COMMITTED TO OUR COMMUNITY

Our stores are run by people in the heart of their local community which means we are 100% committed to serving you and your community.

We are committed to maintaining good availability throughout this difficult period and most importantly, committed to keeping all our prices fair.

The majority of our stores are open late, with good availability, good value and of course, a friendly face.

Thank you to all our loyal store owners during this difficult period, thank you to all our colleagues and most importantly, thank you to all our loyal customers for continuing to shop local.

Please feel free to contact your local store if you have any specific needs that we can help you with.

We’re in this together and rest assured, 100% committed to our communities.

Find your local store

Category: Uncategorised

Exploring the wine regions of Italy https://www.winerack.co.uk/2020/03/04/exploring-the-wine-regions-of-italy/

Posted on Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

The unmistakeable boot-shaped country of Italy cuts through into the Mediterranean like one giant peninsula. Producing a vast volume of wine per year, just short of 4 billion litres mean this country is rivalled only by France and Spain.

Known throughout the world for its food and wine, Italy can be considered one of the worlds wine superpowers. Bringing us wines from well-known regions such as Tuscany, Piedmont and Veneto, Italy has a country whose climate and landscapes offer as much variety as the toppings you can have on your pizza.

But one of the most important things to know about Italy when you are talking wine is the Italian wine classifications, these are four levels of wine that are classed under the marks DOCG, DOC, IGT and Vino

So, to help you explore this beautiful country with a little more ease, we are taking a whistle-stop tour throughout the wine regions of Italy.

Abruzzo

The unmistakeable boot-shaped country of Italy cuts through into the Mediterranean like one giant peninsula. Producing a vast volume of wine per year, just short of 4 billion litres mean this country is rivalled only by France and Spain.

Known throughout the world for its food and wine, Italy can be considered one of the worlds wine superpowers. Bringing us wines from well-known regions such as Tuscany, Piedmont and Veneto, Italy has a country whose climate and landscapes offer as much variety as the toppings you can have on your pizza.

But one of the most important things to know about Italy when you are talking wine is the Italian wine classifications, these are four levels of wine that are classed under the marks DOCG, DOC, IGT and Vino

So, to help you explore this beautiful country with a little more ease, we are taking a whistle-stop tour throughout the wine regions of Italy.

Aosta Valley

The unmistakeable boot-shaped country of Italy cuts through into the Mediterranean like one giant peninsula. Producing a vast volume of wine per year, just short of 4 billion litres mean this country is rivalled only by France and Spain.

Known throughout the world for its food and wine, Italy can be considered one of the worlds wine superpowers. Bringing us wines from well-known regions such as Tuscany, Piedmont and Veneto, Italy has a country whose climate and landscapes offer as much variety as the toppings you can have on your pizza.

But one of the most important things to know about Italy when you are talking wine is the Italian wine classifications, these are four levels of wine that are classed under the marks DOCG, DOC, IGT and Vino

So, to help you explore this beautiful country with a little more ease, we are taking a whistle-stop tour throughout the wine regions of Italy.

Basilicata

Found in southern Italy, this region rarely makes an appearance on the global scale with only four DOC titles, which covers only two of every one hundred bottles sold here. Still, what this region lacks in influential winemaking, it more than makes up for in beauty.

Calabria

Although this region may not jump to the mind of many among us, this could be considered one of the great regions of old. Going back to Grecian times, this was one of the original regions where the Greeks began planting vines, over time becoming one of the most famed regions not just in Italy, but also Europe, until regions such as Bordeaux challenged in the late 19th century.

Today Calabria produces not only wine but cereals, citrus and olives that are tasted worldwide. These regions grapes of choice are Gaglioppo and Greco Nero for reds and Greco Bianco, Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia Bianca for whites, but as with so many Italy regions, the takeover of varieties such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon continues to grow.

Campania

Although this region may not jump to the mind of many among us, this could be considered one of the great regions of old. Going back to Grecian times, this was one of the original regions where the Greeks began planting vines, over time becoming one of the most famed regions not just in Italy, but also Europe, until regions such as Bordeaux challenged in the late 19th century. Today Calabria produces not only wine but cereals, citrus and olives that are tasted worldwide. These regions grapes of choice are Gaglioppo and Greco Nero for reds and Greco Bianco, Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia Bianca for whites, but as with so many Italy regions, the takeover of varieties such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon continues to grow.

Delle Venezie

Famous due to its vast quantities of crisp Pinot Grigio which is exported to its key markets of the UK and North America. The volume of Pinot Grigio is so large that it is estimated 7 out of every 10 bottles in this region is Pinto Grigio. But not everything out of this region is a white, Pinot Noir takes second place, and some beautiful reds do make their way out of this Pinot Grigio stronghold.

Emilia-Romagna

In the north of Italy lies the region of Emilia-Romagna, unique, as it is the only region that has both an eastern and western coast. Producing a massive volume of sparkling wines such as frizzante or spumante, while also providing a significant quantity of reds, this could be the perfect region for the couple that can’t pick one bottle to suit both.

