Vallocaia vineyards in TuscanyVallocaia vineyards in Tuscany

Colourful hustle and bustle

No wine country in the world is more popular than Italy, with its intoxicating diversity and joyful openness to experimentation.

Italy is a colourful, cheerful, sometimes slightly chaotic wine country – just like the Italians themselves. Wine is one of the essential ingredients in every meal, along with bread and olive oil. Vines grow in all regions of Italy’s «boot». The country has 690,000 hectares of vineyards and competes annually with France to be the world’s largest producer and exporter.

Abruzzo

The view over a small town in AbruzzoThe view over a small town in Abruzzo

The most popular wines in Abruzzo are Trebbiano and Montepulciano.


Puglia

A typical picture from Puglia featuring stone housesA typical picture from Puglia featuring stone houses

A region on the rise: thanks to Negroamaro, Primitivo and Uva di Troia.


Basilicata

Sheep grazing in the meadows of BasilicataSheep grazing in the meadows of Basilicata

The volcanic soils are particularly favourable to the indigenous Aglianico grape variety.


Emilia-Romagna

An autumn atmosphere over the vineyards in Emilia-RomagnaAn autumn atmosphere over the vineyards in Emilia-Romagna

A short formula to remember: Emilia = Lambrusco, Romagna = Sangiovese.


Friuli Venezia Giulia

Lush green vineyards in Friuli Venezia GiuliaLush green vineyards in Friuli Venezia Giulia

Friuli cultivates indigenous grape varieties and is renowned for its delectable grappa.


Calabria

Sheep grazing on the meadows in Calabria at sunsetSheep grazing on the meadows in Calabria at sunset

Old red grape varieties are the star of the show at the tip of the «boot» in southern Italy.


Campania

An autumn atmosphere in Campania, around NaplesAn autumn atmosphere in Campania, around Naples

The region around Naples is characterised by typical local varieties such as Aglianico.


Lazio

Not only the sheep, but also the vines thrive in LazioNot only the sheep, but also the vines thrive in Lazio

Trebbiano and Merlot grow particularly well on the volcanic soils.


Liguria

View of the Mediterranean Sea on the coast of LiguriaView of the Mediterranean Sea on the coast of Liguria

The quaffable Pigato white wine comes from this region on the Mediterranean.


Lombardy

Path to a winery in LombardyPath to a winery in Lombardy

Franciacorta produces premium sparkling wines and full-bodied reds.


Marche

Sunny days in the Marche, in the east of ItalySunny days in the Marche, in the east of Italy

The protagonists of the Marche region: the white Verdicchio and red Montepulciano grapes.


Molise

Stormy weather in the Molise regionStormy weather in the Molise region

Once mass – today it’s class, thanks to Bombino bianco, Trebbiano and Aglianico.


Piedmont

Lush green vines in PiedmontLush green vines in Piedmont

This region is known for its great red wines and white specialities.


Sardinia

In Sardinia, beautiful flowers bloom right next to the vineyardsIn Sardinia, beautiful flowers bloom right next to the vineyards

Ancient indigenous varieties such as Vermentino are typical of this sun-kissed island.


Sicily

A sunset view in SicilyA sunset view in Sicily

A true El Dorado for explorers: local and international produce thrives.


South Tyrol

South Tyrol shows its full splendour when it comes to flora and wineSouth Tyrol shows its full splendour when it comes to flora and wine

The rather cool climate in South Tyrol produces fruity whites and fragrant reds – salute!


Tuscany

The panoramic view over vineyards in TuscanyThe panoramic view over vineyards in Tuscany

Top Sangiovese and Super Tuscans are produced in Italy’s «wine heartland».


Trentino

Biodynamic viticulture is practised in Trentino, allowing flowers to bloom between the rows of vinesBiodynamic viticulture is practised in Trentino, allowing flowers to bloom between the rows of vines

A region that is on the rise, especially thanks to the Teroldego grape.


Umbria

A small town perched on a hill in UmbriaA small town perched on a hill in Umbria

Umbria’s whites and reds are in great demand thanks to the wide range of varieties.


Veneto

The hilly landscape is a hallmark of VenetoThe hilly landscape is a hallmark of Veneto

The flagship of this beautiful region is and remains the Amarone.





