Wine Regions of Italy, Spain, the U.S., and more

Having covered the regions of France in Wine 101 Part 1, this Part 2 now covers additional exciting wine regions to round out your wine experience.

ITALY

italy_map
Historic and cultural, Italian wines are to be discovered and savoured.

Special wines

Barolo

The Piedmont region in the northwest of Italy produces Barolo, the king of Italian red wines. Made from Nebbiolo, this small appellation’s wines are beautiful to experience. Whether it is saved for years, or consumed now, this is certainly one Italian red that benefits by aging.

Barbaresco

Also from Piedmont, this wine is made with Nebbiolo and Barbaresco (which is the queen to Barolo’s king). Appreciated for its finesse and aromas, wines of Barbaresco are among Italy’s best.

Brunello

Brunello di Montalcino is the best of wines made with Sangiovese. This Tuscan red wine gets its moniker from the local name for Sangiovese (Brunello) and Montalcino, a small medieval hill village overlooking the Tuscan countryside. Brunello’s can be complex wines with good aging potential.

Amarone

Amarone from the Veneto region is a concentrated and robust dry red wine made from dried grapes. Made from native Italian grapes, Amarone is a wine that impresses the palate that is looking for an intense red wine.

Italian red wines for every day

Chianti Classico

Chianti Classico refers to the classic growing area of this well-known Italian red wine. Produced with slightly stricter regulations than regular Chianti, a Classico pairs easily with a wide variety of foods.

Barbera d’Asti

The red grape Barbera produces lovely wines with good acidity and soft tannins. From Piedmont, they please most every palate.

Dolcetto d’Alba

Another red from Piedmont. Bigger tannins than Barbera, but less than Nebbiolo, wines from Dolcetto achieve a nice balance.

Prosecco

Believe it or not, Prosecco is an every day bubbly, not necessarily about celebration. Have it often, it has relatively low alcohol and has a delightfully fruity and punchy experience. Prosecco is a sparkling wine made in the Veneto region around the city of Treviso, north of Venice. Made with the grape of the same name, also called Glera.

Produced using an affordable technique called the Tank Method and is thus cheaper to produce than champagne.

SPAIN

We love Spanish wines. Try the wines of Rioja, Ribera del Duero, or one of the hot new regions!  Spain has the largest acreage of vineyards in the world, but lower wine production than France and Italy. The largely dry climate allows for easy organic farming of the grapes (whether certified or not), and is a winemaker’s dream for the making of truly fine wines.

Major Grapes:

  • Tempranillo
  • Garnacha
  • Monastrell

UNITED STATES

90% of wine from the United States is from California, which has thousands of wineries in such famous wine regions as Napa, Sonoma, and Central Coast.

Major Grapes:

Cabernet Sauvignon

Chardonnay

Merlot

Pinot Noir

Zinfandel

Sauvignon Blanc

ARGENTINA
Argentina has become a powerhouse of wine producers. It relies heavily on wine exports and increases production dramatically every year.

Major Grapes:

Malbec

Bonarda

Chardonnay

Cabernet Sauvignon
AUSTRALIA
Australia has consistently produced affordable and easy drinking wines for the past quarter century.
Major Grapes:

Shiraz (Syrah)

Chardonnay
GERMANY
Germany is known for its aromatic white wines.

Major Grapes:

Riesling

Müller-Thurgau
SOUTH AFRICA
South Africa is known for its Chenin Blanc and produces the largest volume of Brandy in the world.
Major Grapes:

Chenin Blanc

Cabernet Sauvignon

Pinotage

Chardonnay

CHILE

Chile has an interesting and storied red wine varietal called Carmenere, known as the ‘lost varietal’ of Bordeaux.

Major Grapes:

Cabernet Sauvignon

Chardonnay

Carménère

Merlot

Sauvignon Blanc

PORTUGAL
Portugal is well known for Port , a high alcohol dessert wine from northern Portugal made by blending several grape varieties, principally Touriga Nacional.
Major Grapes:

Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo)

Touriga Nacional

Touriga Franca

Castelão

Alicante Bouschet