Italian viticultural tradition dates back to antiquity and all its regions produce wine. Its terroirs are hugely diverse and there are now over 200 official winegrowing zones and two million producers all trying to convey the best expression of their specific microclimates.
The north of the country produces exceptional reds such as Barolo in Piedmont as well as light, fresh whites and sweet wines. Tuscany is home to powerful and deeply coloured reds such as Chianti, known the world over, and Brunello di Montalcino which is more austere in style.
In the South you will find powerful sweet wines that are high in ABV such as Marsala.
Italy has many native grape varieties and PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) legislation generally forbids the use of traditional French grape varieties in Italian wines. Some of the most popular red grapes are Barbera, which is used in many different wines, Nebbiolo, used to produce Barolo and Barbaresco, and Sangiovese from which Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino is made. Trebbiano is used to make many white wines in northern and central Italy.