Italy: the land of the great variety of native grape varieties

Piemont Weine bei Babarolo kaufen

Italy is one of the largest wine-growing regions in the world, and wine is cultivated in every region of the country. There is an incredibly high variety of grape varieties with more than 350 known varieties. The fine red wines from Piedmont or Tuscany are world-famous, but you can actually find high-quality wines in every region of Italy.

To better understand the development of Italian wine culture, you have to look at history.It goes back to the 3rd century BC, around the time when Hannibal invaded Rome. Many ups and downs followed over the centuries and it was only after the Second World War that the upswing came that enabled the Italians to enjoy a higher and European standard of living and as a result the Italian wine landscape changed fundamentally. Wine was no longer seen by the consumer as an everyday drink and food, but as a luxury food with high quality standards. As a reminder, it is worth noting that until the 19th century Barolo and Barbaresco were vinified as high-calorie sweet wines, and until the 1970s most white wines were fermented with the skins, becoming very harsh drinks.

Italian viticulture is influenced by the boot-shaped and elongated shape of this peninsula and shaped by the endless mountain ranges, lowlands, slopes, hills, lakes and rivers that stretch from the Alps in the north to Sicily in the south. This diversity naturally has an impact on the soil and climate conditions and thus also on viticulture. The various mountain ranges are of particular importance. The Appenin runs through Italy from north to south to Calabria. The Alps in the north form a natural weather limit and in the far south Sicily has its own central mountain range that offers protection for viticulture.

The climatic conditions and the soil conditions are very different in this elongated country.In the north there is a continental climate with distinct seasons, while in the middle the continental climate is more moderate. The rest of the country has a Mediterranean climate with very high summer temperatures and little rainfall.

There are very different soil types in Italy, but most of the fine wines come from calcareous soils. Piedmont with Barolo and Barbaresco, but also the great Tuscany wines are examples of this. In general, it can be said that the Italian winemaker has to make fewer interventions in the vineyard compared to his German colleagues, mainly due to the climatic conditions, and can therefore also work more cost-effectively.

Food and wine are very important in Italy and are always considered regional. Linguini Carbonara is not found on any restaurant menu in northern Italy, and the same applies to wine. You drink the wines of the region and you will only find other wines in better restaurants. As a wine region, Piedmont always comes first for us. After living in Piedmont for more than a decade, it has become our second home. Here you will find the most quality wines with the greatest variety of grape varieties in all of Italy. Starting with the “King” Barolo and the “Queen” Barbaresco, up to Barbera, Dolcetto and Roero, but also the Gavi, Roero Arneis and Timorasso white wines, the Moscato desert wines and not forgetting the spumante made according to the traditional bottle fermentation, all this is available in Piedmont at the highest level.


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