24 Best Wine Regions in Italy

wine regions in Italy - drinking wine on Almafi coast
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This post will take you through the best wine regions in Italy!

I’ve been fortunate enough to explore Italy’s renowned wine regions, and I can tell you firsthand that they’re as diverse and captivating as the country itself. From the rolling hills of Tuscany to the sun-drenched vineyards of Sicily, each region offers a unique blend of history, culture, and viticulture that’s reflected in every bottle.

During my travels through Tuscany, I had an unforgettable experience at Pietra Winery. Nestled among olive groves and ancient oaks, this family-run winery is known for its dedication to organic farming practices and its exceptional wines. As I strolled through their verdant vineyards under the Tuscan sun, it was easy to see why this region has earned a reputation as one of Italy’s premier wine destinations.

But Tuscany isn’t the only Italian region making waves in the world of wine. With over 20 distinct regions – each with its own signature grape varieties – there’s no shortage of incredible Italian wines waiting to be discovered.

Best Wine Regions In Italy

Italy, a paradise for wine lovers, is home to over 20 distinct wine regions. While Tuscany, Piedmont, and Veneto often steal the spotlight, the best region is truly a matter of personal taste. Our comprehensive guide dives deep into the unique characteristics of each region, helping you discover your own favorite. Let’s learn more about each region!

Tuscany

wine regions in Italy
My visit to Petra Vineyard in Tuscany

Tuscany, located in central Italy, is known for its stunning landscapes, rich artistic legacy, and its influence on high culture. It is widely regarded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and has been home to figures like Dante Alighieri, Petrarch, Giovanni Boccaccio, and many others. However, Tuscany is also famous for its wines, most notably its red wines made from Sangiovese grape.

The region is home to some of the most famous wine regions like Chianti, Montepulciano, and Montalcino. The wines from these regions are highly regarded and have a global following.

  • Wines: Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
  • Wineries: Antinori, Frescobaldi, Banfi
  • Best time to visit: Late summer or early fall
  • Local tip: Try the local cuisine, especially the wild boar stew, it pairs perfectly with the local red wines.

Piedmont

Piedmont, located in the northwest corner of Italy, is surrounded on three sides by the Alps. It is known for its rich, full-bodied red wines made from the Nebbiolo grape. The region is home to some of the most prestigious wines in Italy, such as Barolo and Barbaresco, often referred to as “the king and queen of Italian wines.”

  • Wines: Barolo, Barbaresco, Moscato d’Asti
  • Wineries: Gaja, Marchesi di Barolo, Pio Cesare
  • Best time to visit: Fall, during the truffle season
  • Local tip: Don’t miss the Alba White Truffle Fair, usually held in October and November.

Veneto

aerial view of green field and trees during daytime

Veneto is located in the northeastern part of Italy. It is one of the most productive wine regions in Italy, both in terms of quantity and quality. The region is home to some of the most famous Italian wines such as Prosecco, Amarone della Valpolicella, and Soave. The region is not only famous for its wines but also for its stunning landscapes, with the Dolomites in the north, the Venetian Lagoon, and the Adriatic Sea to the east.

  • Wines: Prosecco, Amarone della Valpolicella, Soave
  • Wineries: Masi Agricola S.p.A., Villa Sandi, Allegrini
  • Best time to visit: Late summer or early fall
  • Local tip: Visit during carnival season in February for a unique experience!

Sicily

Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, is located in the southernmost part of Italy. It has a rich and unique culture, especially in terms of music, literature, and cuisine. The island is also one of Italy’s most important wine regions, producing both prestigious red and white wines.

  • Wines: Nero d’Avola, Marsala, Moscato di Pantelleria
  • Wineries: Donnafugata, Planeta, Tasca d’Almerita
  • Best time to visit: Spring or fall
  • Local tip: Try the local street food, like arancini (rice balls) or cannoli.

Umbria

Umbria, located in the center of Italy, is the only region that does not have a coastline or a border with another country. It is known as “the green heart of Italy” due to its lush landscapes and is famous for its medieval hill towns, dense forests, and local cuisine, particularly foraged truffles and wines.

  • Wines: Sagrantino di Montefalco, Orvieto, Torgiano
  • Wineries: Arnaldo Caprai, Lungarotti, Paolo Bea
  • Best time to visit: Fall, during the truffle season
  • Local tip: Visit the town of Norcia, famous for its truffles, sausages, and ham.

Puglia

Puglia, located in the heel of Italy’s boot, is known for its whitewashed hill towns, centuries-old farmland, and hundreds of kilometers of Mediterranean coastline. It is one of the largest wine-producing regions in Italy, known for its robust, full-bodied red wines.

