Italian Black Grapes

June 26, 2017

3 minutes read


Italy is one of the most varied wine countries. With its wines having a stunning reputation worldwide, the local grapes have an importance within its respective region too. The North is well presented worldwide, with the IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) from mainly the South getting there too.



Nebbiolo – The most famous Italian wines are made from this grape, Barolo & Barbaresco from the Piedmont region, North-West, give full bodied wines with high acidity, tannins & alcohol with red fruit & floral notes. With age, these wines will develop more earthy notes like tobacco & mushroom.


Barbera – Also from Piedmont, this is a lighter wine grape. It has a medium-full body with medium-high tannins, red fruit & spice. When aged in oak, it develops toasty, vanilla & sweet spice.


Sangiovese – The most important grape in Chianti wines, made in Tuscany, Central-Italy. To make Chianti wine, the Sangiovese grape may be blended with Canaiolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah. The best Chianti’s come from the Chianti Classico region, the destined historical part of the region. Brunello di Montalcino DOCG is made from 100% Sangiovese grapes. The grape has flavours of red cherries, plums with earthy & herbal notes. Medium-full bodied, high tannins & acidity. Perfect for aging.



Corvina­ – Corvina is the main grape in Valpolicella wines, together with a bit of Rondinella & Malinara. The wines come from the Veneto wine region near Verona, east of Lake Garda, North-Central Italy. The less pricy have a light body, high acidity & low tannins with sour cherry notes. The pricier one have a concentration of baked fruit, plums & dried cherries. The known Amarone della Valpolicella wines are made here too. The grapes are first dried, developing a higher level of sugar within the grape. The result is a full-bodied wine with high alcohol %, tannins & aidity with warm sweet notes of cherries, black fruit, plums & vanilla.


Montepulciano – A grape from the Abruzzo wine region, Mid-East Italy. Full body, high tannins, acidity & alcohol % with (jammy) black fruit, cherries, blackberries & plums.



Primitivo/Negroamaro – A grape from Puglia, South-Italy. It’s a medium-full bodied with medium acidity & tannins with black fruit & liquorice. Another name out there for this grape is Zinfandel.


Aglianico – Made in the Campania & Basilicata wine regions, South-West Italy. This grape has a full-body, high acidity & tannins with complex & floral black fruits. Taurasi DOCG is from 100% Aglianico.


Me talking about the Italian White can be found here.

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