Italy is one of the two biggest winemaking countries on Earth but what sets it apart from the other biggie, France, is the sheer mindboggling diversity of grapes, winemaking styles and even the types of wood used for aging, maturation and transporting the wine. And yes, I refer here to aging (softening the wine prior to bottling) and maturation (the long term controlled oxidative aging) as two distinctly different methods when it comes to Italian wine. This is because some of the greatest reds in Italy must legally spend at least 3 years in wood, prior to release.
Italy has more indigenous grape varieties than anywhere else on Earth with anything from 377 (Wine Grapes by Masters of Wine Jancis Robinson and Julia Harding and grape geneticist Jose Vouillamoz) to over 500 (Wine Grapes of Italy by Ian d’Agata, who lives there and obsesses over Italy’s amazingly diverse number of different grape varieties).
While it has a massive range of different grapes, it is heartening to read that the overall number grown has declined hugely – from over 1.4 million hectares in the early 1990s to a relatively modest 750,000 hectares today (the latest figure is 2015 in the fourth edition of The Oxford Companion to Wine, 2015).
Numbers paint a fascinating picture of Italy and its wines, so here at Regional Wines, we are going to take it one step further – and taste the diversity in our next Italian wine tasting on Thursday 4 October.
Bookings are essential for this tasting.
Italy part 2…
Italy part 2 with wine author and wine programme director here at Regional, Joelle Thomson, who will lead this guided tasting on Thursday 4 October from 6pm to 8pm.
She will delve into the details behind the labels, looking at regions, regulations that govern wine production, the meaning of Italy’s humble VdT (vino de tavola) wines all the way up to IGT, DOC and DOCG.
Join us for what promises to be a deliciously diverse night of Italian wine.