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Italy is probably THE wine country in the world. A very diverse climate running from North to South, covering all types of wines, red, white, rosé, sparkling, sweet & fortified.
The most popular white wine from Italy is Pinot Grigio. It’s produced throughout Italy & is an easy-drinking dry wine with medium acidity & neutral citrus fruit flavours. The best Pinot Grigio’s are coming from the Alto-Aldige & Friuli-Venezia-Giulia regions in the North. Actually, the grape is not white, but grey-purple-ish.
Pinot Grigio actually consists of 3 flavour profiles: dry (explained above), fruity & sweet. The last two are called Pinot Gris (in French), because of the fruitier & sweeter style.
The fruitier Pinot Gris is can be found in the Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region, but because of the warmer climate they’re better ones further South in Tuscany, Abruzzo & Sicily.
The sweeter type can be found in Alsace, France. An off-dry wine with flavours of honey, golden sweet apples, tropical fruit & spice. Here, the wine makers use a late harvest & Noble Rot to fully enhance the flavours within the grapes.
Other countries where Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris is made New Zealand, Chile, USA, South-Africa & East-Europe.
Because of it’s freshness, Pinot Grigio goes well with fresh vegs salads, (raw) white fish, seafood, crustaceans, molluscs & light white meat like chicken & turkey. Semi-soft to firm cheeses are easy pleasers as well.
Pinot Grigio isn’t the only white wine grape in this beautiful country. Other white wine grapes that you can find across Italy are:
Verdicchio – Only produced in the Marche region in Central Italy. High acidity, medium body with citrus & nuttiness. Pairs well with (raw) fish dishes.
Trebbiano – The most planted grape throughout Italy. A simple & refreshing light white with mineral fruit & nuttiness. Light meals, like white fish, meat & anti-pasti platter. Also known as Ugni Blanc in France.
Garganega – Mainly planted in North-East Italy. Garganega is blended (minimum of 70%) together with Trebbiano & Chardonnay to create the
Soave (Classico DOC) wine. A floral grape with citrus, green fruit & spice. Great with savoury & fried dishes or pasta like risotto.
Cortese – Planted in Piedmonte, Noth-West Italy. High acidity, lean with green apple & grapefruit flavours. It’s the base for the Gavi DOCG wines. Great with seafood & crustaceans.
Fiano – Produced in South-Italy & Sicily. Floral, citrus & nutty flavours describe this wine. Fiano is blended most of the time, but you can discover some single-grape variaties too. Partner-up with seafood, crustaceans & simple white meat dishes.
Arneis – Piedmonte, Nort-West Italy is where this difficult to produce grape is planted. The Roero region is the Arneis region. An aromatic grape with stone fruit like peach & ripe green fruit. Matching well with seafood, fish & white meat.
Vermentino – Mainly grown in Tuscany region & Sardinia. A crispy, aromatic grape like a Sauvignon Blanc, but with more nuttiness. Dishes with usage of herbs & spice, chicken, white fish & light cheeses do well.
Muscat – This grape is planted in the Piedmonte area, North-West Italy. A sweet, aromatic grape that produces the Moscato d’Asti & Asti Spumante sparkling wines. On its own or with sweet desserts.
Grillo, Inzolia & Catarratto – These 3 grapes are all grown in Sicily. They all have full-bodied flavours of golden apple, ripe lemons, nuttiness, but refreshing. These 3 grapes are also used in the fortified wine Marsala. Food-wise, chicken & pasta with creamy sauce.