli Picolit?



Where is the Ajaccio AOP located?



Who produces unico?

Vega Sicilia


What is the principal red grape for Ajeccio AOP?



What was the first white wine in Italy to acquire DOCG status?

Albana Di Romagna (1987)


The Schiava grape is indigenous to what region of Italy?

Alto Adige/ Sudtirol


What is the Italian term for noble rot?



What DOCGs in Veneto produce sparkling wines?

Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco, Colli Asolani, Recioto Di Gambellara, Recioto Di Soave, Recioto Della Valpolicella, Colli Euganei Flor D' Arancio


What are the four original villages of Chianti Classico?

Castellina, Radda, Gaiole, Greve


What two communes constitute Soave's Classico zone?

Soave and Monteforte Alpone


What is the only DOCG of Abruzzo?

Montepulciano d' Abruzzo Di Colline Teramame


Where are the DOCs of Fara and Faro respectively?

Fara DOC is in Piemonte, Faro DOC is in Sicily


What is the classification of Sicily? And what does this mean to the region.

IGT Sicilia, the region can experiment with bringing international varieties to the region.


Where in Italy is Franciacorta DOCG located?



What is Taurasi flavor profile?

Blackberry, and black cherry and overly floral, goes well with new oak.


What's the key region in Lazio?

Frascati DOC


What grape variety is synonymous with its region of Marche?



What is the only white wine does DOG in Tuscany?

Vernaccia Di San Grimignano


What Bardolino Chiaretto DOC?

It's home to one of Italy's finest rose


What region is Italy's largest wine producing?



What is Italy's most northerly region?

Trentino- Alto- Adige


What grape variety is used in Roero Arneis DOCG?



Is Nebbiolo a thick or thin skinned grape?



Is Nebbiolo an early or late ripening grape?



What does Piemonte literally mean?

"Foot of the mountains"


What does DOCG wine law stipulate?

All wine must meet DOC regulations as well as bottled in the region of production and subject to ministry of agriculture tasting.


What 2 grapes are used for Salice and Copertino DOC wines in the Puglia region?

Malvasia Nera


What grape is used for Frascati DOC wines?



Name one local white varietal used for Trentino DOC wines the local black varietal there is Teroldego.

Pinot Grigio


What does the label term "amabile" mean and what country is used in?

Medium- sweet


What region is Aglianico Del Vulture in?

Basilicata Region


Where are Salice Salentino and Copertino located?



Taurasi, Greco Di Tufo?



What region is Frascati in?

Latium Region


In what region and country are Montepulciano D' Abruzzo and Trebbiano D' Abruzzo?

Abruzzo Region


What region is Orvieto in?



What region are Conero and Verdiccio De Castelli located in?

Marche Region


Bolgheri, Brunello Di Montalcino, Chianti, Vernaccia Di San Gimignano, Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano, Toscana IGT?

Tuscany Region, Italy


In what region and what country are Barolo, Barabaresco, Barbera D' Asti, Dolcetto D' Alba, Gavi located in?

Piedmont Region, Italy


Italy: Grapegrowing Characteristics- What is characteristic about vine training in the North, - What characteristic about vine training in the South?

High trained vines in the North, low trained, high density planting in the South


Italy: White Grape Varieties, Name 3 of the 5 local varieties, name 1 of the 2 international varietals

Local: Trebbiano, Malvasia, Verdiccio, Garganega, Cortese
Intl: Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio


Black Grape varieties name 4 of the 8 local varieties.
Name 2 of the 4 international varietals.

Local: Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Barbera, Dolcetto, Corvina, Montepulciano, Aglianico
International: Cab Sav, Cab Franc, Merlot, Pinot Noir


Climate,Weather and Soils

Climate: Meditteranean, Cooler in North, Hot in Sth
Weather: Variable weather giving annual vintages in Nth
Soils: Variable. Most of country is hilly or mountainous, and most of the best v/yards are on slopes.


Name the grape of Apulia that had a US connection

Primitivo (Zinfandel)


What grape is used in Sardinia?



Where is Montefalco from?



Where is Vernaccia from?



Where is Orvieto made and which varietals make it?

Trebbiano, Malvasia and Verdelho


What is the DOCG is Sardinia?

Vermentino De Gallura


Where are the DOCGs Taurasi and Greco Di Tufo located?



Where is Bardolino from?

Veneto, Italy


Where is Valpolicella made?

Veneto, Italy


Where does Soave come from?

Veneto, Italy


Where is the DOCG Greco Di Tufo located and what grape makes it?



What grape makes Valpolicella?



Piemonte is the most important region for which fortified wine?
What are the main centres of production?

Turin, Canelli and Asti in Italy


What is Barbaresco?

- Barolo's sister wine, it is DOCG
- Though the wines may lack some body and concentration of Barolo
- Lesser minimum aging requirements
- Prices are similar to Barolo
- some producers release special bottlings (sometimes specifying an individual v/yard site)- these top bottlings are among the most expensive and highly sought after in the world


What is Refosco (Friuli Grave)?

Is a red, acidic wine, with red berry flavors and rather harsh tannins that can develop into melon plum and bitter chocolate with age.


What is Italy's most northerly region?

Trentino- Alto Adige


What is the most famous white grape of Piemonte?



Describe the white wines of Frulli Grave.

The White wines from the hills have the highest reputation. Single varieties are made, but the best wines are often blends. Crisp fruitiness from the climate and depth of Flavor from cask aging.


Describe modern Amarones

Many producers are now aiming for purer cherry fruit style, still with the classic full body, seemingly sweet on the palate yet with a long bitter finish.


What is the second best selling DOC wine in Italy after Chianti?

Soave DOC. Wine that doesn't offend anyone because it is non descript. Now quality has improved considerably elevating it to DOCG for Superiore. Main grape is Garganega, which as delicate flavors of almonds and some acidity, and when yields are low, can display floral notes and grape you fruit, can be blended with Trebbiano Di Soave or Chardonnay.


Describe old fashioned style Amarones.

Wild, uncompromising port- like wines with high alcohol, 14- 15% ABV and many strange aromas chocolate, dark rum, leather


What is the second most important red DOC of Italy as far as quality is concerned?

Valpolicella DOC


What are the key wines produced in the region of Trentino- Alto Adige?

Alto Adige- Schiava, Lagrein: Reds, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, other whites
Trentino- Pinot Grigio-White, Treoldego- Red


What are the key white wines produced in Piemonte, varietals and their classifications?

Gavi DOCG (Cortese)


What is the climate of Piemonte?

The climate is severe in the winter, but there is a long ripening season in the summer and into the Autumn, where fogs are frequent.


Where do the best Dolcettos come from?



How is Barolo aged?

Traditionally, Barolo is aged for long periods in large oak casks (a minimum of 2 yrs, plus a further one in bottle, to have the designation).
Modernists are now moving towards aging in barriques because of high tannin, acidity and alcohol= these benefit with further age in the bottle


What is Barolo?

- It is DOCG
- It is made solely from the Nebiolo grape and considered by many to be the finest of all Italian wines
- it takes its name from the village s/west of Alba
- the wines have great concentration of fruit and flavour with high tannin, acidity and alcohol


What are characteristics of a mature Barolo?

These wines show very complex aromas, ranging from floral (rose/ violet) through strawberry fruit to notes of mushroom, autumn leaves, tar and leather


What are the most important regions in Italy in the international market?

Piedmont, Trentino- Alto Adige, Fruli- Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Emilia- Romagna, Tuscany, Marche, Umbria, Latium, Abruzzo, Campania, Apulia, Basilicata, Sicily


How many wine regions are there in Italy?



Which region has the largest area under vines in Italy?



Which varietal(s) are used to produce Sagrantino Di Montefalco?



What are the two white wine producing DOCGs of Campania and which varietal(s) are used to produce each?

