Manual Wines of Italy

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How to Order—and Enjoy!—Wine in Italy (A Nonstuffy Traveler’s Guide)

Grapes were so easily cultivated they named the country Oenotria, meaning the land of wine. The Etruscans, followed by the Romans, took a great interest in winemaking skills. The Roman god Bacchus and the wild festivals that celebrated him, Bacchanalia, got so out of hand that they were eventually banned by the Roman Senate. With the rise of Catholicism and the importance of wine as part of the sacrament, Italy continued to refine winemaking techniques throughout the middle ages, firmly cementing an international reputation for making a wide variety of excellent wines.

Replanted vineyards were often designed with maximum quantity, not quality in mind. Italy became a global source of inexpensive table wines.

It was not until the s when a series of laws were passed to control wine quality and labeling that the modern era of winemaking began. Today, Italian wines are more varied and more popular than ever. In spite of losses to phylloxera, hundreds of varietals are planted, many that are grown only in Italy.

Learn more about Sangiovese

An astonishing range of red, white and sparkling wines made in every style from traditional to ultra-modern are enjoyed by critics, collectors and consumers throughout the world. Second in the world only to France, Italy has consistently been a world leader in wine production. Over its long history, modern Italy evolved from a loose collection of city-states. Wine is made in all twenty regions and follows the European system of laws based on very specific geographical areas, grape varietals, aging requirements and other winemaking quality controls.

In , a new classification called IGT was added to allow some stylistic flexibility without decreasing quality. This is perhaps the most important and thrilling decision for the z, to make. The objective is to express both the unmistakable personality of Masseto and the specific character of the vintage, combining the many facets given by each individual plot and to reflect both the essence of the terroir with that of the specific vintage.

Winery Website: masseto.

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Grape Variety: Sangiovese. Case Basse is an estate in the southwestern area of Montalcino in Tuscany, growing exclusively the Sangiovese variety. The whole estate stretches over 23 hectares on a hilly terrain of Eocene origin, with galestro soil deriving from cleavages of volcanic lava, good drainage, rich in mineral variety, but not very fertile.

Altitude here is at meters above sea level. At the start of the s, the place had been long abandoned by tenant farmers and the land was uncultivated, but despite being in this state, it was beautiful and in an environmental context of exceptional charm. When Gianfranco and Graziella Soldera discovered the appeal of Case Basse , they immediately decided to dedicate themselves to that land with the logic of the illuminated farmer to make a Brunello of the highest quality.

So, they began their amazing adventure by selecting the ideal plots of land for planting Sangiovese vines in and No artificial yeasts are added but vinification is done naturally. The wine is aged for some years in large Slavonian oak barrels in the optimum environment of the Case Basse cellar designed by Gianfranco Soldera to guarantee the best conditions for the wines to stay in.

The Wines of Barolo and Barbaresco

Gianfranco Soldera places his wines on the market only if the result of the vintage reaches a level that, in his opinion, is in line with his idea of quality. As an illustration, the current release now in is vintage ! Winery Website: soldera. Production area: Montalcino. Age of Vineyards: over 25 years old. Soil composition: various origins, rich in stones. The best are the ones rich in marl. Altitude: from to meters.

Ageing for 3 years in Slavonian oak casks followed by a minimum of 6 months ageing in in bottle before release. Annual production around 11, bottles. Winery Website: biondisanti.

Bibi Graetz is a Tuscan winery located near the town Fiesole, in the hills northeast of Florence. Bibi Graetz, the owner and winemaker started cultivating the family vineyard in the s, mainly for family consumption. But in the early s, Graetz started producing quality wines and acquiring plots of vineyards around the property.

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Fermentation takes place in open top barriques of liters with manual punch-downs per day. The wine is aged in French oak barrels for 21 months followed by 12 months further ageing in the bottle before release. Winery Website: bibigraetz. Avignonesi is a winery located in the Montepulciano region of southern Tuscany, and renowned for its Sangiovese wines under the Nobile di Montepulciano appellation in particular.

The Vin Santo is aged for a decade in caratelli , small liter oak barrels, and owes much of its special character to the madre , a century-old indigenous yeast culture which is owned and carefully protected by Avignonesi. Winery Website: avignonesi. Grape Variety: Nebbiolo. Amarone is only produced in exceptional years. In truly exceptional years an Amarone Riserva is produced, a personal barrel selection by the family.

After harvest, grapes sit in wooden boxes or on rush mats. Careful attention is paid to the positioning of the grapes so the appassimento can occur naturally. Noble rot starts to appear in November and develops mostly in January. Grapes are pressed at the end of January and after 20 days of maceration, alcoholic fermentation begins with indigenous yeasts. Fermentation lasts 45 days. Wine is then racked and ages in Slavonian oak barrels for seven years. Alcoholic fermentation continues during this aging period creating a dry wine.

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What is it About? The vines are over years-old and are planted in limestone clay and marl soils. Costa Russi is known for delicate, light-bodied wines that exhibit floral aromas of rose hip and lavender, as well as darker fruit tones at the back. Those qualities are beautifully evident in this vintage. Altitude mt. Maturation in Lt. Huge structure due to the very low yield. A wine that can be enjoyed when released bat with enormous maturation potential.

The Granbussia remains in the cellar for at least 9 years before commercialization.

Fun and interesting facts about Italian wines - Once In A Lifetime Journey

It is produced exclusively in the best years and in limited quantities. Soil: The hills of Montalcino, having been formed in different geological eras, present extremely variable soil characteristics, in both constitution and structure. The lowest areas consist of terrain created by the deposit of alluvial material with an active stratum that is deep and quite loose, dating from for the Quaternary Period about 1.

Farther uphill, the terrain, enriched by fossil material, has a layer of soil formed by the decomposition of ancient rock, especially marl and limestone. The terrains are moderately sandy, rich in lime, mingled with wide areas of volcanic soil, but tending to be thin. This Luxury wine was drawn from the finest of Torciano stocks, aged uniquely 2 years in large oak barrels followed by 1 year in small chestnut barrique and 1 year in cherry barrique. All wines undergo a further period of development in the bottle before release.

A wine from Barbaresco. Fine and complex bouquet with violet and wild berry notes.