ITALIAN GRAPE VARIETALS - The most recent official Italian survey of vineyards, performed in 2010, lists about 440 different grape varieties growing in Italy. But new varieties continue to be recognized, and as of mid-2018, the national registry of grape varieties cataloged 517 winegrapes. A lot of these are not grown in great quantity, but the diversity of grapes in nevertheless astonishing. Find a complete list in alphabetical order of most of the significant varieties, including all varieties with more than 400 hectares (1,000 acres) planted or that feature in a DOP wine at: 



Wine Spectator: James Suckling is an American wine and cigar critic and former Senior Editor and European Bureau Chief of Wine Spectator as well as European Editor of Cigar Aficionado.
About the Scores:
Ratings reflect how the editors feel about a particular product. Beyond the rating, we encourage you to read the accompanying tasting note to learn about a product’s special characteristics.
98–100 Classic The pinnacle of quality.
94–97 Superb A great achievement.
90–93 Excellent Highly recommended.
87–89 Very Good Often good value; well recommended.
83–86 Good Suitable for everyday consumption; often good value.

Wine Enthusiast: Reviews wines from Italy. Italian Editor Kerin O’Keefe reviews all Italian wines for Wine Enthusiast. Previously she wrote regularly on Italian wine for Wine News, World of Fine Wine and Decanter. 

The Gambero Rosso wine ratings in Vini d’Italia are built up on the number of glasses (bicchieri) awarded to a wine, which is indicated in the wine guide with a number of stylized glasses next to the wine's name. The highest rating is three glasses (Tre Bicchieri),[1] and the wine guide only includes wines which are seen by the editors as "above average". The ratings are based upon blind tasting by independent experts. The guide is edited in Italian, English and German language.

Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) is a wine competition founded in 2004 and is the world's biggest wine competition with over 15,000 entries per year. The results of the competition are published on Decanter's website and in Decanter's August edition.

From 2000 and currently Luca Maroni is Vinitaly consultant and, in the frame of this crucial event, he manages an exhibition area of over 500 sq. m. with the initiative “Trendy oggi, big domani” (Trendy Today, Big Tomorrow) dedicated to the best Italian wine newcomer producers selected by Luca Maroni.

Kerin O’Keefe is a wine critic, author and lecturer
Kerin O’Keefe is a wine critic, author and lecturer


You’ve probably seen winemakers or brands promote their Chardonnay as oaked or unoaked. A winemaker who wants their Chardonnay to taste crisp and bright often uses stainless steel to ferment and store the wine before bottling. This limits the influence of oxygen and retains the wine’s fresh character. When a winemaker seeks to create a fuller-bodied wine with secondary flavors of vanilla and spice, they can ferment and age the wine in oak, or ferment in stainless steel and age in oak afterward. Oaked Chardonnay often undergoes partial or full MLF while in barrel, as well as sees contact with the lees (dead yeast). The vanilla and spice flavors, plus round, creamy texture from micro-oxygenation, lees contact, and MLF produce a wine that is the stylistic opposite of unoaked Chardonnay.

The Essential Guide to Chardonnay



White Wine 101

With hundreds of varieties of wine white grapes, there’s as much white wine information to learn about as there are white wine grapes planted in all corners of the globe. That being said, you’ll likely encounter only a handful of these grapes most often. In this white wine basics section, we cover the flavor profiles and regions of the most common white wine grapes. You can certainly choose to discover more beyond this short list, but for a quick and easy white wine 101

White Wine Basics


Red Wine 101

With hundreds of varieties of red wine grapes, there is as much red wine information to learn about as there are red grapes planted in all corners of the globe. That being said, you’ll likely encounter only a handful of these grapes most often. Here, we cover the flavor profiles and regions of the most common red wine grapes. You can certainly choose to discover more beyond this short list, but for a quick and easy red wine 101

Red Wine Information & Basics


WHAT IS NATURAL WINE ? This type of wine is made naturally as it used to be made before chemical and fertilizers were developed. Natural wines use no additives.

WHAT IS BIODYNAMIC WINE ? Like biodynamic agriculture in general, biodynamic grape-growing stems from the ideas and suggestions of Rudolf Steiner (1861.1925), which predate most of the organic movement. The principles and practices of biodynamics are based on his spiritual/practical philosophy which includes understanding the ecological, the energetic, and the spiritual in nature.This term pertains to wine that is made of grapes planted according to the farmer's almanac taking in consideration the phases of the moon, and the affects of earth's gravity. The holistic health of the vineyard is taken into account rather than just of the grapes. 

IS ALL WINE VEGAN ? The majority of people are unaware that wine, although made from grapes, may have been made using animal-derived products. During the winemaking process, the liquid is filtered through substances called “fining agents.” This process is used to remove protein, yeast, cloudiness, “off” flavors and colorings, and other organic particles. Popular animal-derived fining agents used in the production of wine include blood and bone marrow, casein (milk protein), chitin (fiber from crustacean shells), egg albumen (derived from egg whites), fish oil, and isinglass (gelatin from fish bladder membranes).
Thankfully, there are several common fining agents that are animal-friendly and used to make vegan wine. Carbon, bentonite clay, limestone, kaolin clay, plant casein, silica gel, and vegetable plaques are all suitable alternatives. We  recommend a great vegan wine such as TimorassoTimox.

WHAT IS ORANGE WINE ? ​Orange wine is  a white wine treated like a red wine: juice from white grapes spends time with the skins, leading to its characteristic sunset color. The term “orange wine” isn’t officially defined, so it can mean different things to different winemakers. Length of skin contact, grape varieties and aging techniques are all open to interpretation. Despite the range, there are a few consistent characteristics in orange wines—notes of hazelnuts, almonds, citrus fruits (even oranges!) and dried fruits are often found in the glass. Most commonly found in red wines, tannins are also present on the palate. This versatile wine pairs with a range of foods: hard cheeses, pork, seafood, sausage and chicken all partner perfectly. Duck also works especially well.
Try our Timorasso, Timox, and Ribolla Gialla.

WHAT DOES DOCG, DOC, and IGT MEAN ? In the second half of the 20th century, Italy decided to establish a series of laws to safeguard the quality and authenticity of their wine.These safeguards take the form of protected zones where growers and producers must adhere to strict regulations in order to be certified by these laws. The laws also govern things like the type of grapes used, the alcohol content, and how long the wine is aged.
Certification falls into three categories of decreasing strictness: DOCG, DOC, and IGT.
Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG): Seeing this on the label of your wine bottle means that the wine producers followed the strictest regulations possible to make that wine. The wine is tested by a committee that then guarantees the geographic authenticity of the wine and its quality. 
Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC): DOC wines are much more commonly found. The rules governing quality and authenticity are still very strict, but they are a little more generous than those for DOCG status. For instance, the geographic zone might be a little bigger or the rules about what kind of grapes might be a little more relaxed.
Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT): This designation was created a little after the DOC and DOCG designations in order to accommodate growers who couldn't meet all the DOC or DOCG regulations for one reason or another, but were still producing great wines.

DENOMINATIONS BY QUALITY-The lists below categorize the Italian wine denominations by their official quality level designation. The highest quality level in Italy, in principle, is Denominazione d’Origine Controllata e Garantita 
simply “wine” or vino.