Fiano De Avellino DOCG- Fiano
Greco Di Tufo DOCG- Greco


What is Sardinia's only DOCG and which varietals are used to produce it?

Vermentino Di Gallura is produced from Vermentino


What is Sicily's only DOCG and which varietals are used to produce it?

Cerasuolo Di Vittoria DOCG is produced from Nero D' Avola and Frappato


Where is Primitivo DOC located?



What is the most important DOCG for red wine on Campania and what is the varietal used to produce it?

Taurasi DOCG is made from the Aglianico grape


What is the only DOCG of Abruzzo and what is the varietal used to produce it?

Montepulciano D' Abruzzo
Colline Termane DOCG
Montepulciano is the varietal


Where is Rosso Conero DOCG located and what is the varietal used to produce it?

The Marche and Montepulciano


How long does Torgiano Rosso Riserva DOCG need to be aged before it can be sold as such?

3 yrs


Name the two DOCGs of Umbria

Sagrantino Di Montefalco DOCG
Torgiano Rosso Riserva DOCG


Where is Orvieto located and which varietals are used for its production?

Located in Umbria
50% min. Trebbiano with Malvasia and Verdelho


What does Abbocato mean?

Semi- sweet


What are the varietals used to produce Morellino Di Scansano DOCG?

100% Sangiovese


What are the varietals used to produce Carmignano DOCG?

Canaiolo Nero
Other Varietals


Sant Antimo DOC

This DOC was an attempt to classify all of the vineyards around Montalcino that were making so called super- Tuscan wines.


What is the name of the DOC used to being in Sassicaia?

Bolgheri DOC


What was the 1st wine to receive DOCG status?

Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano


What is the varietal used in Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano?

Prugnolo Gentile


How long is Brunello Di Montalcino aged before release?

5 yrs


Name 3 subzone of Chianti?

Chianti Colli Aretini, Chianti Colli Fiorentini, Chianti Colli Sensesi, Chianti Montalbano, Chianti Rufina, Chianti Montispertoli


Name the 6 DOCGs of Tuscany

Brunello Di Montalcino DOCG, Carmignano DOCG, Chianti DOCG, Chianti Classico DOCG, Vernaccia Di San Gimignano DOCG, Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano DOCG


What was the first white wine to be granted DOCG status?

Albana Di Romagna


What was the DOCGs in Friuli- Venezia- Giullia and their styles?

Colli Orentali Del Friuli Picolit DOCG- sweet wine made from Picolit

Ramandolo DOCG- sweet wine made from Passito Friulano grapes


What are two outstanding DOC zones in Friuli- Venezia- Guilia?

Colli Orientali Del Frulli DOC
Collio DOC


What is the Ripasso method?

Process of adding standard Valpolicella to the lees left from a Recioto ferment and allowing a second ferment to take place


What are Passito grapes?

Dried grapes


What's the sparkling wine of the Veneto?



What are the varietals used to produce Amarone Della Valpolicella DOC?

Corvina with Rondinella making up the rest of the blend


What are the varietals used to produce Soave Superiore DOCG?



Name 4 important DOC/Gs of the Veneto

Bardolino Superiore DOCG
Amarone Della Valpolicella DOC
Recioto Di Soave DOCG
Soave Superiore DOCG


What kind of wine is produced in Oltrepo Pavese DOCG?

Dry reds from Pinot Nero


Name 2 subregions of Valtellina Superiore DOCG



What kind of wine is produced in Valtellina Superiore DOCG?

Red wines made from a minimum of 90% Nebbiolo


What are the grapes used to produce Franciacorta?

Pinot Bianco
Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir)


Name the important DOCGs of Lomardy

Franciacorta DOCG
Valtellina Superiore DOCG
Oltrepo Pavese DOCG


Name at least 2 major sub regions of Barolo

La Morra
Serralunga D' Alba
Castiglione- Falleto
Monforte D'alba


Name 2 communes of Barbaresco



Name the DOCGs of Piedmont

Barolo DOCG, Barbaresco DOCG, Ghemme DOCG, Gattinara DOCG, Dolcetto Di Dogliani Superiore DOCG, Roero DOCG, Asti DOCG, Moscato D' Asti DOCG, Cortese Di Gavi DOCG


What is Marsala?

A fortified wine from Sicily


What is the red grape of Piedmont sparkling wine?



Name one of the two DOCGs of marches

Vernaccia Di Serrpatronna and Conero


What are the 3 DOCGs of Campania?

Taurasi, Greco Di Tufo, Fiano Di Aveliano


Which Tuscan DOCG produces sweet red wine from dried grapes

Elba Aleatico Passito and Aleatico Passito Dell' Elba DOCG


What is vin santo?

A sweet Passito, oxidised wine from Trentino or Tuscany


What is the Italian equivalent of the French Vin De Table?

Vino Di Tavola


Which Tuscan DOC is famous for its Bordeaux- style blends?



What is the most widely planted red varietal in Italy?



What is the main grape in Taurasi?



Name 3 grapes used in the production of Valpolicella



Torgiano DOC

Italy, Umbria
Reds similar to Chianti
Whites similar to Orvieto


Orvieto DOC

Italy, Umbria
Sometimes sweet or semi- sweet, modern wines are commonly dry.
Minimum 50% Trebbiano, with Malvasia Verdehlo, Grechetto, Druppegio


Vernaccia De San Gimignano DOCG

Italy, Tuscany
White from Vernaccia and up to 10% Chardonnay


Terre Di Francicorta DOC

Italy, Lombardia
Still Reds and Whites from Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and Pinot Nero


Franciacorta DOCG

Italy, Lombardia
Rose and White Sparkling from Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Nero in the traditional method
Non- vintage must be aged for 18 months. Vintage for 37 months.


Roero DOCG

Italy, Piemonte
Red from Nebbiolo. White and Sparkling from Arneis


Ghemme DOCG

Italy, Piedmonte
Reds from 75% Nebbiolo with Bondarda and Vespolina
Aged 3 yrs in wood and 1 yr in bottle


Gattinara DOCG

Italy, Piedmonte
Reds from Nebbiolo with up to 10% Uva Rara (Bordarda).
Must be aged for 3 yrs, 2 of which are in wood (1 more yr in wood for reserva)


Cortese Di Gavi DOCG

Italy, Piemonte
Still, frizzante, or sparkling dry whites from Cortese.
Can be called Gavi de Gavi if from the commune of Gavi


Soave DOC

Italy, Veneto
Dry whites from Garganega, Chardonnay and Trebbiano Di Soave


Brachetto D'Acqui DOCG

Italy, Piedmonte
Light alcoholic, frizzante red from Brachetto


Barbera Del Monferrato DOC

Italy, Piedmonte
Reds from 100% Barbera.
Can be called Superiore after 3 yrs in wood


Barbera D' Alba DOC

Italy, Piedmonte
Reds from 100% Barbera
After 3 yrs in wood, it can be called Superiore


Barbera D' Asti DOC

Italy, Piemonte
Reds from 100% Barbera
Can be called Superiore after 3 years in wood


Barolo DOCG

Italy, Piedmonte
Reds from 100% Nebbiolo
Aged 3 yrs, 1 bottle (4 yrs total for Reserva)
The masculine to Barbaresco's Feminine


Barbaresco DOCG

Italy, Piedmonte
Reds from 100% Nebbiolo
Aged 2 yrs, 1 yr must be in Oak or Chestnut (4 yrs total for Reserva)
The feminine to Barolo's masculine


Lambrusco DOC

Italy, Emilia Romagna
Mostly Red or Rose Sparkling wine that may be dry or sweet


Bolgheri DOC

Italy, Tuscany
First sub- appellations DOC to be created to include a producer (Sassicaia)


Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano DOCG

Italy, Tuscany
Reds from 80% Prugnolo (A Sangiovese clone) with Mammolo, Trebbiano, Malvasia. Must spend 2 yrs in wood, 3 for Reserva


