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Italian wine

Discover the Italian wines selected by our sommeliers.

Italian wine is part of the culture of this country, always closely linked to food, the central axis of social life in Italy. And along with France and Spain, Italy is, of course, one of the countries with the richest winemaking traditions. Italian wine provides a great richness in terms of the quantity and diversity of grape varieties cultivated, in terms of the countless areas where wine is produced, as well as the production methods carried out by the thousands of wineries in the country. Wine from Tuscany, Piedmont, Sicily. Chianti, Barolo, Brunello. We can consider Italian wine as one of the benchmark wines in the world.

The ancient Greeks used to call Italy Oenotria (Land of wine), and with good reason! This famous boot-shaped country is covered with inland and peninsular vineyards, from tip to heel, from the Mediterranean to the Alps. Trying to understand and get to know the wine and vineyard classification system in Italy is really an endless adventure.

This country is overflowing with winemaking potential; there are approximately 377 recognised and classified native varieties. Some people think there could be even more than that. Each region produces wines with very unique and characteristic styles. This is possibly the country that offers the biggest variety of wines.

The Italian character is faithfully reflected in their wine legislation and in the wines they make. Italian wines are so varied that trying to classify them is a daunting task, quite literally.

Italian wine in numbers

To give you an idea, here is a snapshot of Italian wine in numbers:

-8.6 million tonnes of grapes harvested in 2018
-2nd place in world production, second only to China
-Around 700,000 hectares of vineyards, and counting...
-About 1000 different types of wines
-More than 300 different locations
-Around 377 native varieties
-20 winemaking regions
-4 different levels of Wine Quality Classification

Official classification of Italian wine

So much diversity in varieties, productions and geographical areas makes Italy’s wine quality classification system really complicated. Italian wine laws classify them in descending order as follows:

Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG)
There are about 20 denominations that produce wines that meet the requirements of a DOC, which we will see below, and that are also bottled in the region they are produced and have been approved by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture.


Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC)
This is the equivalent of the French AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) and specifies geographical area, variety and yields.

Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT).
This is the equivalent of France’s Vin de Pays and specifies the area the wines come from in a more general manner.


Vino da Tavola
This is the most basic wine classification, equivalent to table wines, which do not specify the origin of the grapes or where they come from. They are simply Italian wines.

These classifications unfortunately do not tell the whole story, because there are exceptional wines which, because of their characteristics cannot be classed as one of the two main quality levels.

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Murgo Etna Rosso 2022

Italy DOC Etna Rosso (Sicily)

Elegance and originality intimately linked to the volcanic terroir
Murgo Etna Rosso 2022
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£15.13
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Eduardo Torres Pirrera 2021

Italy IGT Terre Siciliane (Sicily)

A red from a biodynamic plot on Etna
Eduardo Torres Pirrera 2021
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96

Decanter

Price
£36.86
Duty paid

Skerk Malvasía 2021

Italy IGT Venezia Giulia (Friuli-Venezia Giulia)

Magnificent Malvasia orange wine with ancient origins
Skerk Malvasía 2021
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93

Decántalo

Price
£31.73
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Casa Belfi Rosso in Anfora

Italy IGT Delle Venezie (Veneto)

Un pinot noir puro y deliciosamente armonioso
Casa Belfi Rosso in Anfora
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Price
£12.74
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Le Coste Rosso 2021

Italy Vino da Tavola (Lazio)

A natural red from Lago di Bolsena aged in barrels
Le Coste Rosso 2021
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Price
£28.67
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