Italian White Wine
Italian white wine (or vino bianco) also enjoys a great reputation with wine lovers the world over, and, as with Italian reds, it's produced throughout the country. Here is the list of Italian white wine, courtesy of Wikipedia:
- Trebbiano - This is the most widely planted white varietal in Italy. It is grown throughout the country, with a special focus on the wines from Abruzzo and from Lazio, including Frascati. Mostly, they are pale, easy drinking wines, but trebbiano from producers such as Valentini have been known to age for 15+ years. It is known as Ugni Blanc in France.
- Catarratto - Common in Sicily - this is the most widely planted white varietal in Salaparuta.
- Moscato - Grown mainly in Piedmont, this Italian white wine is mainly used in the slightly-sparkling (frizzante), semi-sweet Moscato d'Asti. Not to be confused with moscato giallo and moscato rosa, two Germanic varietals that are grown in Trentino Alto-Adige.
- Nuragus - An ancient Phoenician varietal found in southern Sardegna. Light and tart wines that are drunk as an apertif in their homeland.
- Pinot Grigio - A hugely successful commercial grape (known as Pinot Gris in France), its wines are characterized by crispness and cleanness. As a hugely mass-produced Italian white wine, it is usually delicate and mild, but in a good producers' hands, the wine can grow more full-bodied and complex. The main problem with the grape is that to satisfy the commercial demand, the grapes are harvested too early every year, leading to wines without character.
- Tocai Friulano - A varietal distantly related to Sauvignon Blanc, it yields the top wine of Friuli, full of peachiness and minerality. Currently, there is a bit of controversy regarding the name, as the EC has demanded it changed to avoid confusion with the Tokay dessert wine from Hungary.
- Ribolla Gialla - A Slovenian grape that now makes its home in Friuli, these Italian white wines are decidedly old-world, with aromas of pineapple and mustiness.
- Arneis - A crisp and floral varietal from Piedmont, which has been grown there since the 15th century.
- Malvasia Bianca - Another white varietal that peeks up in all corners of Italy with a wide variety of clones and mutations. Can range from easy quaffers to funky, musty whites.
- Pigato - A heavily acidic varietal from Liguria, the wines are vinified to pair with a cuisine rich in seafood.
- Fiano - Grown on the southwest coast of Italy, the wines from this grape can be described as dewy and herbal, often with notes of pinenut and pesto.
- Garganega - The main grape varietal for wines labeled Soave, this is a crisp, dry white wine from the Veneto wine region of Italy. It's a very popular wine that hails from northeast Italy around the city of Verona. Currently, there are over 3,500 distinct producers of Soave.
- Vermentino - This is widely planted in northern Sardinia and also found in Tuscan and Ligurian coastal districts. Wines are particularly popular to accompany fish and seafood.
- Verdicchio - This is grown in the areas of Castelli di Jesi and Matelica in the Marche region and gives its name to the varietal white wine made from it. The name comes from "verde" (green). The white wines are noted for their high acidity and a characteristic nutty flavour with a hint of honey.
Other important whites include Carricante, Catarratto, Coda de Volpe, Cortese, Falanghina, Grechetto, Grillo, Inzolia, Picolit, Traminer, Verduzzo, and Vernaccia.
As far as non-native varietals, the Italians plant Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer (sometimes called traminer aromatico), Riesling, Petite Arvine, and many others.
For more in-depth information on Italian wines, visit the Wikipedia web site at Wikipedia - Italian White Wine
To learn about visiting Italian wineries, visit Italian Wine Tours.