Five Fun Facts About Italian Wine
Posted on 28 September 2021
1 - Vino Has Its Origins in LoveThe Italian word for wine, vino, comes from the Sanskrit word “venas”, which means to love. It’s where the name “Venus”, the Roman goddess of love, comes from. Clearly, the ancients also saw wine as a joyous drink to be enjoyed and celebrated with your nearest and dearest!
2 - Italy Has Produced Wine for Over 4000 YearsThe ancient Greeks brought wine to Italy over 4,000 years ago as they populated the islands and the mainland of the South of Italy. So perfect was the landscape and climate for grape growing that the Greeks referred to Italy as ‘Oenotria’, which translates to ‘The Land of Wine’.
3 - Italy boasts over 2000 wine grape varietiesWith over 2000 grape varieties that can be used to produce wine, Italy lays claim to having the most diverse range of wine grape varieties of any country in the world. In reality “only” about 350 of those are used in commercial viticulture, i.e. producing wines that get sold to you fine wine drinkers out there. I say “only”, that’s still a massive 10 times the number of commercial varieties used in France!
And with 330 DOC appellations and 75 DOCG appellations, there really is the most incredible array of flavors and tastes to be getting stuck into as a lover of Italian wine.
4 - UNESCO Heritage VineyardsNot one, but two Italian vineyard regions are UNESCO world heritage sites. One is the Prosecco Superiore vineyard areas of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene in the Veneto region of Italy’s North East. These vineyards lie just an hour’s drive from Venice, making them a perfect addition to any travel plans. The other is the glorious rolling hillsides of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato in Piemonte in the North West of the country. The home of the famous vineyards of Barolo and Barbaresco, itself just a stone’s throw from Italy’s first unified capital city, Torino.
5 - Each Year, 1 in 50 Italians is Involved in The Grape HarvestEach year, between the months of August and November, is grape harvest time up and down the country. It’s not just the big producers that are hard at work. With so many families still owning small plots, and many of the younger generation coming back from the city jobs to support their local communities, well over 1 million of Italy’s population of 60 million help out in the fields, wineries, and offices of the Italian wine harvest.
Some Great Wines To Get You Fully Immersed In Italian Wines1. Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene DOCG "Bosco di Gica" Magnum by Adami (Italian Sparkling Wine)
2. Barbaresco "Angelo" by Albino Rocca (Italin Red Wine)
3. Nerello Mascalese-Nocera 'Pietre a Purtedda da Ginestra' by Centopassi (Italian Red Wine – Organic)