  • Wines: Primitivo, Negroamaro, Salice Salentino
  • Wineries: Tormaresca, Leone de Castris, Cantina Sociale di Copertino
  • Best time to visit: Late spring or early fall
  • Local tip: Visit the town of Alberobello, famous for its unique trulli houses.

Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Friuli-Venezia Giulia is located in the northeastern part of Italy, bordering Austria and Slovenia. It is known for its white wines, which are considered some of the best in Italy. The region is also famous for its stunning alpine scenery, historical landmarks, and a unique blend of Italian and Austro-Hungarian culture.

  • Wines: Friulano, Ribolla Gialla, Collio
  • Wineries: Livio Felluga, Jermann, Marco Felluga
  • Best time to visit: Late spring or early fall
  • Local tip: Try the local ham, San Daniele, which is considered one of the best in Italy.

Lombardy

Lombardy, located in the northern part of Italy, is one of the wealthiest and most populous regions in the country. It is known for its diverse landscape, which includes the Alps, lakes, and cities like Milan, the fashion capital of the world. Lombardy is also home to some prestigious wine regions, such as Franciacorta and Valtellina.

  • Wines: Franciacorta, Sforzato di Valtellina, Oltrepò Pavese
  • Wineries: Ca’ del Bosco, Bellavista, Nino Negri
  • Best time to visit: Late summer or early fall
  • Local tip: Visit Lake Como, one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.

Alto Adige

Alto Adige, also known as South Tyrol, is located in the northernmost part of Italy, bordering Austria and Switzerland. It is known for its high-quality white wines, made from varieties not commonly found in other parts of Italy. The region is also famous for its stunning alpine scenery, medieval castles, and German-speaking population.

  • Wines: Pinot Grigio, Gewürztraminer, Lagrein
  • Wineries: Cantina Terlano, Elena Walch, Abbazia di Novacella
  • Best time to visit: Late spring or early fall
  • Local tip: Visit the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle, one of the most beautiful gardens in the world.

Campania

a bunch of grapes from a vine

Campania is located in the southwestern part of Italy, along the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is known for its ancient history, rich culture, and stunning coastline, which includes the famous Amalfi Coast. Did you know that Campania is also home to Mount Vesuvius, one of the world’s most famous and dangerous active volcanoes?

  • Wines: Taurasi, Greco di Tufo, Fiano di Avellino
  • Wineries: Feudi di San Gregorio, Mastroberardino, Cantina del Taburno
  • Best time to visit: Spring or fall
  • Local tip: Visit the ancient ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Amalfi Coast

Enjoying a glass of wine on the Almafi Coast

The Amalfi Coast, located in the Campania region of southern Italy, is known for its breathtaking coastline, colorful seaside villages, and delicious cuisine. I can vouch for this, as I was able to visit this region on a recent trip and enjoy a glass of wine overlooking the stunning views!

While not officially recognized as a separate wine region, the Amalfi Coast produces some unique and flavorful wines, thanks to its terraced vineyards, volcanic soil, and coastal climate.

  • Wines: Costa d’Amalfi DOC, Furore Bianco, Ravello Rosso
  • Wineries: Tenuta San Francesco, Cantine Marisa Cuomo, Agricola Foreste
  • Best time to visit: Late spring or early fall
  • Local tip: Enjoy a glass of local wine while watching the sunset over the Mediterranean Sea.

The Costa d’Amalfi DOC includes three sub-zones: Furore, Ravello, and Tramonti. The wines produced here are made from indigenous grape varieties such as Falanghina, Biancolella, and Piedirosso. The wines are known for their fresh acidity, aromatic flavors, and minerality.

Abruzzo

Abruzzo is located in the central part of Italy, bordering the Adriatic Sea. It is known for its diverse landscape, which includes the Apennine Mountains, rolling hills, and a long coastline. Abruzzo is also famous for its Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, a red wine made from the Montepulciano grape.

  • Wines: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo
  • Wineries: Masciarelli, Emidio Pepe, Valentini
  • Best time to visit: Late spring or early fall
  • Local tip: Visit the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio, and Molise, home to bears, wolves, and chamois.

Emilia-Romagna

Emilia-Romagna is located in the northern part of Italy, bordering the Adriatic Sea. It is known for its rich culinary traditions, which include Parmesan cheese, Prosciutto di Parma, and Balsamic vinegar. The region is also home to Lambrusco, a sparkling red wine that is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Lambrusco is easily one of the most popular and easy-drinking wines in the world!