Rome caused viticulture to blossom

Italian wine culture originated in Sicily. The Greeks, who settled there in 735 BC, planted the first vines. From there, viticulture spread to the mainland. As early as the third century BC, the whole of Italy was covered in vines, from the Po Valley in the north to Campania in the south. As the city of Rome flourished and the Roman trade routes developed, the wine trade also prospered.

The High Middle Ages brought a second golden age – after the collapse of the Roman Empire and the unrest that followed. Between 1100 and 1500, Italy’s population doubled to an estimated nine million people. Rich families moved from the countryside to the flourishing cities and made a fortune there – such as the Antinori banking dynasty or the Frescobaldi merchant family. They invested part of the money in vineyards, which were cultivated by farmers in return for a percentage of the harvest.

Abundant exports in the Middle Ages

The Italians were already exporting their wines in the Middle Ages. Italy did not form a political unit at that time, and there were different currencies, customs borders and other trade restrictions. From the 16th to the 18th century, large parts of the «boot» were also under foreign rule by Spain, France and Austria. This made it almost easier to ship wine to Switzerland or Germany, Spain or England – depending on which power was in control. And the grapes from the «boot» were highly appreciated abroad.

However, we aren’t talking about the same wines as today. Barbera and Barbaresco, for example, were sweet wines. Many white wines were fermented on the skins – an early form of the «orange wine» that has regained popularity today.

Italian unity brings stability

The Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed in 1861. Unity and self-determination ensured economic growth. At the same time, Italy had to shape its own identity after centuries of foreign domination. It was only after the Second World War that political and economic stability was finally achieved.

The Italian winemakers also needed time to find their feet. On the one hand, they have an enormous treasure trove of indigenous grapes. On the other hand, after the phylloxera crisis and the world wars, they turned to international grape varieties. Traditionally, Italian wines were matured in large wooden barrels, but in the 1980s and 1990s, new barriques suddenly became essential. After a phase of extremes, the result today is an incredibly diverse wine landscape and a return to the region’s very own wine tradition.

Snowy Alps, hot Sicily

The Italian «boot» measures around 1,200 kilometres from north to south. From the snow-capped peaks of the Alps to fiery Sicily, a wide variety of terroirs can be found here. The most widely cultivated red wine grape in the country is Sangiovese. It is known as the main ingredient in Tuscany’s three great varieties: Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. In the warm Tuscan south, in Maremma, by contrast, Bordeaux varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot thrive. This wine region sparked a sensation in the 1970s with the so-called «Super Tuscans» – wines made from the French grapes that were not yet officially permitted at the time. Names like Sassicaia and Ornellaia still send wine lovers into a rapturous frenzy today.

The revival of old grape varieties

In the north of the country, Piedmont boasts the characterful Barolo and Barberesco premium wines, made from the Nebbiolo grape. The opulent Amarone and the sparkling crowd favourite Prosecco hail from Veneto. Champagne-style sparkling wine is produced in the Franciacorta area in Lombardy and in Trentodoc, and the best still white wine is grown in Friuli: Friulano is the name of the grape grown there.

Southern Italy is currently celebrating a revival of old local varieties. From Campania, home to the ruins of Pompeii and the still active Mount Vesuvius, come the incredibly storable red Aglianico and the white Greco di Tufo. The latter owes its name and flavour to the volcanic tuff on which it grows. Puglia has been celebrating success with velvety, drinkable Primitivo for several years. And Sicily is currently making a name for itself – amazing but true – with indigenous white wine grapes such as Catarratto and Inzolia.

Wines from Italy
  1. - +
    Italy, Piedmont
    2023
    100 % Arneis

    75 cl
    Roero Arneis docg, Bruno Giacosa
    CHF34.00
  2. - +
    Italy, Tuscany
    2021
    Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese, Petit Verdot, Syrah

    75 cl
    Villa Antinori rosso – Toscana igt, Antinori nel Chianti Classico
    CHF17.90
  3. - +
    Italy, Tuscany
    2022
    45 % Syrah, 28 % Merlot, 13 % Cabernet franc, 7 % altri vitigni / autres variétés / ergänzende Sorten, 7 % Cabernet Sauvignon

    75 cl
    Insoglio del Cinghiale – Toscana igt, Tenuta di Biserno
    CHF24.00
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