A Guide to Italy’s Wine Regions

We get it. With more than 350 official wine varieties and 20 different wine-producing regions, the world of Italian wine can be confusing and overwhelming. But before you make a beeline straight for Tuscany, it’s worth learning what else is out there besides Chianti and Brunello. To help, we’ve put together a guide to Italy’s essential wine regions, from Piedmont to Umbria.


Southern Italy

Wines it’s known for: Fiano and Greco (Campania); Aglianico (Basilicata); Primitivo and Negroamaro (Puglia); Greco and Cirò (Calabria); Grillo, Cataratto, Nero d’Avola (Sicily); Vermentino and Malvasia di Bosa (Sardinia).

How many days should I plan to visit? Southern Italy is huge and consists of the wine-growing regions of Campania, Basilicata, Puglia, Calabria, Sicily, and Sardinia, which are impossible to explore in a single trip. For a taste of Southern Italy’s wine and beautiful landscapes, we’d recommend taking a week to visit Campania, followed by Sicily.

Start/end: Work your way from Tufo in Campania, home to mineral-driven whites like Greco and Fiano, down to Cilento, mecca for the hearty red Anglianico wine. Cut a northbound trail to Salerno—breaking for a quick Amalfi Coast road trip, if you’re up for it—and then hop on a ferry to Palermo. Once you arrive in Sicily, it doesn’t matter where you go: Most wineries on the island will have their own take on the indigenous Grillo and Nero d’Avola wines (but here’s a rough guide, in case you need it).

Where to stay: Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo in Sicily for its views of Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea.

Where to sip: Mastroberardino in Tufo for its top-rated Greco and Aglianico; any of thesewineries in Sicily.

Where to eat: Cumpà Cosimo on the Amalfi Coast is worth the brief detour for Mama Netta’s reliably delicious homemade pasta; Ristorante La Madia in Sicily for its Michelin-starred traditional cuisine (it’s widely regarded as the best restaurant on the island).



Wines it’s known for: Barolo, Barbaresco, Nebbiolo, Moscato d’Asti, Asti Spumante, Gavi.

How many days should I plan to visit? Four.

Start/end: Start in Gavi for its namesake whites—comparable to Chablis—then head northwest, towards Turin, to check out the semi-sweet sparklers in Asti; namely Moscato and Spumante. Finally, head south to Alba, where for the next couple of days you’ll explore the bold, age-worthy red wines of Barolo, Nebbiolo, and Barbaresco. (Plan your trip in the fall, to coincide with Alba’s world-famous white truffle festival.)

Where to stay: The luxurious, 17th-century LaVilla Hotel, surrounded by the rolling Monferrato vineyards, is centrally placed for exploring Piedmont’s wine regions.

Where to sip: Gancia in Canelli, near Asti, for its lovely, quaffable bubbles and maze of subterranean cellars; Cascina Meriame for winemaker Paolo Manzone’s outstanding barolos.

Where to eat: At La Torricella in Alba you’ll find creative, modern takes on classic Piedmont dishes like wild boar and polenta, and incredible Alps views.



Wines it’s known for: Prosecco, Valpolicella, Amarone, Soave.

How many days should I plan to visit? Three.

Start/end: Start your trip by checking out the charming, family-run cantine along Strada del Prosecco, just two hours north of Venice. Once you’ve had your fill of bubbles—and a restful night of sleep—head west to Soave, a mecca for zesty, bright white wines. You’ll end your trip in the Valpolicella region near Verona, which turns out light, crowd-pleasing Classicos all the way up to bold, chocolatey Amarones using indigenous Corvina grapes.

Where to stay: The vineyard-flanked Vedova farmhouse is the perfect country hideaway in the Prosecco hills; in Soave, Locanda ai Capitelli is a charming bed-and-breakfast with cozy rooms overlooking Soave Castle.

Where to sip: Soave’s Pieropan winery for its award-winning Recioto di Soave, a rich, sweet take on the dry Soave white wine; Allegrini for a Valpolicella tasting inside their beautiful 15th-century villa.

Where to eat: Trattoria Dal Moro a small family-run trattoria known for its delicious Veronese cuisine and homemade pastas.



Wines it’s known for: Sangiovese, Sagrantino, Grechetto, Trebbiano.

How many days should I plan to visit? Three.

Start/end: Start in Montefalco and spend some time on the Strada del Sagrantino wine trail (marked clearly by purple signs that guide tourists from one winery to the next). The next day, drive north for thirty minutes to Torgiano for some killer Sangiovese-based reds like the Rosso di Torgiano DOC (stock up: it’s one of the best-value reds in the game). End your trip exploring the wineries surrounding Orvieto, known for citrusy, easy-drinking white wines.

Where to stay: The Palazzo Bontadosi boutique hotel in Montefalco, with its sweeping bucolic views and restorative, crystal-adorned underground hammam, is the perfect place to unwind after a day exploring Umbrian wine country.

Where to sip: The award-winning Antonelli San Marco for its passito-style Sagrantino; the Barberani winery just outside of Orvieto for its crisp Grechetto-based whites and lovely Sangiovese rosé, aptly named “Amore.”

Where to eat: Locanda del Teatro in Montefalco for its fabulous stringozzi al tartufo, the signature Umbrian pasta topped with fresh-shaved black truffles.



Trentino-Alto Adige

Wines it’s known for: Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco, Schiava, Lagrein, Gewürztraminer, Müller Thurgau.

How many days should I plan to visit? Two.

Start/end: Start in Bolzano, one of Alto Adige’s top areas for red wine, where you’ll sip on bright, zesty Schiava and peppery, Syrah-like Lagrein. Though it’s an easy 40 mile-drive, take a couple of days to cruise down to Trento, stopping for some Pinot Grigio, Gewürztraminer, and Müller Thurgau along the way.

Where to stay: The charming and unfussy Schwarz Adler Turmhotel in Cortaccia is exactly halfway between Bolzano and Trento (added bonus: views of the Adige Valley, Caldaro Lake, and South Tyrol from every room).

Where to sip: Cantina Bolzano for its award-winning Lagrein; J.Hofstätter estate for its flowery Gewürztraminers; the iconic Ferrari winery for its iconic sparkling wines comparable to Champagne and Franciacorta.

Where to eat: Scrigno del Duomo in Trento’s Piazza del Duomo for its seasonal, local cuisine (think roasted local meats with zero-kilometer veggies).




Wines it’s known for: Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Montepulciano.

How many days should I plan to visit? Three.

Start/end: Start in Chianti and dedicate an entire day to exploring its classic cantine. The next day, cut a southbound trail to the beautiful medieval town of Siena before heading further south to Montalcino to taste some Brunello. Finally, you’ll drive through the Val d’Orcia—arguably the most beautiful stretch of Tuscan countryside—and end your trip in Montepulciano.

Where to stay: The hilltop Badia a Coltibuono in Chianti for its classic wine country views; the Ferragamo-owned Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco in Montalcino for its rustic-chic suites.

Where to sip: Any of these classic wineries; plus Antinori nel Chianti Classico in Chianti for its Instagram-worthy glass-and-steel winery and equally show-stopping wine.

Where to eat: Officina della Bistecca in Panzano, Chianti for the best steak in Tuscany; Re di Macchia in Montalcino for its classic, hearty Tuscan dishes like white bean soup and wild boar pasta.

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