Italy is one of the famous wine producing country, producing several varieties of wine mainly for the purpose of exporting. Italy is well-known for its red wine. In this article we are going to discuss about the popularity of wines in Italy, methods used in wine production, types of Italian red wines and the difference between Italian wines and Champagne.
Wine – a popular drink in Italy
Italy is one of the most creative and versatile wine regions in the world, producing thousand varieties of grapes. Wine is a popular drink in Italy. In Italy, more than 1 million vineyards are cultivated. Italy is divided into 20 regions. Each region produces a particular variety of wine, of its own or usually the style of wine that accompany its regional food specialties. Each region is proud for its neat, carefully pruned vines. Almost all regions are producing wine for exporting to North America.
Italy competes constantly with France for the title of world’s largest producer of wine. Italy ranks third place in per capita wine consumption. Italians drink less amount of wine, but produces better wine and concentrates mainly on export. Italy exports about 10% of its total wine production to the United States. There are nearly one million registered vineyards, and more than a thousand varieties of grapes, the majority of which cannot be found in other parts of the world.
Techniques used in producing Italian Wines
Most of the wines in Italy are produced by using modern techniques, but the villagers who are producing wine for their own consumption, tread their grapes with their bare feet until the juice is pressed. They believe that the old way is the best method to produce quality wine. Italian wines tend to be acidic, dry and free of flavor and aroma. Because of these characteristics, the Italian wines are generally a best combination to the food.
The famous Italian Red Wines
The great Barolo, made from the Nebbiolo grape which is cultivated in the Piedmont region, is the king of red wines in Italy. Italian red grape varieties offer a good alternative to California cabernets and merlots. Sangiovese is the grape of Chianti Classico which comes from the hill of Tuscany in northern Italy which is used to produce quality red wine. Barbera is a delicious Italian variety that is widely grown in Piedmont region in Northern Italy. Nebbiolo is the most powerful of all Italian varietals. Many people think that Zinfandel is American but it is genetically identical with the Italian variety Primitivo. Sangiovese is another famous variety of Italian wine. Dolcetto is a fruity wine, which is very soft. Arneis is a crisp white wine with lemon and pear flavors made by a handful of producers. Prosecco, with its freshness and simplicity is used to make sparkling wines. Sagrantino is a red grape variety, which is used to make fabulous wine in Italy.
Difference between Italian Wines and Champagne
Most of us are aware of the bubbly champagne – which is a quality beverage that comes from the Champagne region of France. However, many people mislabel all these wines as champagne when it is not really the case. There are many different types of sparkling wine, with different varieties produced from different geographical locations such as Italy, California and Spain. Italian wines of this type are particularly known for its flavor and uniqueness which is different from Champagne. A major difference between Italian wines and champagne is that the way in which they are fermented. Champagne is fermented in the bottle. Spumante wines of Italy, on the other hand, are fermented by another method known as the Charmat method. In this method, the wine is fermented in a tank for the second fermentation period, rather than in its own bottle.