Italy is the largest wine producer in the world. The country is head to head with France for most wine production regions. But Italy leads the way in the past few years. The country combines a long history of wine-making with an ideal climate. Add in more than one million vineyards, and you can see how Italy takes the top spot.
Some of the best wines in Italy are Prosecco, Chianti, and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Whether you want to try wine tasting, or go to a vineyard visit, you can enjoy everything in Italy. And you do not have to be a wine connoisseur to enjoy a glass of wine.
How Much Wine Italy Produces?
Italy produces between 45 and 50 million hectoliters, which is one hundred cubic decimeters per year. That number is one third of the world’s wines. Only a small portion is enjoyed in Italy. The country is also the biggest exporter of wine. You can try an Italian wine in almost any country in the world.
Wine production in Italy started some 4,000 years ago. Thanks to the warm Mediterranean climate, rich soils, and passionate growers, Italy was tailor-made for wine production. The country has perfect and ideal conditions for wine production.
History suggests that Italy produced wine back in the times of Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece. The techniques, facilities, and production itself has a long evolving history.
The Birthplace of Prosecco
Italy is the birthplace of Prosecco. This is one of the most popular wines all over the world. In the UK, for example, Prosecco is a great and cheaper alternative to Champagne. The country produces more than 150 million bottles of Prosecco per year.
In the summer, Prosecco is even better. Unlike Champagne, Prosecco does not need aging. Some manufacturers age their Prosecco for three to seven years for an extra special vintage.
Why are Wine Bottles not 1l?
In Italy, wine bottles have 750ml capacity. This is because of lung capacity. There is no clear theory and explanation why the bottles are only 750ml. Some wines over the world come in 1l capacity.
But Italian wines come in 750ml capacity. The popular theory is because that is the average lung capacity of a glass blower. This is why the bottle could be created in one blow.
Italian wines versatility
Italy is not only the biggest wine producer in the world, but also the most versatile. There are more than 20 wine regions in Italy alone. Some of them are Veneto, Tuscany, Lombardy, Sardinia, Sicily, Puglia, Lazio, and more.
Veneto is the largest wine producing region in the country. It is home of the romantic tourist destination Venice, and also for wine. The region produces more than 10,000 hectoliters of wine per year.
However, if you want to experience some hidden gems, you can try smaller regions. For adventurous, we recommend lesser known wine regions. For example, you can try Barolo and Valpolicella.
Italy has the widest range of grape varieties. There are more than 2,000 different grape varieties. The most popular white grape varieties are Trebbiano and Catarratto. Red varieties include Sangiovese, Nero D’Avola, Primitivo, and Barbera.
High Standards of Quality
Quality levels and standards in Italy keep rising every year. The country takes its pride in grape cultivation and wine production. Two thirds of the wine is either DOP or IGP. Both labels promise authenticity and quality.
DOP stands for Protected Designation of Origin. The certificate promises the all produce and means of production are carried out in a strictly defined area. Thirty nine percent of wine in Italy is DOP certified.
IGP stands for Protected Geographical Information, which ensures that at least part of the produce and production process were from, or took place in the specified region. Thirty percent of Italian wines have IGP certificate.
Living Like an Italian
Do you want to live like an Italian? The average Italian consumes around 54l of wine per year. Do the calculations, and that is about one bottle per week.
Many studies suggest that drinking a glass of wine per day, which is one bottle per week, delivers numerous health benefits. Wine contains antioxidants. But enjoy it in moderation.
And if you want to take things further, learn how to combine wine and pasta. Here are some suggestions:
- Tomato based pasta pairs with a medium-bodied red wine
- Cheesy pasta dish pairs perfectly with a full-bodied white wine or light-bodied red wine
- Seafood pasta and seafood in general works great with light and medium-bodied white wines
- For vegetable based pasta, go for a light-bodied white wine