  • Wines: Lambrusco, Albana di Romagna, Sangiovese di Romagna
  • Wineries: Cleto Chiarli, Umberto Cesari, Medici Ermete
  • Best time to visit: Late spring or early fall
  • Local tip: Visit the city of Bologna, known as “the fat one” for its rich culinary traditions.

Marche

Marche is located in the central part of Italy, bordering the Adriatic Sea. It is known for its stunning landscapes, which include the Apennine Mountains, rolling hills, and a long coastline. Marche is also famous for its white wines made from the Verdicchio grape.

  • Wines: Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Rosso Conero, Rosso Piceno
  • Wineries: Garofoli, Umani Ronchi, Bucci
  • Best time to visit: Late spring or early fall
  • Local tip: Visit the Frasassi Caves, one of the most fascinating subterranean cave systems in Europe.

Lazio

selective focus photography of grape fruits

Lazio is located in the central part of Italy, bordering the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is known for its ancient history, rich culture, and the city of Rome, the capital of Italy. Lazio is also a notable wine region in Italy, producing a range of wines including the white wine Frascati, which is made from Malvasia grapes. In recent years, Lazio has gained recognition for its high-quality wines and has become a popular destination for wine tourism.

  • Wines: Frascati, Est! Est!! Est!!! di Montefiascone, Cesanese del Piglio
  • Wineries: Fontana Candida, Falesco, Casale del Giglio
  • Best time to visit: Spring or fall
  • Local tip: Visit the ancient Roman ruins in Rome and the surrounding area.

Calabria

Calabria, the toe of Italy’s boot, is a region of contrasts, from its turquoise seas to its mountainous hinterlands. It’s a land steeped in history, with ancient Greek colonies, Roman ruins, and Byzantine churches. But Calabria is also a land of vineyards, where indigenous grape varieties thrive in the Mediterranean climate, producing wines that are as unique and diverse as the region itself.

  • Wines: Ciro, Greco di Bianco, Gaglioppo
  • Wineries: Librandi, Cantine Gerace, Statti
  • Best time to visit: Late spring or early fall
  • Local tip: Visit the ancient Greek ruins in Locri and the Bronzi di Riace, two famous bronze statues from ancient Greece.

Basilicata

Basilicata is located in the southern part of Italy, bordering the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas. It is known for its mountainous terrain, ancient history, and the city of Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Basilicata is also home to Aglianico del Vulture, one of the most prestigious red wines in Italy.

  • Wines: Aglianico del Vulture, Matera, Moscato di Trani
  • Wineries: Paternoster, Cantina di Venosa, D’Angelo
  • Best time to visit: Late spring or early fall
  • Local tip: Visit the Sassi di Matera, ancient cave dwellings in the city of Matera.

Liguria

Liguria, nestled between the mountains and the Ligurian Sea in northwest Italy, is a region of breathtaking beauty. Its coastline, featuring the iconic Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a tapestry of colorful villages perched on steep cliffs overlooking the sea.

The region’s terraced vineyards, clinging to the mountainsides, are the birthplace of unique wines crafted from grape varieties that have been cultivated in this rugged landscape for centuries.

  • Wines: Cinque Terre, Rossese di Dolceacqua, Vermentino
  • Wineries: Cantine Lunae, Terre Bianche, Azienda Agricola Altavia
  • Best time to visit: Late spring or early fall
  • Local tip: Visit the Cinque Terre and hike along the stunning coastline.

Aosta Valley

Aosta Valley, situated in the northwestern corner of Italy and bordered by France and Switzerland, is a region dominated by the majestic peaks of the Alps, including the renowned Mont Blanc. This mountainous terrain is not only a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts but also a cradle for distinctive wines. The Aosta Valley takes pride in its indigenous grape varieties, which give rise to wines that are as remarkable and diverse as the region’s alpine landscape.

  • Wines: Torrette, Fumin, Petite Arvine
  • Wineries: Les Crêtes, La Crotta di Vegneron, Cave Mont Blanc
  • Best time to visit: Late spring or early fall
  • Local tip: Visit the Gran Paradiso National Park, the oldest national park in Italy.

Valpolicella

Valpolicella, tucked away in Italy’s northeast corner in the Veneto region, is a total eye-candy with its rolling hills, vine-covered landscapes, and age-old villages. But it’s not just a pretty face; it’s also a superstar in the wine world. Valpolicella is a hot spot for delicious red wines, made from a mix of local grape varieties that have been loved in this region for ages.