Brunello Di Montalcino DOCG

Italy, Tuscany
Reds from the Brunello clone of Sangiovese
Must be aged 5 yrs (2 years in wood), 6 yrs for Reserva


Chianti Colli Fiorentini

Italy, Tuscany
Chianti sub region


Chianti Rufina

Italy, Tuscany
Chianti sub region


Chianti Montespertoli

Italy, Tuscany
Chianti sub region


Chianti Montalbano

Italy, Tuscany
Chianti sub region


Chianti Colli Senesi

Italy, Tuscany
Chianti subregion


Chianti Colli Aretini

Italy, Chianti
Chianti sub region


Chianti DOCG

Italy, Chianti
Reds from a minimum of 75% Sangiovese a maximum 10% Canaiolo Nero, Cab Sav, Trebbiano, Toscano, Malvasia Del Chianti.
Released March 1st (if aged additional 26 months, can be called Riserva)


Albana Di Romagna DOCG

Italy, Emilia Romagna
Whites from Albana- can be dry, off dry, or sweet
Best are made from Passito, Botryitised grapes



Term from the Veneto
Adding standard table wine to the skins from previously fermented Recioto and allowing fermentation to take place (increases strength of flavour and alc %)


Recioto Della Valpolicella DOC

Italy, Veneto
Grapes are dried as for Amarone (about 3 months) but are made into a sweet wine


Amarone Della Valpolicella DOCG

Italy, Veneto
Corvina, Rodinella, Molinara grapes that have been dried for 3 mths.
Fermented to dryness.


Valpolicella DOC

Italy, Veneto
Blend of corvina, Rodinella, Molinara.
Best are from the Classico area.


Torcocato Breganze DOC

Italy, Veneto
Sweet wines from Passito grapes.
85% Vespaiolo, 10% Tocai, 5% Garganega
Aged in small oak barrels


Recioto Di Soave DOCG

Italy, Veneto
Sweet wine from Garganega, Chardonnay and Trebbiano Di Soave- the grape have been dried and can be botryitised.


Soave Superiore DOCG

Italy, Veneto
Dry whites from Garganega, Chardonnay and Trebbiano Di Soave.
Must be aged for 6 months.


What is Torcolato?

Dessert wine from Breganze, Italy, Vincenze


The wine classifications of Italy are?

- Denominazione Di Origine Controllata e Garatita (DOCG)
- Denominazione Di Origine Controlata (DOC)
- Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT)
- Vino De Tavola (table wine)


What are the major grapes of Piedmont?

Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto and Moscato Bianco (Muscat e Petits Grains)


Dry Italian wine is called....



What is the soil type of La Morra?

Tortanian Soils


What is the soil type of Barolo?

Tortanian Soils


How long must Barolo be aged?

38 Months, 18 Months in oak


How long must Barolo Riserva be aged?

62 Months


What is the terrain/ soil of Piedmont?

Calcareous Marl, Sandstone Soils, Clay and Sand Sub Mountain Terrain, Tortanian Soils



Old, well-connected grape variety which makes deep-coloured, seriously lively, fruity wines named Teroldego Rotaliano because they are made almost exclusively in the Rotaliano plain in trentino, north-east Italy, with suitable tannins for relatively early drinking. Wine made from this variety is rather prone to reduction. Teroldego was traditionally trained on pergolas, but from 1985 Elisabetta Foradori initiated a qualitative revolution by introducing mass selection and guyot vine training in Trentino. Foradori’s Granato became the benchmark for classic, age-worthy Teroldego. The variety was known in the Rotaliano plain as early as the 15th century, and dna profiling at san michele all’adige has shown a parent-offspring relationship with lagrein from Alto Adige and that the variety is quite closely related, through dureza, to Syrah. Total plantings in Italy in 2010 were 796 ha/1,967 acres.



Italian for a business. An azienda agricola is a farm, the equivalent of a French domaine, and the phrase should appear on a wine label only if the grapes were grown and the wine produced on that estate; an azienda vinicola, on the other hand, may buy in grapes from elsewhere, while an azienda vitivinicola combines both activities.



Italian for a cellar, a wine shop (although the word enoteca is much more common), and a winery. A cantina sociale is a co-operative winery.


Biondi- Santi

Family synonymous with and, in 1865, responsible for the production of the first wine ever to be labelled brunello di montalcino. Before that time Montalcino’s fame was based solely on a sweet, often sparkling white based on the moscadello grape, until Ferruccio Biondi-Santi isolated a particular type of Sangiovese on his Il Greppo estate using mass selection with better resistance to oïdium than Moscadello. It was subsequently called Sangiovese Grosso and officially registered as BBS 11. Ferruccio also increased vine density and lowered yields, while eliminating the white grapes that were routinely blended with Sangiovese then. Tancredi, Ferruccio’s son, is credited with founding the first Montalcino co-operative during the crisis years of the 1920s, while focusing on exporting the Bondi-Santi wines. He was soon joined by his son, Franco, who committed himself firmly to Il Greppo’s traditional methods which, during the 1980s and 1990s, were challenged by a new generation of Brunello producers preferring to make a more concentrated, richer, and more internationally accessible style by harvesting ultra-ripe grapes, using shorter maceration time, and ageing the wines in French barriques. This modernist approach, which received glowing reviews from the-then all-powerful Italian wine guides, was especially successful in the US but made the Biondi-Santi style look outdated and light. However, in 2008 during the scandal described in brunello di montalcino, Biondi-Santi rose as the natural defender of Brunello, and was subsequently joined by a majority of the region’s growers and wine producers who together prevented the proposed change in production rules to allow international varieties into Brunello di Montalcino. With the taste for rich, extracted wines on the wane, and a growing international appetite for more locally authentic, terroir-driven wines, Biondi-Santi’s future looks promising, and is in the hands of Jacopo Biondi Santi who took over the reins of Il Greppo on the death of his father Franco in 2013.


Italy- History

Impressive history, vines planted as early as 800 BC. Romans first to produce wine for ageing, by covering it in amphorae jar with a layer of olive oil. Italian wine was prized and the Greeks named the country Oenotria. Italian wine production has been very traditional, not changing particularly through time, so it has been in the past 40 years that Italy has come to the forefront of quality again. The Denomination di Origine Controlata (DOC) was put in place in 1963 to control quality and production. Many producers are small holders who are innately conservative. Local market is undemanding so little incentive to increase quality. However, a natural part of the italian character is creativity, leading to the creation of small numbers of very high quality wines with limited availability and highly sought after.


Wine Laws- Italy

Over 1000 wines produced in over 300 different recognised geographical locations. Rule and regulations very strict for each individual region, many best wines not classified as they fall outside regulations.


Vino de Tavola

Basic wine, declining in importance. Must not state the geographical source, variety or vintage on the label. Mostly produced in the south of Italy and on Sicily


Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT)

New classification introduced in 1992. Equivalent to French Vin de Pays, incorporates wines made from varieties and techniques not traditional to area of production.


Denominazione di Origine Controlata (DOC)

Similar to French appellation controlee. Specified zone of production, varieties, yields, techniques, wine styles, etc. Over 300 individual DOCs. Often extends much other than the original area. Classico added to the end of the DOC to indicate the historic and often best production site (e.g. Chianti Classico)


Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG)

Meets all requirements of DOC and bottled in region of production, must undergo a Ministry of Agriculture tasting. 36 wines of DOCG status. Commonly seen as Asti, Moscato d' Asti, Barbaresco, Barolo, Brunelli di Montalcino, Chianti and Vino Noble di Montepulciano.