Friuli-Venezia

A particularly interesting region of Italy as it is known for making wines from non-traditional varieties such as Sauvignon blanc, Riesling and Pinot Bianco. However, this northern region cool in climate produces such excellent fresh and fruity wines that are definability worth a taste.

Lazio

Based in central Italy, Lazio is the region that Rome calls home. Famed predominantly for its whites, Lazio produces wines that are typically meant for young consumption, sharp in acidity and light, they are designed to fit perfectly with the local cuisine that it traditionally fatty meats such as lamb and porchetta.

 

 

 

Liguria

A small costal region that neighbours the principality of Monaco and Tuscany, its scenery is second to none and with a neighbour such as Tuscany, they don’t have to try hard on the wine front either. Mostly produced for local sale, Liguria is known mainly for its whites made from Vermentino or locally known as pigato for the spots it has on the grape. This is a region that is worth a visit on your way to Tuscany.

Lombardy

Lombardy sits in the heart of Northern Italy and is one of the most populated regions of Italy. Entirely landlocked, with the Alps and Switzerland to the North, Piedmont to the West, Emilia-Romagna to the South and Veneto to the East. The area doesn’t lack the cooling supply of water, however, with large inland lakes like the famous Garda and Como, these huge lakes don’t just attract tourists, they provide a vital temperance effect for the vineyards in this region. The standout wines for this area are the red varietal of Valtellina and the sparkling varietal of Franciacorta.

Marche

Renowned for its white wines from the Trebbiano and Verdicchio grapes, Marche or Le Marche sits on the Eastern side of Italy. With its rolling coastal hills and the influences of the Apennines Mountains to the East and the Adriatic Sea to the West, the viticulturists of the region work in both hot and cool climates. The cay and limestone-rich soils add to the distinctiveness of this regions terroirs and give these regions white something exceptional.

Molise

Molise is one of Italy’s smallest wine regions, but no less impressive. Set in the mountains of South-Central Italy. With wine production in the area going back as far as 500BC, it is strange that this region only achieved its independence as a wine-growing region in the last half of the 20th century. This was because this region was politically part of its neighbour Abruzzo. Despite it’s size, this region still has 23,500 acres of vineyards covering its land. Montepulciano and Sangiovese grapes dominate the area and provide some excellent wines.

Piedmont

The home of more DOCG wines than any other region of Italy, it’s safe to say that Piedmont is home to some of Italy’s finest wines. Barolo, Barbaresco and Barbera d’Asti all hail from this region. As its name may suggest, Piedmont sits at the foot of the mountains of the Western Alps, forming a natural border with Provence, France. The Alps and Apennines play a considerable role in this area and are mainly responsible for the regions favourable climate as well as providing a natural barrier of protection against invasion for centuries.

Puglia

Once famed for its massive output for cheap reds, Puglia has undergone a “Rebrand” as consumers demands have changed in the last few decades. The regions solution to this negative perception was to bring in “Flying winemakers” often from the new world that would visit and look at new ways to invigorate their wine production. The result has been the lift in the classification of 15 new wines to DOC level. In 2010, the region received its first DOCG wine, and it’s been a growing region since. If you have the chance, try one of their Primitivo’s.

Sardinia

One of Italy’s autonomous islands, Sardina sits a little outside of Italian mainstream culture and wine is not as ingrained as it is in the mainland. It is also Italian smallest wine-producing region; however, this doesn’t reflect in the quality of the wines. This little island has a handful of producers creating some exceptional wines. The west coast of the island is where the majority of the vineyards lie, with a number reaching DOC classification; however, the in the northeast, lies a growing region which secured its first DOGC recently.

Siciliy

The largest island in the Mediterranean, famed not only for its sweet Muscats and Marsla but also a darker past, the island of Sicily offers a diverse range of wines. Today, the island is producing wines from native grapes such as Nero d’Avola and Catarratto through to the imported Syrah grape from Southern France. Growing in fame for its wines, this offshore haven has the perfect climate for viticulture and producing several DOC wines that we would recommend.

Tuscany

The largest island in the Mediterranean, famed not only for its sweet Muscats and Marsla but also a darker past, the island of Sicily offers a diverse range of wines. Today, the island is producing wines from native grapes such as Nero d’Avola and Catarratto through to the imported Syrah grape from Southern France. Growing in fame for its wines, this offshore haven has the perfect climate for viticulture and producing several DOC wines that we would recommend.

Umbira

Umbria the only area in Italy that doesn’t have a coast or international border, nestled in the centre of Italy. Best known for its white wine hailing from the DOC Orvieto appellation, accounting for 10% of the region’s output. Strangely, however, the two regions DOCG wines are actually red from the Torgiano Rosso Riserva. The quality of the regions has been on the rise and undoubtedly on its way to the same level as its neighbouring region of Tuscany.

Veneto

Becoming one of the most important regions of Italy, smaller than most of Italy’s other essential areas such as Piedmont, Tuscany, Lombardy, Pugilia and Sicily; Veneto actually produces more wine than them all together. Fruity reds such as Valpolicella and Amarone as well as refreshing white such as Soave and Prosecco.