  • Wines: Amarone della Valpolicella, Valpolicella Ripasso, Recioto della Valpolicella
  • Wineries: Allegrini, Masi Agricola, Tommasi
  • Best time to visit: Late summer or early fall
  • Local tip: Visit the ancient Roman ruins in Verona, the capital of the Veneto region.

Franciacorta

Franciacorta is located in the Lombardy region, in the northern part of Italy. It is known for its sparkling wines, made using the traditional method, the same used in Champagne, France. Franciacorta is also famous for its stunning landscapes, which include rolling hills, vineyards, and lakes.

  • Wines: Franciacorta Brut, Franciacorta Rosé, Franciacorta Satèn
  • Wineries: Ca’ del Bosco, Bellavista, Berlucchi
  • Best time to visit: Late spring or early fall
  • Local tip: Visit Lake Iseo, one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy.

Montalcino

Montalcino is located in the Tuscany region, in the central part of Italy. It is known for its Brunello di Montalcino, one of the most prestigious red wines in Italy. Montalcino is also famous for its stunning landscapes, which include rolling hills, vineyards, and ancient villages.

  • Wines: Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino, Moscadello di Montalcino
  • Wineries: Biondi-Santi, Casanova di Neri, Banfi
  • Best time to visit: Late summer or early fall
  • Local tip: Visit the Abbey of Sant’Antimo, a beautiful Romanesque church located near Montalcino.

Sardinia

macro shot of seaweeds

Sardinia, Italy’s second-largest island, is situated in the western Mediterranean. The island is famed for its crystal-clear beaches, archaeological sites from the Nuragic era, and distinct traditions. Besides its natural and cultural treasures, Sardinia also boasts a diverse range of wines crafted from native grape varieties, offering a unique tasting experience for wine lovers.

  • Wines: Cannonau di Sardegna, Vermentino di Sardegna, Carignano del Sulcis
  • Wineries: Argiolas, Cantina di Santadi, Sella & Mosca
  • Best time to visit: Late spring or early fall
  • Local tip: Visit the Nuraghi, ancient stone buildings found only in Sardinia.

Molise

Molise, tucked away in the southern part of Italy along the Adriatic coast, is a hidden treasure. It’s one of Italy’s least crowded regions, making it a haven for untouched nature, age-old history, and authentic cuisine. But the secrets of Molise don’t stop there. The region is also a cradle for distinctive wines, crafted from local grape varieties that have been nurtured in this land for generations.

  • Wines: Tintilia del Molise, Biferno, Pentro di Isernia
  • Wineries: Di Majo Norante, Cantine Salvatore, Cantina Frentana
  • Best time to visit: Late spring or early fall
  • Local tip: Visit the ancient Samnite ruins in Pietrabbondante.

Which region of Italy has the best wines?

It is difficult to say which region of Italy has the best wines as it depends on personal preference. Italy has 20 wine regions, each producing unique wines with distinct flavors and characteristics. For example, Tuscany is famous for its Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, and Super Tuscans, while Piedmont is known for its Barolo and Barbaresco. It is recommended to try wines from different regions and decide for yourself which one you prefer.

What are the three most important wine-making regions in Italy?

The three most important wine-making regions in Italy are:

  1. Tuscany: Located in central Italy, Tuscany is home to some of the world’s most notable wine regions. Wines like Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano are made with a predominantly Sangiovese grape.
  2. Piedmont: Located in the northwest of Italy, Piedmont is known for its high-quality red wines made from Nebbiolo grape, such as Barolo and Barbaresco.
  3. Veneto: Located in the northeastern part of Italy, Veneto is known for its Prosecco (made from the Glera grape), Amarone della Valpolicella, and Soave wines.

What is the highest rated Italian wine?

The ratings of wines can vary from year to year and between different wine critics. However, some Italian wines consistently receive high ratings from various wine critics and publications. For example, Amarone della Valpolicella is often rated as one of the highest Italian wines. Other highly rated Italian wines include Barolo from Giacomo Conterno and Brunello di Montalcino from Biondi-Santi.

Which region of Italy has the most vineyards?

Puglia, located in the heel of Italy’s boot, has the most vineyards by area. It is one of the largest wine-producing regions in Italy, known for its robust, full-bodied red wines made from the Primitivo and Negroamaro grapes.

Final Thoughts: Best Wine Regions in Italy

I think it’s pretty clear, Italy is a paradise for wine lovers. From the stunning landscapes of Tuscany and Piedmont to the unique culture of Sardinia and Molise, every region of Italy offers something special. It would be nearly impossible not to find something to love in Italy’s wine regions.

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