Italian term appended to the names of various doc or docg wines to indicate that they have been produced in the historic zone, the zone which, at least in theory, offers the ideal conditions of soil and climate and which gave the wine its name. The name of the wine without the adjective Classico is usually applied to a significant expansion of the original production zone into areas which generally, but not always, cultivate the same grape varieties but in different, and usually less satisfactory, conditions, frequently with more lenient production requirements. The origins of this practice, which occurred well before the establishment of the DOC system in the 1960s, and has often been driven by economic motives, lie in the regulation of the use of the name chianti established by the Dalmasso Commission in the 1930s (see chianti classico). This precedent was widely followed as the various DOCs came into being between 1963, when the law regulating the demarcation of Italy’s wine regions was passed, and 1975, since when a significant number of Italy’s historically important wines are now produced in both a Classico and a regular version. These include bardolino, caldaro, chianti, cirò, Colli bolognesi, Pignoletto, Garda, orvieto, santa maddalena, soave, terlano, valpolicella, and verdicchio. The practice, not dissimilar to the creation of Germany’s notorious grosslagen, reflects a permanent tension in Italy’s DOC system itself. Often the most quality-conscious producers keen for promotion to docg status lobby for it to be restricted to the original Classico zone, but find themselves opposed by big companies with holdings throughout the enlarged zone.



Italian word for a consortium or association, of wine-growers, négociants, and co-operatives representing the interests of a single wine region or DOC/DOCG. However, since the 2008 reforms of the eu wine market, the Consorzio role has changed drastically. quality control, which used to be the Consorzio’s concern, is now in the hands of a neutral third party and Consorzios are now concerned nore with promotion and marketing, while several have added to this the ambitious task of routing counterfeit wines in the international market. If at least 60% of production is controlled by Consorzio members, a mandatory levy can be imposed on any producer wishing to use the relevant DOC or DOCG name on labels, regardless of whether they are a member or not. Its counterpart in France is the comité interprofessionnel; in Spain the consejo regulador.


Luigi Veronelli

Italy’s most influential food and wine critic from 1956, when he founded the magazine Il Gastronomo and began to collaborate with Italy’s major daily newspapers, news weeklies, and the national television network RAI-TV, until his death. orn into an affluent cosmopolitan Milanese family, Veronelli was an unabashed Francophile and a frank admirer of the French appellation contrôlée system, in particular of its designated crus, a classification which he attempted to apply to Italian vineyards and their products in his many books on his country’s wines. Veronelli long championed the cause of the small peasant proprietor and was a particularly bitter opponent of Italy’s doc systems, which he considered rigged in favour of the country’s large commercial wineries. His campaigns against the DOC system earned him a period of banishment from Italian television in the 1970s and 1980s. A trip to California in the early 1980s turned him into a promulgator of the barrique, then almost unknown in Italy, and his writing was extremely influential in spreading the use of small oak barrels in Italy. For many years Veronelli represented the only possible means of obtaining commercial recognition and visibility for Italy’s small producers and he can be credited with the discovery and identification of many of the country’s better producers, a role which won him a group of devoted friends and an equally large group of sworn enemies.



Italian term for Dried-Grape Wine.



Herb-flavoured fortified wine available in many different styles and qualities but usually a much more industrial product than wine. The Romans certainly made herb-flavoured wines, and the Greeks before them used a wide range of additives often using wormwood or artemesia absinthum, which was thought to have curative powers for gastric ills. Such flavoured wines were strictly of local minority interest until the 16th century when a Piemontese, d’Alessio, began to market a medicinal wine similar to those he had noted in Bavaria flavoured with wormwood, there called Wermuth. The medicine, which enjoyed a certain success in French royal circles, subsequently became known as vermutwein and, in Anglicized form, vermouth. The diarist Samuel Pepys noted ‘a glass of wormwood wine’ without the comment it would have elicited had it been anything other than commonplace in late-17th-century London. Modern large-scale vermouth production dates from 18th-century piemonte, close to the Alps which could supply the necessary herbs. Brands such as Cinzano, Martini, and the French Noilly Prat threw off any pretence at curative powers during the cocktail age and were particularly popular in the early and mid 20th century. So many herbs and spices are now used to flavour fortified wines that the definition of vermouth is necessarily elastic. The more classic version is the almost dry, bitter drink with the strong aroma of wormwood and other bitter herbs. The Italian Punt e Mes is one of the better-known examples. But the more popular version by far is sweeter, about 17% alcohol, and more vaguely herbal. Such vermouths are traditionally known as Italian if red and sweet and French if gold and drier, although most styles are made wherever vermouth is produced. France’s most delicately alpine vermouth is chambéry, while the vermouth most closely linked to fine wine is Lillet of Bordeaux, for long owned by the Borie family of the st-julien property Ch Ducru-Beaucaillou. With the exception of Barolo Chinato, based on the bark of the cinchona tree macerated in barolo wine, the modern vermouth industry has never sought fine wine as its base and has been a useful outlet for some of the European wine lake, absorbing millions of litres of basic table wine from the south of Italy and France. The alcohol used for fortification came from much the same source until the eu abandoned its policy of compulsory distillation. Traditionally vermouths were flavoured by infusion of ‘botanicals’, herbs, peels, and spices gathered from the wild. Modern vermouth is more likely to be flavoured by the addition of a concentrate designed for consistency to match an imagined ideal blend of botanicals. After sweetening, usually with mistela, and fortification, most modern vermouth is chilled for tartrate stabilization and subjected to pasteurization and filtration.



Italian word for a large wooden cask, presumably from the same root as butt. The plural is botti.


Denominazione di Origine Controllata

Italy’s pdo denomination has had a chequered history. Italian wine was first regulated systematically in 1963 in an effort to bring Italy’s wine laws into line with fellow eu founding nation France. A few of Italy’s most famous wines had already been given legal recognition and protection in the 1930s but this new system was designed to be much more comprehensive and modelled on France’s appellation contrôlée. This meant that individual production zones were delimited; permitted vine varieties specified, often with specific percentages; levels of alcohol, total acidity, and extract were established; and limits, often very generously, placed on yields. Viticultural and winemaking practices were regulated, albeit often in the haziest of terms: ‘in conformity with existing practices’ or ‘so as to not change the nature of the wine’ are frequent phrases in the rules of individual DOCs. As in the case of the French archetype, this new system was set up to protect wine regions against counterfeit products and imitations, but has often seemed more concerned with enshrining in law existing practice than in optimizing quality in wine. Towards the end of the 1970s, ambitious producers, particularly those in the chianti classico zone, became disillusioned with DOC rules which required them to include white wine grapes in their red wines and began to label their best wines with the lowest category vino da tavola (see supertuscans). See also DOCG, a category designed to be superior to DOC. In an attempt to correct this confusing situation, the DOC system was overhauled in 1992. Its main innovation was to introduce the principle of territorial subdivision by allowing larger DOC zones to be broken down into subzones, townships, hamlets, microzones, individual estates, and vineyards, and to give the entire structure a vertical and hierarchical basis; the smaller the geographical unit, the stricter the production limits and criteria. Producers wishing to use a single-vineyard name for their DOC and DOCG wines had to register their vineyard and define its extent with the authorities, a reform aimed at curbing the multiplication of invented single-vineyard names (following the Italian fashion for individual crus) with no real territorial basis. (See Barolo for consideration of this phenomenon.) While many of these reforms were sensible and well-intentioned, the excessively generous yields of most DOCs were rarely curbed. Recently the old lack of flexibility in permitted grape varieties has been reversed so that many DOC regulations have been opened up to allow a broad range of grape varieties, almost always including international varieties. Perversely, this has altered some of Italy’s most distinctive wines beyond recognition (see the very different cases of cirò and brunello di montalcino, for example). This liberalization and globalization comes at a time when interest in indigenous varieties and authentic, terroir-driven Italian wine has never been greater. In the past the failure of the DOC system was evidenced by the fact that by the 1990s DOC wine represented only a third of the potential production of vineyards designated DOC. In 2011, while Italian wine production as a whole had declined thanks to falling bulk wine prices, a continuous decrease in wine consumption in Italy, and the EU’s abolition of compulsory distillation, 35% of all Italian wine was DOC, even if a mere ten names accounted for more than half of it. prosecco (1.3 million hl), asti (790,000 hl), and montepulciano d’abruzzo (959,000 hl) contributed the lion’s share. Veneto, Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Abruzzo, and Trentino-Alto Adige produced 75% of Italy’s total DOC production. In 2014 there were 330 DOCs, 118 IGTs, and 73 DOCG wines. The introduction of the EU reforms to the common market organisation (CMO) for wine, which came into force in 2008, required all EU member states to register all of their denominations in an official list by the end of 2011, with any elevations or additions of wine regions after that date to be approved by the EU rather than just by individual member states. This prompted Italy to rush to create and elevate DOCs by the dozen and resulted in some that exist on paper only, or have been created purely out of commercial opportunism, such as DOCs venezia and roma.



