A very ancient wine production method probably used by the Phoenicians and certainly by the Greeks, the Italians have raised it to an art form producing today some of the world’s most alluring wines.
In this WSG Live, we will discover the secrets behind “appassimento”, learn its challenges in various regions of Italy and, how it affects the style and the quality of the final wines.
A self-declared “Gourmand and a Storyteller”, JC is deeply passionate about wine, especially that of Italy. Holder of the WSET Level 4, he is a WSET Certified Wine Educator and a Vinitaly International Italian Wine Ambassador. In January 2019, he was appointed Greater China Ambassador for Franciacorta and Master of the Hong Kong Delegation of the “Ordine dei Cavalieri del Tartufo e dei Vini d’Alba”. JC now talks about wine live on RTHK Radio 3 each Thursdays in Hong Kong and contributes to Spirito diVino Italia. After 27 years in Hong Kong, he relocated to Verona in November 2021 where he helps Italian wine companies develop effective storytelling to drive business growth. He is committed to stimulate the growth of Italian wines in international markets.
When you think of Italy’s vast array of wine grapes, which one comes to mind as the most difficult to study? Maybe Nebbiolo, for its seemingly endless site-specific details? Or Sangiovese, simply because there is so much of it, in so many different forms? I would posit that Trebbiano is perhaps the most perplexing. For one, Trebbiano grapes appear in vineyards across the Italian peninsula. In the case of Trebbiano Toscano and Trebbiano Romagnolo, they are among the most widely planted white wine grapes in Italy. The potential for variability is astounding.
Our sixth edition of WSG Live features the wine scholar and author Ian D'Agata!
Ian D'Agata is a wine scholar like no other. He initially studied medicine (at four universities including Rome, Harvard and Montreal in his native Canada) and worked in pediatric medicine, specialising in pediatric gastroenterology; this background in science and scientific research informs all of his work. He pursued medicine and wine concurrently -- but eventually, wine won out, and for most of the last two decades he has lived and worked in Italy, writing the multi-award-winning Native Wine Grapes of Italy (in 2014) and Italy's Native Wine Grape Terroirs (in 2019). He has worked for Decanter and Vinous as well as teaching Oenology at the University of New Mexico and tasting and wine culture at New York University; he co-founded the Vinitaly International Academy and directed the International Wine Academy in Rome. Since December 2019, he has been Chief Scientific Officer at TasteSpirit, a leading Chinese wine and food media company and wine school, and is Editor in Chief of the TerroirSense Wine Review. He now lives in Shanghai, China.
The Italian wine world is full of wine-related terminology that many consumers struggle to understand. Learning the meaning of a few key terms can increase your confidence level and help you make informed decisions when selecting your next glass, or bottle, of vino. We have compiled a list of 25 common terms and phrases that we know will help you navigate the delicious world of vino Italiano!
Italy’s wealth of grape varieties presents wine connoisseurs with many tantalizing prospects, particularly on the red wine spectrum. While Sangiovese and Nebbiolo still reign supreme, numerous grape varieties have re-emerged from hiding in recent years to spellbind wine lovers around the world. In Italy, the story of how some of these grapes transitioned from obscurity to fashionably cool can be just as compelling as the wines themselves. In many cases, the wines from these grapes are shining in a way they never have before, thanks to more informed decisions in the vineyard and winery.
Here are five up-and-coming Italian red grapes to pay attention to. While all of these grapes have been around for centuries, their resurgence has meant a quality revolution and increased interest from the international marketplace.
While Italian red wines still garner much of the attention, there are, without doubt, many outstanding white wines that deserve consideration. While white wines like Soave, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi or Fiano di Avellino, are already well-known, there are also lesser-known — but rightfully trending — Italian white grape varieties that today produce exciting wines worth seeking out.
Glera is the principal grape of Prosecco sparkling wine. Originally the grape was known as Prosecco (more precisely Prosecco Tondo). The variety has an unclear origin and an even more complicated ampelographic history due to the fact that several distinct varieties have been called “Prosecco-something” in northeast Italy since the 18th century. The grape is late-ripening and prone to both fungal diseases and water stress. It is widely planted in the province of Treviso.
The grape varieties of Veneto
Veneto’s grape varieties are almost equally divided between white and red. More than 60% of the cultivated varieties are native or Italian grapes. Among them, the indigenous Glera, Garganega and Corvina Veronese account for almost half of Veneto’s total plantings.