A Quick Guide to
Italy's Wine Regions

Italy Tuscany Scenic

Our Top Wine Regions in Italy

The Famous Tuscany Wine Region in Italy

When you think of Italian wine country, you’re probably picturing Tuscany. Cypress trees lining dirt roads, vineyards hugging the curves of rolling hills, and centuries-old stone villas perched above it all. Wine production has thrived in the region since the time of the ancient Etruscans, over 3,000 years ago.

The major wines produced in Tuscany are Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino. The Chianti Classico region is located in the center of Tuscany, stretching from Florence south to Siena. Chianti is probably Italy’s most famous wine on a global scale; its popularity abroad dates back to the 17th century.

To the south and east of Siena are the towns of Montalcino, Montepulciano, Cortona, and Arezzo, which are famous for producing Brunello di Montalcino. Brunello’s complex flavors make it ideal for aging. 

Italy San Gimignano Tuscany Wine Vineyard Hill Expert Vine

About 80% of Tuscany’s wines are red, and Sangiovese is the major grape varietal of the region. Sangiovese grapes offer an extremely versatile flavor profile, from tart berries to earthy peppers and tomatoes, which account for the great variety across Tuscan wines.

A Beginner's Guide to Italian Wine

The Puglia Wine Region in Italy

While it may not have the name-brand power of Tuscany, Puglia is actually Italy’s most prolific region—it produces about 17% of the country’s wine, more than any other region. Located on “the boot” of Italy, Puglia’s sunny climate, cool Mediterranean breezes, and fertile soil are ideal not only for grapes but also for olive trees. Half of the country’s olive oil is produced here.

The most common grape varieties in Puglia are Primitivo and Negroamaro, which produce the popular Salice Salentino wine. These red wines are full-bodied, fruit-forward, and make an ideal complement to Mediterranean food. While the region was originally known for producing inexpensive wines for export, the quality of production has increased dramatically over the last few decades. There are now 29 DOC zones in Puglia, and renowned winemakers are crafting elegant wines that are quickly gaining an international reputation.

Visit Italy and try a glass of the famous Chianti yourself!

If you've never been to Italy and had a glass of wine in Tuscany, add it to your bucket list. 

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In general, the Tuscany region is most prized for winemaking. Want to try each region’s superstar? Here’s a look at what to try in a handful of the twenty regions where your travels are most likely to take you.

The Best Wines in Italy by Region

  • Valle d’Aosta - Located in the far north along the border of France, try a sweet Moscato here.
  • Piedmont - Perhaps the only region that can give Tuscany a fair run for its money, this northeastern region around the city of Turin is known for Moscato, Dolcetto, Arneis, and Cortese.
  • Lombardy - The region surrounding Milan, better known for fashion than wine, also produces some incredible vino. While here, don’t miss your opportunity to try a locally sources Chardonnay or Pinot Noir.
  • Trentino Alto Adige - Just west of the Lombardy region, near Trento, you’ll find a fine collection on Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.
  • Veneto - Just south into the canals of Venice and the history of Verona you’ll find a region prized for Merlot and Prosecco.
  • Friuli Venezia Giulia - The far western region of Italy, think Triste, is known for some classics, including PPinot Grigio, Savignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Merlot.
  • Emilia Romagna - Due west and a bit north in Bologna, you’ll find incredible food, and a Malvasia to write home about.
  • Lazio - This region calls Rome home, and offers a variety of rich wines. As you go south in the country, the focus shifts to lighter, less-bodied wines like Trebbiano and Malvasia.
  • Campania, Basilicata, & Calabria - The southern tip of Italy, including Naples, is known for Syrah, Moscato, and Aglianico.
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