Important late-20th-century phenomenon in rural Italy whereby unused or under-used farm buildings, a significant proportion of them on wine farms, are converted, typically with state aid, for tourist accommodation, thereby exposing many thousands of visitors each year to the practicalities of wine production. Spain has seen a similar enoturismo initiative.


Casa Vinicola

Or azienda vinicola, on the label of an Italian wine indicates a producer who buys in grapes or wine, like a French négociant.



Italian for a farm, also used for a wine estate. A fattoria is generally bigger than a podere, which is often a small farm carved out of a larger property and designed to be just large enough to support a sharecropper/tenant and his family.



Italian for a farm, usually smaller than a fattoria and usually a subdivision of a fattoria. The word stems from potere, meaning ‘to be able to’ and indicating that the size of the holding was sufficient for one sharecropping family.



Italian word for an agricultural holding, estate, or farm, usually larger than, for example, a podere.



Stands for Indicazione Geografica Tipica, corresponding to the eu denomination pgi. Either IGT or IGP (the Italian version of PGI) may appear on labels. This category of wines was created in italy by law 164 in 1992 as an approximate equivalent of the French vin de pays. It officially enabled producers to give more information on the labels of their myriad esteemed, and often extremely expensive, wines then selling as a vino da tavola. IGT was created as the basis of a quality pyramid with doc in the middle and docg at the top. Many producers are unable or unwilling to opt for any denomination higher than IGT, either because they produce wines from vine varieties and/or use winemaking techniques not permitted by the local DOC regulations, or because the quality control system, which must establish a wine’s typicality, is unable or unwilling to adapt to changes in viticulture and winemaking. Wines produced and bottled without sulfur dioxide, unfiltered wines, and skin-fermented white wines fall victim to this. Particularly popular IGTs include delle Venezie, Puglia, Terre Siciliane, Toscana, and Veneto.


Vino da Tavola

Italian for table wine, was the official eu category denoting the lowest of the vinous low until 2009 when it was replaced with vino. It also played a key role in the transformation of Italian wines in the late 20th century. Historically the great majority of each Italian wine harvest qualified as basic Vino da Tavola, but the designation was for a period worn as a badge of honour by some of the finest, and most expensive, wines produced in Italy but that did not conform to the doc laws of the time. These new vini da tavola were born in 1974 with the commercial debut of tignanello and sassicaia, both marketed by the Florentine house of antinori. Although the wines were produced in different geographical zones (chianti classico and bolgheri respectively) and from different grape varieties (a predominance of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon respectively), they shared four significant characteristics that were to mark the evolution of this category of wines. They both represented an attempt to give more body, intensity, and longevity to Tuscan red wines, which had become lean and attenuated. Unlike the prevailing Tuscan red wine norm, these blends excluded white grapes. Non-traditional, non-Italian varieties were used in both blends (from 1975 when Tignanello substituted Cabernet Sauvignon for the native canaiolo). And, in a move that was to delight French coopers, small oak barrels, principally of French origin, were used for the barrel maturation of both wines. This latter innovation was a radical break with the traditional practice of using large casks of Slavonian oak, and marked a general movement towards an international style. The move was not welcomed by all in the domestic market and forced Antinori to seek a wider international public for the wines. The vini da tavola were born out of frustration with the DOC laws that came into practice in the late 1960s. These laws enshrined the practices of low quality and high quantity that prevailed in Italy in the post-war years, so producers trying to pursue a quality route found their way blocked by absurd laws. In Chianti, for instance, producers were compelled by DOC laws to add at least 10% white grapes to their blend. Any producer wishing to produce a superior red wine had to ignore this stipulation. Rather than do battle, they stepped outside the legal framework at the urging of Italian wine journalist Luigi veronelli, a vehement opponent of the mediocrity of the DOC laws. International varieties were enthusiastically planted and other Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines began to appear in the image of Sassicaia, particularly after the mid-1980s. The native Sangiovese grape was hardly neglected, however, and a substantial number of barrique-aged, 100% Sangiovese wines were also launched, as vini da tavola, in the 1980s, following in the path of Montevertine’s Le Pergole Torte whose first vintage was 1977. Experiments with earlier maturing varieties syrah and, with notable success, merlot became increasingly common in the late 1980s, both for blending with Sangiovese and for varietal wines. Some non-traditional white varieties were also planted, notably chardonnay and sauvignon blanc, and various oak treatments essayed with variable success. Sassicaia was a pioneering wine, not only in its use of Cabernet but also in its revaluation of a zone never known for producing fine or even commercial wine. When first offered commercially, Sassicaia had to be sold as a Vino da Tavola, not because, as with Tignanello, it eschewed the legal constraints of the area, but because there was no DOC for bolgheri reds at the time. Its example was rapidly followed by other peripheral areas of Tuscany. At the time, these could not qualify as DOC wines, just as non-traditional varietal wines in an area such as Chianti Classico cannot be given DOC status. Such wines, with their ambitious price tags, came to be known as supertuscans. Inspired by these highly-priced Tuscan ‘outlaws’, ambitious producers in other regions, saddled with poorly conceived DOCs and/or a poor image for the wines of their zone, were quick to launch their own vini da tavola, in some instances even when they could have qualified as DOC wines. Some of these wines returned to the DOC fold in the 1990s, partly as a result of the greater prestige and credibility now accorded to the wines of their zones and regions, but many important wines were still deliberately sold as vini da tavola in the mid 2000s. In 1992, the Italian government finally bowed to EU pressure and introduced the Goria law, named after the then Minister of Agriculture. This led to the introduction with the 1994 vintage of the igt designation, which eventually resulted in the phasing out of such vini da tavola.



Nebulous Italian term usually denoting a wine given extended ageing before release, and suggesting a higher quality than the normal version of the same wine. However, only few Riservas, notably collio goriziano Riserva and vino nobile di montepulciano Riserva, have stricter production regulations, such as higher minimum alcoholic strength (therefore mirroring the superiore designation), and higher minimum extract. Chianti Classico Riserva, for example, questionably allows chaptalisation to add up to 0.5% alcohol by volume. The ageing requirement for Riservas varies from DOC to DOC, but normally is a minimum of one year, up to 62 months for Barolo Riserva. In many cases this must include a period in cask, as well as in bottle (with the notable exception of Chianti Classico Riserva, which does not require any wood ageing, however common it is in practice).

In most cases Riserva does not guarantee higher quality, because producers are not required to declare a Riserva before the harvest. They may decide to designate a wine Riserva on an ad hoc basis. This latitude has allowed some producers simply to reclassify their unsold inventory as Riserva in an effort to obtain a higher price, prompting calls for the abolition of the entire category. In some cases the prolonged oak ageing accelerates the wine’s development, resulting in premature oxidation and stewed fruit flavours, even though the category is meant to denote wines with the inherent capacity for prolonged ageing. In some cases such as Barolo, it is not clear why a higher quality denomination is needed when there are so many single-vineyard, or cru, bottlings.



