Italy is the number one wine producing country in the world, with a wide range of grapes, terroirs, and styles. Join me as I continue to explore Italy and Italian wines and will be posting more favorite wines and producers from all over Italy, Sicily, and Sardinia.
Marisa Cuomo Winery (San Michele Salerno/Amalfi Coast)
In recent years, Sicily has greatly increased its prominence as a wine-producing region, enjoying a dry mild climate, sea breezes, and rich volcanic soil, the beautiful and historically significant island of Sicily is not to be missed for wine lovers.
Murgo (Mt. Etna)
Planeta Winery (five distinctive sites throughout Sicily: Dispensa (Agrigento/Menfi), Ulmo (Sambuca di Sicilia/Agrigento), Dorilli (Ragusa), Buonivini (Noto), and Feudo di Mezzo (Catania))
Located in Northwestern Italy at the “foot” of the Alps, the Piedmont region, whose center is Turin is best known for supple, earthy Barolo and Barbaresco wines from the nebbiolo grape produced around the two small villages the wines are named for.
Gaja (Terlato family of wines)
Michele Chiarlo (pictured above)
Home to a moderate, dry Mediterranean climate with coastal influences is a very conducive area for grape cultivation and excellent winemaking. Tuscany has been producing wine for centuries and is an area steeped in tradition, yet open to innovation. Tuscany is best known for Chianti Classico (predominantly Sangiovese blended with Cabernet or Merlot), Brunello di Montalcino, a Sangiovese clone, and “Super Tuscans,” which are modeled after Bordeaux blends.
Antinori (Guado al Tasso, Bolgheri, Maremma)
Castello Banfi (Montalcino)
Castello di Volpaia (Radda in Chianti)
Castello Gabbiano (Chianti Classico)
Fattoria dei Barbi (Montalcino)
Fattoria Poggio Antico (Montalcino)
Fattoria Poggio di Sotto (Montalcino)
Felsina (Chianti Classico)
Podere Uccelliera (Montalcino)
Ruffino (Chianti Classico)
Tenuta Carparzo (Montalcino)
Tenuta Il Poggione (Montalcino)
Tenuta San Guido (Bolgheri)
Tenuta Silvio Nardi (Montalcino)
Veneto and Lombardia:
The region situated between Milan and Lake Garda (Lombardy) is home to excellent sparkling wines, made in the traditional champenoise method, known locally as “Franciacorta.” The Veneto region, just east of Lombardy, just inland from Venice is known for Valpolicella, both the rich Amarones, and the lighter second pressing, called “Ripassa,” along with luscious white Soave wines, and the popular prosecco sparkling wines.
Allegrini (pictured above)
Bella Vista (Franciacorta)
Ca’ del Bosco (Franciacorta)
Ca’Rugate (Excellent Soave- produced from Garganega grapes)
Monte Rossa (Franciacorta)
The northernmost wine-producing region in Italy, situated between Lombardy, the Veneto, and the Austrian border is home to beautiful, steep alpine slopes and valleys, and is best known for Pinot Grigio.
Abbazia di Novacella
Elena Walch (pictured above)
J. Hofstatter (pictured above)
Home to some of the most prized wines, champagne, and vineyards in the world, France is a must for any wine lover! Join me as I continue to explore France and the exciting and vast world of French wines, from Bordeaux to Burgundy, the Loire Valley to the Rhone, and Champagne to the Riviera.
Located in southwest France where the Garonne River meets the Atlantic coast, Bordeaux is one of the most prized wine regions in the world, home to outstanding examples of Cabernet blends (typically on the left bank of the river), and blends of Merlot and Cabernet Franc on the right bank.
Chateau Ausone (St. Emilion)
Chateau Brane-Cantenac (Margaux)
Château Chasse-Spleen (Moulis)
Château Cheval Blanc (St. Emilion)
Chateau Clarke (Listrac)
Chateau Cos d’Estournel (St. Estephe)
Château d’Yquem (Sauternes: famous for botrytis dessert wines)
Chateau Forcas-Dupre (Listrac)
Chateau Fourcas-Hosten (Listrac)
Chateau Giscours (Margaux) (pictured above)
Chateau Gruaud-Larose (St. Julien)
Château Haut-Brion (Graves)
Chateau Lafite-Rothschild (Pauillac)
Chateau Latour (Pauillac)
Chateau Leoville-Barton (St. Julien)
Chateau Leoville-Las Cases (St. Julien)
Chateau Leoville-Poyferre (St. Julien)
Château Le Pin
Château Margaux (Margaux)
Chateau Mouton-Rothschild (Pauillac)
Chateau Palmer (Margaux)
Chateau Petrus (Pomerol)
Château Poujeaux-Thiel (Moulis)
Burgundy: (Top producers)
The Burgundy region in east-central France is best known for outstanding examples of Chardonnay grapes, noted for crisp minerality (most are not fermented in oak as they typically do in California Chardonnay), and for Pinot Noir, as well as Gamay. Burgundy is best approached by reviewing top producers. Burgundy features many smaller vineyards with multiple owners, so it is best approached by looking at the producer.
Château-Fuissé (Pouilly Fuisse)
Domaine Billaud-Simon (Chablis)
Domaine Christian Moreau Père & Fils (Chablis)
Domaine Faiveley (Nuits St. Georges)
Domaine Laroche (Chablis) (Family also has wineries in S. France, Chile, and S. Africa)
Jean-Marc Brocard (Chablis)
Louis Latour (Beaune)
Lucien Le Moine (Beaune)
Maison Joseph Drouhin (Beaune)
Maison Louis Jadot (Beaune)
Vincent Girardin (Beaune)
William Fèvre (Chablis)
The Champagne region, home to the finest sparkling wines in the world that bear its name is located some 80 miles east of Paris. Champagne is a perfect complement to any occasion.
Considered the “Garden” of France, this vast region along the Loire River is best known for delicious Sauvignon Blanc, “Sancerre.”
Domaine Henri Bourgeois (Sancerre)
Le Clos du Tue-Boeuf (Touraine)
Domaine de la Noblaie (Chinon)
Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau (Vouvray)
Domaine de la Paleine (Saumur)
Domaine de la Butte (Bourgueil)
The Rhone Valley is divided into two distinct sub-regions, the north features predominantly from the single grape varietals Syrah and Viognier, and the southern Rhone, with a warmer, Mediterranean climate is known for Grenache-dominated blends.
Domaine La Barroche (pictured above)
Vieux Telegraphe (Chateauneuf du Pape) (Vignobles Brunier)