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English News Martedi 23 Agosto 2022

Italian wine, the value of plurality

It is time to stop intending wine only and exclusively as Barolo, Brunello or Chianti Classico. To limit solely to these denominations would be a mistake.

di Giovanna Romeo

Italian Wine is a multi-colored and complex world with 341 DOC wines and 78 DOCG wines, which represent also the biggest number of native vineyards.
Among the over 600 varieties registered in the National Catalogue of the Vine, the almost entirety may be considered native and in many cases it belongs not only to a certain region but to small lands inside of which the variety found the best development conditions and synergy with the territory.
To unravel from North to the South among the various denomination is not easy at all. Luckily, today there are numerous writers, journalists and professional sommeliers who transmit a new Italian wine communication. There is not only Barolo and Brunello di Montalcino anymore, but the whole wine and vineyards fortune which make our country unique: from the Amarone of the Valpolicella to the Zibibbo of Pantelleriea, from the Gewürztraminer of ’Alto Adige to the Magliocco Calabrese.

Even Wine Searcher from its own observatory confirms how the wine sector is changing. Small producers and new sensibilities towards the territory show the terroir’s value, that synergy between climatic, land, man, origin and identity. The Italian wine scenario changes constantly: the Sicily of the Nero d’Avola is today also the Sicily of the Etna territory with the native Nerello Mascalese. The Emilia Romagna, after the discovery and the valorization of the Lambrusco is now bringing to the top its Sangiovese. Even the minor denominations have finally understood how to create brand awareness and the consumer, more and more interested and aware, is getting closer to new typologies such as lighter red wines like the Cesanese (Lazio), the Rossese di Dolceacqua (Liguria) or the Frappato (Sicilia).

In Italy, all the regions have a great potential; not only Sicily which saw an explosion of the Etna territory, but also Calabria, Valle d’Aosta, Abruzzo, Marche with the Jesi spatial Verdicchio and the Matelica and Gavi from Piemonte and Timorasso, complex white wines and worthy of a place in the list of the biggest wines of the country.

If Barolo and Brunello di Montalcino have assured the attention of the international markets confirming as the best wines in the world, according to Oliver McCrum, Italian Fine Wine and Spirits importer, at least for the Barolo, in 1994 all of this was taken for granted.
Still today, for everyone, the US market keeps being the ambition – Italian wine has a market value of 34% - especially for the younger vine growers convinced that the only way to reach and have great scores in Italy is to position their wine in the USA where, however, in 2021 there have been a buying push and the wine sells have reached 66.8 billion dollars (2020).

Producers! If you want to reach the US market, the thing to do (at least according to McCrum) is to:  make wines in which you believe in, that are not what the market wants but are instead what you feel; make great wines, that are ambassadors of the territory, the most important key element of any style or tendency; for these wines find clients that love them.