Italian term applied to doc wines which are deemed superior because of their higher minimum alcoholic strength, usually by a half or one per cent, a longer period of ageing before commercial release, or a lower maximum permitted yield, or all three. Among the more significant wines which fall into this category are the three barbera DOCs or DOCGs of piemonte (Alba, Asti, Monferrato), bardolino, caldaro, grave del friuli, soave, valpolicella, and valtellina (where the Superiore-designated area includes the crus of Grumello, Inferno, Maroggia, Sassella, and Valgella). Triggered by the eu reforms of 2008, the Superiore versions of several DOCs such as frascati have been elevated to DOCG status while, confusingly, the normal DOC continues to co-exist. These promotions, notably that of Agliancio del Vulture Superiore and, earlier, Soave Superiore, are often petty compromises, born out of resistance to elevating the often much smaller historic classico heartland of a zone to DOCG status.



Known as Lombardia in Italian, is the largest and most populous region of italy and the driving force behind the country’s post-Second World War economic boom, the dynamo which has given Milan and its hinterland one of Europe’s highest standards of living. Lombardy’s principal centres of viticulture are in the hills, divided among no fewer than 22 docs and five docgs which cater mainly for the many local palates, and are rarely seen on export markets. Currently the five most important areas, each producing very distinct styles of wine, if of various quality, are franciacorta, lugana, oltrepò pavese, valtellina, and lambrusco Mantovano around the city of Mantua. These 1,000 ha/2,475 acres of vineyards are a continuation of the Lambrusco cultivation area in Emilia-Romagna. Most of its produce is on an industrial scale but more artisanal dry wines are appearing on the domestic market. One of Lombardy’s truly indigenous varieties, gropello, cultivated immediately south west of Lake Garda, was awarded its own Valtènesi DOC in 2011, but up to 50% of authorized, mostly international varieties are also allowed into the blend. This seems highly questionable since the vast Garda DOC introduced in the late 1990s includes all of the Valtènesi zone and already allows a wide range of varietal whites (including Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and Garganega) and reds (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Corvina, Marzemino, and others).


Vino da Meditazione

Unofficial Italian category of wines considered too complex but often simply too alcoholic and/or sweet to drink with food. Such wines, many of them extra strong and/or sweet because they are dried-grape wines, are probably best sipped meditatively after a meal. Although they do not employ the same terminology, and produce wines much lighter in alcohol, some Germans effectively treat fine wine as a vino da meditazione to be drunk once the table has been cleared of food and, often, beer.



A dry red dried-grape wine made in the valtellina zone in the far north of Italy from Nebbiolo, called Chiavennasca here.



Red grape variety grown mainly in the valpolicella zone. It is so similar to corvina that it was long mistaken as merely a different clone of it although DNA profiling has established that it is a distinct variety. It is now highly regarded as a grape of specific use for such dried-grape wines as amarone and recioto as its loose bunches and large berries make it particularly suited to drying. The Italian 2010 vine census noted that total plantings had grown to nearly 1,000 ha.



North-west Italian port and the principal city of the liguria region. After the fall of Ancient rome and the barbarian invasions, Genoa was occupied by the Lombards, a Germanic tribe, in 642. Under the Lombards, the region disintegrated economically, and the old Roman highways across the Apennines and along the coast were not maintained. It took Genoa until the early 11th century fully to recover from the effects of Lombard rule. Genoa was therefore initially at a grave disadvantage compared with the city that was to become its deadly rival, venice. The Genoese navy had fought to protect its ships from Saracen sea power in the two centuries before the Crusades, together with Amalfi, Pisa, and Venice, and Genoa had established trading posts in the Byzantine empire, although it was nowhere near as successful in this as Venice. Nevertheless, Genoa’s rise, like Venice’s, was at first based on its eastern trade, and by the time of the Crusades it was battling with Venice, and occasionally Pisa, for economic control of the eastern Mediterranean. The Latin kings of Jerusalem were dependent on Venetian, Genoese, and Pisan naval power for their protection, and so they granted these cities trading areas in their ports. Whereas Venice continued to trade mostly with Constantinople and the Near East, Genoa’s interests centred largely on Palestine and Syria. Along with sugar, glass, and textiles, it shipped wine from vineyards there, many of which had been planted by Christian settlers, to Italy, where these strong, sweet wines were accounted a luxury and bought by rich merchants for their own consumption. Along with luxury goods acquired in the East, Genoa also began to export cheap bulky goods such as grain, salt, oil, alum (for dying woollen cloth), and wine to western and northern Europe. The overland route was prohibitively expensive, and so from the 13th century onwards Genoa organized regular sailings to Bruges and Southampton in galleys, which used their oars to get into and out of ports swiftly, regardless of the prevailing winds. The voyage still took several months, and only strong, sweet wines such as vernaccia (‘vernage’), produced mainly in Liguria, and the malmseys of the Aegean had any chance of arriving in drinkable condition. The Venetians did not follow the Genoese galleys until 40 years later. In the late 14th century, Genoa abandoned its galleys in favour of the much larger cogs, which had a capacity of 700 to 800 tons and could travel from Genoa to Southampton with only one stop on the way, at Cádiz



Italian red grape variety, or more accurately the name of three distinct Italian varieties:

(1) the Bonarda of the oltrepò pavese and colli piacentini (also planted in southern puglia), which is, in fact, not Bonarda at all but rather the croatina grape;

(2) the Bonarda Novarese, used to soften spanna in its range of doc reds in the Novara and Vercelli hills, which again is not Bonarda, but uva rara, a variety more widely employed in the Oltrepò Pavese; and

(3) the so-called Bonarda Piemontese, an aromatic variety which has been virtually abandoned because of its small bunches and low productivity, although it covered 30% of the region’s vineyard before the advent of phylloxera.

Scattered patches remain on the left bank of the Tanaro, particularly in the township of Govone, and the Italian vine census of 2010 found 749 ha/1,850 acres of ‘Bonarda Nera’, very much less than Croatina but more than Uva Rara. The only DOC wines in production which bear the name Bonarda are from the Oltrepò Pavese and are, confusingly, made from Croatina. Bonarda is also the name of the second most widely grown red wine grape variety, after Malbec, in argentina, where total plantings had grown to 18,127 ha/44,774 acres by 2011, which means that Argentina has far more ‘Bonarda’ planted than Italy, although dna profiling has shown that Argentine Bonarda is unrelated to any of the Italian Bonardas and is in fact identical to California’s charbono, which is the Douce Noire of Savoie. The variety makes particularly exuberant, fruity wines for relatively early consumption.


Italy- History

4th BC: vines introduced by Greeks & Etruscans in Sicily, Puglia and Tuscany. Quickly spread to other regions.

Roman times: viticulture essential to Roman Empire that spread viticulture to the rest of Europe. Pliny played a key role by documenting viticulture and winemaking techniques that drove quality without precedent.

11th-14th: doubling of Italian population; rise of luxury industry

1861: unification of Italy

1963: wine laws


Italy- Wine Classification

Over 1,000 wines produced in over 300 different recognised geographical indications with each individual region with their own rule and regulations

First appellation creation in 1716 w Tuscan’s Carmignano red wine. o 4 different quality levels established by wine laws in 1963:


Vino da Tavola

Basic wine; declining in importance

Must not state the geographical source, variety or vintage on the label.

Mainly produced in the South of Italy and Sicily



Introduced in 1992; equivalent to French VdP

Incorporates wines made from varieties and techniques not traditional to area of production



Similar to French AC: specifies zone, varieties, yields, techniques, wine styles, etc.

Over 300 individual DOCs; often extending further vs. original area so term Classico for original zone



Same criteria as DOC + bottled in region and must undergo a tasting by Ministry of Agriculture

36 DOCG wines with most important being Moscato d’Asti, Barbaresco, Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino,
Chianti, Chianti Classico, Vino nobile di Monepulciano


Italy- Wine Classification (Other Terms)

Classico: refers to historic zone of DOC/DOCG

Riserva: wine with extended ageing and higher minimum abv (+0.5-1%). Ageing not necessarily wood.

