Thanks to its diverse landscape and myriad grape varieties, Italy produces the largest range of wine styles in the world
Across its 20 wine regions, you can sip on the likes of rich velvety Barolos and bold red Chiantis, aromatic whites from the north, earthy and smoky volcanic wine of Mount Etna and a host of fizzy Spumante, Prosecco or Franciacorta.
At Borsa Vini Italiani 2018, a fine selection of wineries from across the country will be showcasing their wine, their passion, expertise and heritage. In this first installment happening on November 22, we pick some wineries from the northern and central wine regions of Italy to look out for at the wine exhibition.
Located in the northwest of Italy, Piedmont sits at the foothills of the Alps. The famed region is known for its rich and velvety Barolos and Barbaresco, made from the Nebbiolo or what is widely considered the king of Italian red grapes. The region is also home to the sparkling Moscato d’Asti, and the underdog varietal Dolcetto.
In the wine hills of Piedmont between Monferrato and Langhe, in Castagnole Monferrato, Ferraris Agricola has been run by four generations of the Ferraris family. Wine produced are all mono-varietals, with a focus on indigenous grapes of the region such as Barbera, Moscato, and in particular Ruchè, a unique red grape that tends to produce medium-bodied wine of pepper, berry and floral aromas, as well as moderate acidity and soft tannins.
In 1977, three brothers (Franco and Carlo Pontiglione, and Giuseppe Priola) established BelColle winery in Verduno along the north-west edge of Barolo DOCG. Having gained a reputation for producing delicate wines with an exceptional elegance and spicy, floral character, BelColle was then purchased in August 2015 by the Bosio family, an illustrious and entrepreneurial winemaking family. Unique to BelColle is a small vineyard planted to an ancient and almost-extinct indigenous grape called Pelavergat. The winery makes a small amount of this wine, and it is understandably always highly sought-after.
Founded in 1961 by Oreste Rinaldi, this family-run winery now has Oreste’s son Andrea at the helm. The property is located on the hills of Alto Monferrato, near Acqui Terme, in the heart of on the most precious areas of South Piedmont. For forty years, Rinaldi has been producing wine using grapes sourced from their own 20-hectare vineyards. Their range of wines include Moscato, Brachetto, Dolcetto, Cortese, Cabemete Sauvignon, Bonarda, and Barbera e Rose.
The winemaking tradition of Lombardy dates back to when the Greeks from Athens settled along the Po river. While the area is most known for its sparkling wine called Franciacorta, Lombardia is also home to noted still red wines made from Nebbiolo, and distinctively lighter and more “Pinot-like” than its Piedmontese counterpart. There are some great Pinot Noirs (called Pinot Nero here) coming from the Oltrepò Pavese area.
Founded in 2005 by Massimo Gianolli, La Collina dei Ciliegi is located on the smooth hills of Valpantena, between 450 and 750 meters elevation, in the Valpolicella DOC area. Their famous Amarone is a culmination of their love for the land and agriculture, their respect for the winemaking heritage of the area, as well as a dedication to make their wine affordable and accessible to all.
This region is situated in Italy’s northeast and borders Slovenia, Austria and the Adriatic Sea. The wines of the region have noticeable Slavic and Germanic influences, and it is the white wines – made from predominantly Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Friulano – here that are more noted than its reds. In fact, the white wines from Friuli are considered the best of the country.
Giovanni Dri saw the potential of Ramandolo as a wine region 40 years ago and set out to establish its DOCG status. He transformed the small tract of land he inherited in north-eastern Friuli into a steep hillside vineyard that is now one of the most modern and recognised wineries in the region. And while he is most recognised for his Ramandolo, a sweet dessert wine made from 100% Verduzzo grapes, Giovanni also produces a whole range of still white and red wines.
This organic winery located in Cividale del Friuli benefits from the warm days and chilly nights the region experiences, which helps maintain a balance of acidity and sugar levels, as well as achieve intense aromatics in the grapes. Winemaker Luca Caporale makes a variety of approachable rose, white and red wines. The estate also produces organic olive oil.
Home to many beautiful hamlets and some of the most picturesque towns in the Northern part of Italy, Veneto is the most productive wine region of Italy. Many of the country’s most known wines are made here, including Amarone from the Valpolicella area, the sparkling Prosecco, as well as the rich white Soave made from Garganega around the Verona area.
Young Veronese winemaker Flavio Pra comes from a historical family of winemakers in the region. After working as a consultant in collaboration with many reputable Italian wineries, he decided to establish his own winery. Flavio’s approach to wine is to research the essence of the grape variety and understand how its character can be clearly expressed. He makes a range of Soaves, Valpolicellas and Amarones.
Roberta Roncolato, supported by her husband Giacomo, decided to continue the winemaking tradition passed on for four generations of her family and established Villa Mattielli. The brand might have been born in 2009 on the beautiful hills of Soave, but the vineyards have been there since the early 900’s. Thanks to the unique terroir of the vineyards, with a mild climate and a good sun exposure, the quality of grapes deliver great wines.
One of Italy’s top selling organic winery, La Cantina Pizzolato is located in the rich and flourishing countryside north of Treviso. The organic wine estate encompasses 58 hectares but they also source from neighboring producers that contribute an additional 48 hectares of organically grown grapes. The winery combines five generations of the Pizzicato family’s farming history and tradition with a deep commitment to organic wine production.
Tenute SalvaTerra is located in the orchard of one of the most prestigious historic mansions of the sixteenth century in Valpolicella: Villa Giona. The estate originated from the coming together of the Furia family, who have been producing wine in the Verona are for over 30 years. Wines from Tenute Salvaterra display a focus on elegance and personality, with a moderate use of wood to achieve balance, character and good drinkability.
Located in central Italy, Tuscany is home to some of the world’s most notable wines and the region is only behind Veneto in the total number of wine produced in the country. Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano are all predominantly made with the Sangiovese grape. Tuscany is also known for the dessert wine Vin Santo.
The Rocca di Castagnoli estate is located above Gaiole in Chianti, one of the most historic wine producing area of the Chianti Classico DOCG. The estate’s medieval fortress and property encompasses a total of 850 hectares, 75 of which are historic cru vineyards planted to a mix of indigenous grapes like Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Colorino, Malvasia, and Trebbiano, as well as internationally varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay.
Fattoria Betti was founded at the beginning of 1900 in Montalbano. Grown on clay soil located 150-200 metres above sea level, their vineyards are planted to Sangiovese, Cabernet, Trebbiano, Canaiolo Nero and Merlot. All grapes are hand harvested. In the winery, modern technologies are combined with the ancient art of winemaking. Particular care is taken to express regional fruit characteristics through the subtle use of oak.
Spanning almost the width of the northern Italian peninsula, Emilia-Romanga is sandwiched between Tuscany to the south, Lombardy and Veneto to the north and the Adriatic Sea to the east. The region’s viticultural heritage dates back to seventh century BC, making it one of Italy’s oldest wine regions. Dominant vine varieties are Malvasia, Lambrusco, Trebbiano, Barbera, Bonarda and Sangiovese. A large percentage of these grapes are used to produce sparkling wines.
Fondo Montebello was founded in 1991 by Massimo Bellodi, whose family has been handing down the traditional recipe of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena for many generations. On top of their prize-winning and acclaimed Balsamic Vinegar, the company also produces top quality hand crafted products like salad dressings, vinegar mustards, natural glazes, pasta, extra virgin olive oil and Chianti Classico and Prosecco DOC wine.
Chijmes, 30 Victoria Street.
This post was made in partnership with the Italian Trade Agency.