Published: 28 August 2014
Italy is famous for many things, but one of the greatest is wine. Italy has been producing fine wines for thousands of years, and today some of the finest and best-known names in wine originate from the country.
When visiting Italy, there are few better things to do than to experience the country's winemaking heritage for yourself.
There are many wine regions throughout Italy and a visit to any one of them will be rewarding. Some particular regions, however, make for an especially memorable wine-lover's holiday.
Tuscany is a beautiful and largely rural region of central Italy. In the very heart of Tuscany, green hillsides play home to some of Italy's finest vineyards.
These not only make a beautifully scenic setting for a holiday, but account for the production of some of the most famous and high-quality wines in the world. The most recognisable group of wines to come from Tuscany are the Chianti wines, known around the world for their fine taste.
Vineyard tours in this region highlight not only the fascinating nature of the winemaking process in general, but the traditions that lie behind the production of these well-known wines.
Treviso, a northern Italian province in the region of Veneto, is also responsible for producing world-famous wines. In particular, it is the traditional source of Prosecco, a much-loved sparkling white wine that rivals the champagne of France.
While Prosecco is the most notable and definitely the most popular wine to originate from Treviso, other types of wine are also produced in the area and these tend to be similarly high-quality.
Lombardy is both the richest and the most popular region in Italy. It is also a place where extremely fine wines of every kind are produced, and the history of wine production in the area stretches back many centuries.
Many Italian wine regions specialise in one particular kind of wine, such as sparkling white in Treviso. Lombardy, on the other hand, produces red, white and rosé varieties, and has a reputation for quality in all three arenas. This variety makes wine tasting experiences in the region particularly enjoyable.
Verona is a wonderful city in the region of Veneto in the north of Italy. For wine enthusiasts, however, the key point of interest is not the city itself but rather the surrounding area where some fantastic wines are produced.
In particular, the world-famous Soave wines are produced on the slopes that surround the city. Most wines within this class are still white wines with a distinctive dry flavour, but many people do not realise that other varieties can also fall within the Soave classification.
These include dessert wines of the "late harvest" type, where grapes are left on the vine longer to produce a much sweeter wine, and delightful sparkling wines that rival Prosecco in quality and flavour.