Superiore: DOC with higher minimum abv (+0.5%-1%)


Italy- Trade Structures

Fragmented ownership with 600,000 growers & avg holding of 1.5ha

Strong role of cooperatives: 50% of production; top 4 companies are cooperatives oTop 5 companies produce 4% production

Key terms:

Azienda Agricola: equivalent to Domaine / Azienda Vinicola: may buy grapes from elsewhere - Cantina: wine shop or winery. Cantina Sociale: cooperative winery

Casa Vinicola: equivalent to French négociants i.e. buys in grapes or wine

Consorzio: association of wine-growers; most famous is Consorzio Chianti Classico

Enoteca: wine shop w high quality wines

Fattoria: ‘farm’ but also used for wine estate / Podere: small farm as part of bigger estate

Tenuta: large agricultural estate


Italy- Key Personalities

Luigi Veronelli: deceased wine critic, championed the cause of small peasants vs. big wineries (in DOC system especially) and influential in spreading the use of small oak barrel ageing.


When was the DOC system introduced into Italy?



Cantina Sociali

Co- Operative famous in the 60s and 70s.


Vino da Taglio

Pressed wines. Seen as inferior.



Bulk wine poured from the tap in bars in Italy.


When was IGT created?

1992, but most of them were created in 1995, as a way f keeping up with the rest of EU.


What was the first DOC created?

Vernaccia di San Gimignano, in Tuscany



Subzone of valtellina in the far north of Italy.



Subzone of valtellina in the far north of Italy.



Overarching doc created in the early 2010s stretching from the hills of conegliano-valdobbiadene to the Venetian lagoon in an attempt to capitalize on the name of this world-famous Venice city which was the cultural and, once, commercial centre of north east Italy. In its time Venice has exerted considerable and sometimes lasting influence on the wines of the world. Medieval Venice had no agriculture or viticulture and obtained its wine and grain from lombardy to the west; Venice’s importance was in its trade. In 840 a treaty, known as the Pactum Lotharii, between charlemagne’s grandson Lothair and the doge of Venice, protected Venice’s neutrality and guaranteed its security from the mainland. This treaty made Venice independent from the west and from Byzantium. Thus Venice became the most important of the Italo-Byzantine ports, and its position was strengthened when the Byzantines discovered that Venice’s rivals Amalfi, naples, and Gaeta had been collaborating with the Saracens. Initially Venice owed its wealth to its trade, acquiring possession of Crete, Modon, and Coron in the Aegean and being granted exemptions from the taxation in Constantinople that was to ruin the Byzantine economy (see greece, medieval history). The Crusades only strengthened Venice’s position at the frontier between northern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean. With its eastern expansion came the trade in sweet wines, so much more esteemed by northern Europeans than their own thinner ferments. Most of these were from Crete, known then as Candia. Many of them carried the name of the Greek port from which they were shipped, Monemvasia (hence malvasia di Candia, and malmsey). Some of these wines were sold in Constantinople, others were taken to Venice for redistribution, either overland to Florence (via Ferrara), or by sea to Paris, England, and Flanders. In addition to buying and selling Aegean wines, Venice also dealt in Italian wines, from Trevi, the northern Adriatic, and the marche, and in the even richer wines of Tyre (in modern lebanon), which was owned by the Venetians for most of the 13th century. However, in trade with Syria and Palestine, Venice came second to genoa, and the rivalry extended to the trade with northern Europe: Genoa led the way there, and Venice, which was less well placed, did not start shipping wine to northern Europe until the early 14th century. By that time Genoa had already won the battle: at the end of the 13th century, Venice had ceased to be the richest and most important port in Italy, but not before having imported the Greek techniques of increasing sugar and alcohol content by deliberately making dried-grape wines. Johnson suggests a direct link between such practices, employed on the islands along the Dalmatian coast, and those subsequently, indeed currently, used by some in the veneto hinterland of Venice to make recioto versions of Valpolicella and Soave. Venice was also to become the centre of glass production, and therefore played an important, if indirect, role in the history of wine.


Albana di Romagna

white wine made in central Italy from Albana grapes, much-maligned in spite of its long historic presence in the region (see albana). Unreasonably high yields of 100 hl/ha and careless winemaking by large co-operatives led to Albana’s mediocre reputation, which is why its elevation to docg in 1986 spurred criticism that the DOC system was flawed. Only a handful of producers, aware of its intrinsic quality, started to give Albana their full attention, planting it on suitable sites (rather than simply where Sangiovese, Romagna’s most important red wine grape, wouldn’t ripen) and drastically reducing yields to overcome Albana’s supposed neutral and tart character.
Autumn rains, as well as vineyard sites without sufficient ventilation, regularly force growers to harvest before the grapes have reached full ripeness and aromatic development. However, with the right site, late-harvest dry Albana and impressive botrytized sweet wines can be made. Local research into the different clones of Albana has helped to save the rarest ones from extinction while a greater focus on the selection of suitable sites has led to the production of several single-vineyard wines, showing that the variety adapts equally well to the calcareous soils of the township of Bertinoro and the reddish clay soils of Faenza. While frequently labelled as secco (dry), amabile (medium dry), dolce(sweet), and passito, Albana’s future undoubtedly lies in the late-harvest, dry version as well as the botrytized dessert wines, such as those of Fattoria Zerbina, while radical examples, such as Francesconi’s Arcaia, are skin-fermented—a reference to the variety’s ancient past.



One of only four docs in the Italian molise region, and arguably its most important.



Name given to southern Italy when Greek colonists first arrived in the 8th century bc or soon after. The Greeks may have found the indigenous inhabitants already producing wine and using stakes to support the vines, and it is possible that they adopted a word meaning ‘stake’ (oinotron) as a name for the inhabitants. But this word is very rare; a different word (kharax) is used in most dialects of classical Greek; so it may be that Oenotria was the name already used by the local population and the similarity between it and the word meaning ‘stake’ is purely coincidental.


