It is hard to believe it is December and almost the holiday season. In Italy, the holidays beginning this weekend with the Immaculate or the Immaculate Conception on Sunday, December 8. It seems a perfect time to explore some of the areas of Italy that we haven’t discussed this year and that’s why, this month’s #ItalianFWT group travels to Italy to discover some of it’s lesser known wine regions. It is often hard to get out of your comfort zone but with Italian wines, they make it so easy and there is such a wealth to choose from that everyone was able to find a bottle to try and to write about.
Our participants are writing about wines from various parts of the peninsula. As we know, Italy has 20 regions, all of which produce wine. As I explained in my invitation post, here, Italy can be divided into three parts: Northern Italy, Central Italy and Southern Italy. When thinking about Italian wines, one must always factor in the geographical divisions within the country as well – think of the Apennine mountains, the Alps, the major lakes, and the large national parks, among others. Moreover, the soils are varied through the country and within each region – think of the importance of volcanos in many areas. Think of the wines that are grown on their own rootstocks. One of my favorite sayings about Italy is that it is a country of “Navigatori e Marinai” which means explorers and sailors, i.e. most of Italy is surrounded by water – the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas.
The regions that produce the most wine are Sicily, the Veneto and Puglia and those that produce the least are Molise and Liguria. In between, we find a wide range of indigenous grapes and many international ones as well that produce wines in a variety of styles. We find sparkling wines made using both the traditional method and the Charmat method, whites, rosés or meglio rosato wines, reds and all manner of dessert wines in il bel paese. While the entire country is united under one flag since 1861, there is still so much regionality in wine grapes, wine styles and trellising not to mention traditional foods and local customs.
Some of the lesser known regions that we are exploring are located in Central and Southern Italy. A number of our bloggers are writing about wines from Valle d’Aosta, others about wines from Lazio, one will add a post about wine in Calabria, a couple of others will join with news of wines from Molise and Basilicata. We also have contributions on hidden gems from Tuscany, Le Marche, Emilia Romagna and Sicily. I think that’s the beauty of Italy and its wines – the breadth and depth of opportunities in this beautiful land.
The wealth of Italian denominations and regions can be staggering and overwhelming but together we will explore some of these areas. I was lucky enough to live in Italy for 15 years and have visited every region more than once but like all Italophiles, I can never learn enough about Italian wines and Italy so I’m excited to have our Twitter chat this Saturday, December 7th at 11:00am EST. I hope you can join us using the hashtag #ItalianFWT.
Posts from Fellow Italian Food, Wine and Travel Lovers
Take a look below at all the great ideas for exploring Italy from the comfort of your own home. If you see this soon enough, please join our chat on Twitter at #ItalianFWT on Saturday, December 7th at 11:00am EST. We will be taking you all over Italy. We hope you can join.
Jennifer from Vino Travels Italy sshares “Sangiovese from Le Marche with Agricola La Canosa”
Gwen from Wine Predator joins with “3 Surprising Sparklers from Emilia Romagna’s Terramossa #ItalianFWT“
Cindy from Grape Experiences will post “Montecucco – An Obscure, Delicious Slice of Tuscany”
Katarina from Grape Vine Adventures takes us to Calabria with “Sustainable Wines for the Curious Mind from Calabria”
and here at Avvinare, I will be posting about “Basilicata and its Viticultural Gems – #ItalianFWT”