Italy has a strong culture of wine-making, with an amazing collection of world-famous wines unmistakably Italian to its name. In fact, Italy is the only country where there’s wine production across every region. Producing whites, reds, and sparkling wines, here are some of the most popular and world-renowned best Italian wines:
Venissa is likely one of the newest names you’ll find on this list, with a developing reputation in Italian wines. Made from the Dorona di Venzia, a grape that was long thought to be extinct, Venissa wine is a honey-hyed, skin-contact wine. As there’s a high demand for orange wines, combined with a low supply, a bottle of Venissa is difficult to find. Producers are currently putting out less than 3,500 bottles a year.
Barolo is a wine from the rolling hills of the region of the same name, from the Nebbiolo grape. Typical to wines made from the Nebbiolo grape, a Barolo wine is ripe with raspeberry, rose, and roasted cherry flavor, with some underpinnings of white pepper and nutmeg. This is one of the world’s most prestigious wines that you absolutely must try.
Sassicaia wine was voted as 2018’s wine of the year by various international wine critics, using 85 percent cabernet sauvignon and 15 percent cabernet franc to create its signature taste. Enjoy complex aromas of red fruit that are rich, fresh, and harmonious. The Sassicaia is packed with enough strength to last for decades in age.
4. Brunello di Montalcino
The Brunello di Montalcino is a red Italian wine and one of the most expensive on this list. The Brunello di Montalcino has a long history of being invented and cultivated initially by an Italian military family in the late 1800s. By the end of World War II, the variety had become one of Italy’s rarest and in the decades to follow, it gained reputation of luxury. Today, it’s made by select farmers and family estates in the Montalcino region.
5. Amarone della Valopolicella
Amarone della Valopolicella is a rich Italian dry red wine made from partially dried grapes of the Corvina, Rondinell, and other red grape varieties. Known casually as simply ‘Amarone’, it is a raisony, full-bodied wine with little acid. A typical Amarone is aged until five years after the vintage. Unfortunately, as the process of arriving at an Amarone is very labor-intensive, it is also a wine which has high risk of wine faults.
6. Le Volte dell’Ornellaia
Le Volte dell’Ornellaia is an Ornellaia estate wine comprised of 67 percent merlot, 20 percent cabernet sauvignon, and 13 percent sangiovese. Considered one of the best Italian wines, this is an absolutely gorgeous Italian vintage, bringing together fruity, silk textures, and fresh and lively acidity.
7. Chianti Rufina
Chianti Rufina wines are manufactured east of Florence, in vineyards among the highest in Italy. This gives them an ideal structure for cellaring. In every cup, there’s great harmony and grace in a Chianti Rufina. Adding a few decades of aging to a Chianti and any variety holds up fine among any of Italy’s greatest wines.
Soave was one of the first Italian whites to be mass marketed, in the 1970s however it soon lost favor in the marketplace to more popular brands such as Pino Grigio. Despite its loss in popularity, the Soave white is still distinct, beautifully made, and is just as enticing as it ever has been with aromas of honeydew melon and flowers such as a magnolia. You can find this type of wine served in many authentic Italian restaurants.
9. Aglianico del Vulture
Aglianico del Vulture is a signature wine of southern Italy, produced from the same grape used to make Taurasi red wine from. The Aglianico del Vulture is a rich red, with firm tannins, and a black cherry and dark chocolate flavor. Absolutely beautifully structured, this is one Italian wine you can’t discount.
Friulano is an Italian wine produced in northeastern Italy, cultivated from the grape of the same name. Friulano is a signature white wine, comparable to a Ribolla Gialla, Pinot Grigio, or Sauvignon. Fruity, with a clear taste of pear and tropical fruit in it, this is a wine that ages beautifully, with the recommended time being minimum 10-12 years.
Terrano is a somewhat obscure Italian red white however it delivers a pack full of flavor. Enjoy aromas of black plum, black raspberry, and licorice, with some elegantly placed floral notes, including iris and violet. The tannins are not harsh and the acidity is quite good although this evidently depends on the vintage. Although a Terrano wine can be aged up to 7 years or a bit longer, it’s generally recommended to enjoy one a year or two after release.
12. Greco di Tufo
Among the best Italian whites, Greco di Tufo is one of the finest Italian wines there is. This is one wine that comes with a reserved taste and which is best enjoyed after it’s been aged. When aged right, Greco di Tufo provides more of an impact with distinct sapidity and fruitiness.