Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige

Italy has some of the oldest wine production methods in the world and almost every part of the country is planted under vine. From the Alps in the north to the very southernmost parts of Sicily where Africa is almost in sight, wine is successfully cultivated. In addition to the latitude covered, Italy's many mountains and hills provide a plethora of altitudes for grape growing in various soils and micro-climates. The extensive coastlines along the peninsula that is Italy provide maritime climates for the coastal wine-growing areas. Over 350 grape varieties are 'authorised' in Italy, though up to 550 varieties are thought to be grown.

The classification system of Italian wines has four classes, with the intention of defining a wine's origin a quality. Two of these classes are table wines, whilst DOC and DOCG fall under the EU quality wine produced in a specific region category. Vino da Tavola (VDT) means that the wine comes from Italy. Most of these wines are generally basic table wines that are consumed domestically. Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) denotes a more specific region within Italy, and the resultant will be of higher quality than simple table wines, but won't conform to the rules required for higher certification. Both Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) and Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) are regionally more specific than IGT, and have stricter rules regarding the grape varieties grown, yields per hectare, minimum alcohol levels and so on. The major difference between DOC and DOCG is that the latter has to undergo a blind-tasting session to ensure the highest quality is achieved. Italy has 32 DOCG appelations, 311 DOC appelations and 120 IGT zones.

Key regions include Piedmont, Tuscany, Abruzzo, Veneto, Sicily and Sardinia. Common white varieties grown are Pinot Grigio, Arneis, Vermentino, Verdicchio, Fiano and Moscato. The red varieties grown the most are Sangiovese, Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Montepulciano, Primitivo, Nero d'Avola and Corvina.
The Italian wine region of Alto Adige is located in the north of Italy, bordering with Switzerland spanning the two provinces of Trentino and South Tyrol, in the foothills of the Alps. Historically the region has been under the rule of Austria-Hungary and Holy Roman Empires, and the wine to this day has distinct German and Austrian influences.

The regions location in the Southern Alps and Dolomites combined with its unique history now sees the region growing a wide range of grape varieties not grown in other parts of Italy. Generally the aromatics whites like Riesling or Veltliner do very well, but are only produced in tiny quantities. Blends from multiple grapes are common, as are Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Moscato Rosa and Pinot Grigio.

Fragrant deep coloured reds and blended reds with remarkable intensity can come out of this region and some knock out Rieslings too from both small wineries and co operatives.

The region is responsible for around 2.5% of Italy’s total wine production.
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  1. Girlan Alto Adige Plattenriegl Pinot Bianco 2016
    A single-site Pinot Bianco, this comes from the Plattenriegl vineyard that sits at an elevation of 550 metres above sea level, in the gravelly, mineral-rich soils of the Appiano Monte. The area is considered to be one of the premier terroirs ... Learn More
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