Think Italy, think wine. Or should that be think Italy, drink wine? The country is home to some of the world’s oldest wine regions – Etruscans and Greeks were making wine here even before the famously hedonistic Romans got into large-scale wine production in 200 BC.
Today Italy is the world’s largest wine producer after France. Grapes are grown in almost every Italian region of the country and around one in fifty Italians take part in the annual grape harvest.
To truly appreciate Italy’s winemaking traditions, you really need to tour of one of the countries many vineyards. There are more than a million vineyards, so lucky for you, we’ve narrowed it down to three of the best. Remember to call ahead to book a tour.
- Ceretto Aziende Vitivinicole, Alba, Piedmont
The Ceretto family have been making wine for over three generations. With a vineyard that spans 140 hectares across four villages of the Piedmont’s Langhe, the family have made a name for themselves for their unique mix of wine cultivation and contemporary art. As well as the grapevines, the property features historic chapels and statues restored by notable artists and architects.
- Villa Vignamaggio, Greve in Chianti, Tuscany
This 14th century villa was first built by the Gherardini family in the late Middle Ages. Brimming with luscious cypress trees, the villa features views of the Tuscan countryside e worthy of a coming-of-age love story. Sample the exquisite variety of Sangiovese wine, and stay overnight in some very luxurious, old-world accommodation.
- Planeta’s Cantina dell’Ulmo, Sambuca di Sicilia, Sicily
One of the most successful villas in Sicily, Planeta is known for its cultivation of the indigenous Nero D’Avola grape and elegant Chardonnays. The villa began as a 14th century farmhouse and is considered one of Italy’s most beautiful wineries.
So what better way to beat the cold? Grab a glass and your passport, and get going!