Can you believe in Italy there are 511 different grape varieties cultivated in almost all the twenty regions? Just guess, in the 2010 there were 440. The Italian registry of grape varieties continues to recognize wine grapes as soon as they grow up.

Let’s try to have an alphabetic list to get an idea of the most important Italian wine types.

A Aglianico, Albana, Albarola, Albarossa, Aleatico, Alicante, Ancellotta, Ansonica, Arneis, Asprinio, Avarengo.

B Barbera, Barbera Bianca, Barsaglina, Becuet, Bellone, Biancame, Bianchetta Genovese, Biancolella, Bombino Bianco, Bombino Nero, Bonarda, Bosco, Bovale, Brachetto.

C Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Canaiolo Nero, Cannonau, Carignano, Carmenère, Carricante, Casavecchia, Casetta, Castiglione, Catarratto, Cavrara, Cesanese, Chardonnay, Chatus, Chenin Blanc, Ciliegiolo, Cococciola, Coda di Volpe, Corbina, Cornalin, Cortese, Corvina, Croatina.

D Damaschino, Dolcetto, Doux d’Henry, Durella.

E Erbaluce.

F Falanghina, Favorita, Fiano, Fogarina, Forastera, Fortana, Francavidda, Franconia, Frappato, Freisa, Friulano, Fumin.

G Gaglioppo, Gamaret, Gamay, Gamba Rossa, Garganega, Gewurztraminer, Girò, Glera, Grecanico Dorato, Grechetto, Greco, Grignolino, Grillo, Groppello, Guardavalle, Guarnaccia.

I Impigno.

K Kerner.

L Lacrima, Lagrein, Lambrusco di Alessandria, Lambrusco, Lumassina.

M Maceratino, Magliocco Canino, Malbec, Malbo Gentile, Malvasia, Malvasia Nera, Malvasia Rosa, Manzoni Bianco, Marsanne, Marzemina Bianca, Marzemino, Mayolet, Merlot, Molinara, Mondeuse, Montepulciano, Moscato, Muller-Thurgau.

N Nebbiolo, Negroamaro, Nocera, Nuragus.

O Ortrugo, Ottavianello.

P Passerina, Pecorello, Pecorino, Picolit, Piedirosso, Pigato, Pinot, Primitivo.

Q Quagliano.

R Raboso, Refosco, Ribolla Gialla, Riesling, Rondinella, Rossese, Ruchè.

S Sagrantino, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Schioppettino, Spergola, Sylvaner Verde, Syrah.

T Teroldego, Torbato, Trebbiano, Turchetta.

U Uva di Troia, Uva Longanesi, Uva Rara.

V Verdicchio, Verduzzo, Vermentino, Vernaccia, Vernaccia Nera.

W Welschriesling.

Z Zibibbo.

 

The most important Italian wines are made with some of these vines. Chianti, for example, is made with Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Canaiolo. Brunello di Montalcino and Nobile di Montepulciano are made with Sangiovese Grosso. Super Tuscans are made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and sometimes Sangiovese. Amarone wine is made with Corvina Veronese; Barolo and Barbaresco with Nebbiolo.

The techniques to make wine change according to the varieties of final product you want to have. For instance, if you wish to get a dessert sweet wine – such as Vin Santo – a specific process is needed.

The world of wine is quite complex. It’s possible to discover something more visiting a winery.

Just a winery tour can let you know how grapes are cultivated, how wine is made and to taste it directly from the producers.