Pinot Gris

Is the widely disseminated, fashionable vine variety (see pinot grigio) that can produce soft, gently perfumed wines with more substance and colour than most whites, which is what one might expect of a variety that is one of the best-known mutations of pinot noir. If Pinot Noir berries are purplish blue and the berries of the related pinot blanc are greenish yellow, Pinot Gris grapes are anything between greyish blue and brownish pink—sometimes on the same bunch. In the vineyard, this vine can easily be taken for Pinot Noir for the leaves are identical and, especially late in a ripe year, the berries can look remarkably similar. At one time, Pinot Gris habitually grew in among the Pinot Noir of many Burgundian vineyards, adding softness and sometimes acidity to its red wine. Even today, as Pinot Beurot, it is sanctioned as an ingredient in most of Burgundy’s red wine appellations and the occasional vine can still be found in some of the region’s famous red wine vineyards. It was traditionally prized for its ability to soften Pinot Noir musts but older clones have a tendency to yield very irregularly.
But, within France, Alsace is where Pinot Gris (once known as Tokay, see german history) is most familiar and where by far the majority of the country’s 2,792 ha/6,896 acres of the variety grew in 2011. Here it has been gaining ground and is revered as provider of super-rich, usually dry, wines that can be partnered with food without the distraction of too much aroma. For more on the wines, see alsace. There also remain small pockets of the variety in the Loire, where it is often known as Malvoisie (although even in such a small appellation as Coteaux d’ancenis both Malvoisie and Pinot Beurot are officially allowed as a suffix). It can produce perfumed, substantial wines in a wide range of different sweetness levels. It is also known as Malvoisie in savoie and the Valais in switzerland, where its wines are also notably full bodied and richly aromatic—rather different from the neutral mouthwash that is typical commercial pinot grigio. The variety is also much admired for its weight and relatively low acidity in luxembourg.
As with Pinot Blanc, much more Pinot Gris is planted in both Germany (see grauburgunder) and Italy (see pinot grigio). The variety, like Pinot Blanc, is widely planted not just in Austria but throughout eastern Europe, particularly in hungary, where it is widely planted on 1,623 ha and known as szürkebarát, although varietal versions may often be exported as the more familiar Pinot Gris, or even the more marketable Pinot Grigio. The area of Pinot Gris grown in moldova was also a substantial 2,000 ha in 2009. Many eastern European synonyms are inspired by the word ruländer, the German name for sweeter styles of Pinot Gris, although the Slovenian name Sivi Pinot is more literal. (The variety can make fine wines in both eastern and western Slovenia.) With the exception of oregon where this mutation of its beloved Pinot Noir has long been the state’s leading white wine grape and was planted on more than 2,500 acres/1,012 ha by 2011, Pinot Gris’ impact on the New World has been more limited but has been increasing thanks to Pinot Grigio’s commercial success. In the late 20th century there was a dramatic increase in plantings in California, mainly Monterey and Napa, and its 2012 total of 13,000 acres makes it the state’s fourth most planted white wine grape after Chardonnay, French Colombard, and Sauvignon Blanc. In Washington state it is third most popular after Chardonnay and Riesling, and it is planted in much of the rest of North America. Pinot Gris has been a fixture in the Argentine vinescape since the lurtonbrothers introduced it in the early 1990s but it is not common in Chile. T’Gallant of the Mornington Peninsula was Australia’s Pinot Gris pioneer, using both French and Italian names, and the country’s total area had reached 3,766 ha/9,302 acres by 2012. It was improved clonal selection and increased interest in aromatics that precipitated a renewal of enthusiasm in New Zealand where Pinot Gris’ total 2012 plantings of 2,400 ha were catching up fast with those of second most planted white wine grape Chardonnay.


Pinot Bianco

Common Italian name for the white pinot blanc grape of French origin and much, much more widely grown than the French original in France. Introduced there as Weissburgunder well before the mid 19th century when the region was under Austrian rule, it was once very popular in north eastern Italy. By 2000, however, it had been decisively overtaken by Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio, and total plantings in 2010 were just 3,085 ha/7,620 acres. It is grown particularly in trentino-alto adige, veneto, friuli, and lombardy although, as in Alsace but not in Germany or Austria, Pinot Grigio enjoys higher esteem here. Pinot Bianco is prized in Alto Adige, however, and has produced some of this region’s finest white wines. It was first noted in Italy in Piemonte in the early 19th century and until the mid 1980s the name Pinot Bianco was used to describe Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, or a blend of the two. Even today, there are vineyards in which both varieties grow side by side. Italians generally vinify Pinot Blanc as a high-acid, slightly spritzig, non-aromatic white for early consumption, and often coax generous yields from the vine. In Lombardia, the high acid and low aroma are particularly prized by the spumante industry. Good Pinot Bianco from Alto Adige from low-yielding vineyards, fermented and aged in oak barrels, indicate that Pinot Bianco could give much better results in Italy if it were treated with more respect.



The most important and increasingly respected red grape on Etna, Nerello Mascalese, also known as Nerello Calabrese, makes fine, firm, pale but long-lived wines; dna profiling suggests it may be a cross of Sangiovese and Mantonico Bianco. Total plantings in 2010 were nearly 3,000 ha/7,413 acres, many of the vines being extremely old. There were 508 ha/1,255 acres of Nerello Cappuccio whose wines are rather softer and earlier-maturing.



North west sicilian red grape variety whose total area had fallen to under 230 ha/560 acres by 2010; sometimes called by its synonym Pignatello


Nero di Troia

Fine red wine grape speciality named after a village near Foggia making firm, savoury wines in Castel del Monte in puglia that was recently renamed from Uva di Troia by locals mindful of the success of nero d’avola. The 2010 vine census found a total of 1,126 ha/2,781 acres



Is Italy’s smallest region (see map under italy). The long, narrow valley formed by the River Dora Baltea as it courses through the mountains of Italy’s extreme north west is Italy’s connecting link to France and Switzerland and to the north of Europe beyond. As a consequence, wine labels may be written in either Italian or French. In this rugged alpine landscape the vineyards, planted on hillsidesflanking the Dora Baltea, are frequently terraced on dizzyingly steep slopes. No more than 18,000 hl/475,000 gal of wine qualifying as doc is produced from a total of 462 ha/1,140 acres of vines, with 300 ha qualified to produce DOC wines, in an average year. Despite such minuscule production levels, the region has no fewer than seven subzones suffixing a single overarching DOC, Valle d’Aosta, while a host of internationaland local varieties may appear on labels as single varietals.
At the crossroads between northern and southern Europe, the Valle d’Aosta has found itself with an extremely rich diversity of vine varieties. Native regional and other Italian varieties include nebbiolo, dolcetto, petit rouge, fumin, vien de nus, Prëmetta, Moscato di Chambave, and prié for Blanc de Morgex. French varieties include pinot noir, gamay, syrah, grenache, pinot gris or Malvoisie, pinot blanc, and chardonnay. There is also the arvine of Switzerland and the müller-thurgau of Germany.
The three most important local varieties are Petit Rouge, which is the main ingredient in Chambave, Enfer d’Arvier, and Torrette; Prié Blanc in Blanc de Morgex; and Nebbiolo in Arnad-Montjovet and Donnas, which between them account for more than one third of the region’s docproduction. For such a small region, production has been in the hands of co-operatives, which have a good reputation but have been joined by an association of small producers, Viticulteurs Encaveurs Vallée d’Aoste, aiming at reviving ancient local viticultural practices and favouring indigenous varieties. The most interesting wines are the Nebbiolo-based Donnas or Donnaz and the neighbouring Nebbiolo-based Arnad-Montjovet, as well as the family of fruity Petit Rouge reds such as Enfer d’Arvier, Torrette, and Chambave Rosso. But in the early 21st century its delicate alpine Chardonnay drew attention, as well as the minerally Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle from some of the highest vineyards in Europe, up to 1,200 m/3,937 ft. The latter is made from ungrafted vines (phylloxera does not survive at such high elevations) trained in a low pergola. Thanks to the elevation, the grapes retain acidity well and fine traditional methodsparkling wines are made. This acidity is also key to the region’s relatively numerous sweet wines. The region’s main challenge for the future is to retain its highest-quality steep vineyards when faced with an ageing population



Wine from the north western coast of Italy.



red wine based on nebbiolo grapes made in Italy’s Valle d’aosta.



Tiny red wine doc of 15 ha in the Novara Hills of eastern piemontein north-west Italy. The wines are made from 50 to 70% nebbiolo, here called spanna.



North-east Italian term derived from the verb roncare (to clear land, particularly land which is either wooded or overgrown with underbrush), which has been used for over a century in a wide swathe of northern Italy to indicate a hillside vineyard. The first appearance on a wine label dates from the early 1970s, when it was used by Mario Pasolini in the province of Brescia in lombardy for his Ronco di Mompiano, a legendary vino da tavola from marzemino and merlot grapes grown within the city walls of Brescia. More or less contemporary examples can also be found from the oltrepò pavese, frequently with the diminutive form Ronchetto. The widest current use is in friuli, often in plural as Ronchi, and where the dialect form is ronc. Examples can also be found in alto adige and in romagna.


Uva Rara

Red wine grape variety too widely grown in north west Italy to justify its Italian name, whose literal translation is ‘rare grape’. In the Novara hills it is often used to soften the spanna grapes grown here in a range of scented red wines.


Vien de Nus

Special red grape variety grown on 13 ha/32 acres in 2010, and mainly blended, around the town of Nus in Italy’s Valle d’aosta.