Top Fine Italian Wines Online
Italy is the world’s largest producer of fine wine, thanks to its wine production tradition that goes back to ancient times. Today, Italy has over 1,000 unique indigenous vine varieties and more than 300,000 hectares of vineyards.
Italy’s delectable, robust and refreshing wines, especially those grown in the alpine regions of Italy, are well worth getting acquainted with. The dedicated farmers in the Piedmont, Valle d’Aosta and Lombardy regions are master craftspeople who cultivate high quality grapes that produce exquisite wine.
Here at Mountain Wines, you can get your hands on fine Italian wine online. Here are some top fine wines from our favourite regions.
In the north-western corner of Italy, at the foot of the European Alps, is Piedmont. Grapes here are mostly grown on terraced vineyards, are located on picturesque rolling hills. Piedmont is famous for its Langhe wine zone, an area credited for its complex, age-worthy red wines, and crisp white wines.
Langhe is comparable to France’s Bordeaux and Burgundy regions, thanks to its world renowned Barolo and Barbaresco wines. Out of Italy’s 20 major wine regions, Piedmont ranks 6th in production volume and has more DOCG designated wines than any other region. DOCG is Italy’s top wine classification, while the centuries old DOC is the next best quality assurance classification.
Piedmont also produces one of Italy’s pricier white wines, Gavi, which is made from Cortese grapes. The chilly mountain climate in Piedmont, in conjunction with the balmy Mediterranean, creates the perfect conditions for growing these famous grape varieties:
- Nebbiolo: This dark-skinned grape produces Piedmont’s most famous red wines, Barolo and Barbaresco.
Base Flavour Profile: Strawberry/raspberry and red cherry fruit notes, with floral and spicy aromas of rose, anise, and cloves. Bold and high tannins reflect the clay-heavy terroir.
- Barbera: A red wine enjoyed by locals due to its value for money, and versatility with food. Barbera d’Alba and Barbera d’Asti are the best examples.
Base Flavour Profile: A juicy wine with dominant liquorice and tart cherry flavours, with a subtle dried herbal finish. Barbera wines have low tannin and plenty of acidity.
- Dolcetto: A popular red grape wine that’s approachable and easy drinking.
Base Flavour Profile: A refreshing and juicy wine, Dolcetto bursts with flavours of boysenberry, violet and black plum. It has low acidity and bold tannins.
- Cortese: This Piedmont white is not common and is the lone grape in Gavi DOCG.
Base Flavour Profile: Cortese is a lean, dry wine. It has an intense graphite-like minerality, with a citrus and herb flavour, and a finishing note of grapefruit pith.
- Moscato d’Asti: This gently fizzy and sweet sparkling wine is made in the Asti area.
Base Flavour Profile: A delicate and floral sweet wine that explodes with aromas of orange blossom, honeysuckle, pear and mandarin orange.
The Valle d’Aosta, which is nestled amongst rolling hills and foggy valleys, shares a border with Switzerland and France. Unlike other wine producing parts of Italy, this region does not produce vast quantities of wine, but instead focuses on growing small amounts of quality Pinot Nero, Picotendre (Nebbiolo), as well as little-known Prié Blanc, Petit Arvine and Petit Rouge.
- Petit Rouge: This well-kept secret is a delicate and light wine.
Base Flavour Profile: Petit Rouge has aromas of rose, wet leaves, wild huckleberry, dill, and cranberry.
- Petit Arvine: This light-bodied wine is very popular in the Valais region (Switzerland), as well as Aosta Valley.
Base Flavour Profile: These wines are high in acidity and tastes of honeydew melons and grapefruit, with a bit of salinity.
Lombardy, located in north-central Italy, is a sparkling wine haven. It is home to the world famous Lake Como and other beautiful lakes. Franciacorta DOCG, in particular, is a premier traditional wine that is produced along Lake Iseo. Franciacorta DOCG is a sparkling made from Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay, and Pinot Nero. Chiavennasca (Nebbiolo) is the main grape in Valtellina Superiore DOCG, Valtellina Rosso DOC, and Sforzato di Valtellina DOCG.
- Croatina: also known as Bonarda, this grape makes a “barely sparkling” juicy wine. The region that favours this style is labeled Oltrepò Pavese Bonarda.
Base Flavour Profile: It has black fruit flavours, and green and black peppercorn notes.
- Pinot Nero: a.k.a. Pinot Noir, these classic Burgundy-styled Pinot Noir wine grapes are grown mostly in Oltrepò Pavese, and they make rosé, red, and blanc de noirs – sparkling wines.
Base Flavour Profile: Earthy tobacco, white pepper and clove flavours, along with faint floral aromas of violet, roses and freshly picked cherries.
Fine Italian Wine When It Comes To Drink And Eat
So now that you know a bit more about fine Italian wine regions, which wines go with what food?
Unsurprisingly, fine Italian wine works a treat with traditional Italian cuisine. As a rule of thumb, red wines pair well with pasta, cheese, red meats; and white wines pair well with seafood and white meats.
Bringing You Fine Italian Wine Online
Here at Mountain Wines, we have searched far and wide to bring you the best examples of fine Italian wine. Trust us to give you the best Italian wines – you don’t even need to learn how to pronounce the names!
As lovers of fine Alpine influenced wines, we support small-scale producers who continue to uphold traditional wine making practices. We get a kick out of bringing you rare grape varieties from hidden forest vineyards and single hectare family producers.
Our suppliers are Australia’s best, hands on importers who specialise in high quality wines of place. So join us for some amazing little-known Italian wines and love your next bottle! Trust us, we know wine.