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Are you looking for the best Italian red grapes? The wonderful thing about Italian red grape varieties is that they are distinctly Italian. Plenty of winegrowers around the world have made attempts at growing Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Barbera, but few have come even close to matching the results of these grapes’ native soils. As a rule, Italian grape varieties don’t care to leave Italy, and who could blame them? Completely at home in their places of origin or tradition, each Italian red grape has evolved and adapted in perfect harmony with their surroundings. 

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A number of Friuli’s native varieties were rescued from the brink of disappearance. Let us introduce you to Vitovska and Pignolo.

Vitovska: The name of this white grape variety is of clear Slavic origin, but it is generally considered to be a native variety of both eastern Friuli and Slovenia, as it was historically only cultivated in Carso (in the province of Trieste) and in Slovenia.

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With a treasure trove of native white varieties, Friuli Venezia Giulia makes some of Italy’s most exciting white wines.
Friuli Venezia Giulia is considered the birthplace of modern Italian white winemaking. In the late 1960s, a small group of inspired producers began crafting clean, fresh and fruity white wines—a monumental shift from the tired, oxidized versions that had been largely produced prior.

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Lambrusco Family: Lambrusco represents one of the most ancient families of native grapes in Italy. In fact, it is so ancient, that a specific area of origin has not been determined. Historically, they were believed to descend from domesticated wild vines. All the Lambrusco grapes are related to each other but are considered distinct varieties. In general, the wines produced from these grapes share common features, such as high acidity, moderate alcohol and red fruit-floral aromas, however, each variety does express a distinct character, despite such similarities.

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One of the most traditional and prestigious products of Emilia is Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale (traditional balsamic vinegar). This precious and expensive vinegar is made only in Reggio-Emilia and Modena. The latter is usually considered to craft the most prestigious vinegars of the two. Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale is made through a very long, laborious and patient process that is food preparation turned into art form.

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