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North East Italy

It is not far to cross the Northern fringe of Italy from Piedmont and Lombardy in the West to the Veneto and Friuli on the Eastern flank. But over the journey, the climate changes dramatically; the East being much cooler so lighter reds and whites take centre stage. Sure, the wines here don’t quite have the style and flair of the West, but North-Eastern Italy is where some finer styles of It... continue reading
It is not far to cross the Northern fringe of Italy from Piedmont and Lombardy in the West to the Veneto and Friuli on the Eastern flank. But over the journey, the climate changes dramatically; the East being much cooler so lighter reds and whites take centre stage. Sure, the wines here don’t quite have the style and flair of the West, but North-Eastern Italy is where some finer styles of Italian wine really make their mark. North-Eastern Italy encompasses Veneto, Trentino-Alto Adige and Friuli-Venzia Giulia. By far the most important region here is the Veneto, cradled around Venice and home to the international stars Valpolicella and Soave. Valpolicella, made largely from the local Corvina is a juicy, cherry scented red and is perfect with a bowl of spaghetti Bolognese. Soave, made from Garganega, is a refreshing dry white that is a dream with the local seafood. But the Veneto is also home to the real stallion of Italian wine, the huge Amarone della Valpolicella. Amarone is made by drying the standard grapes used in Valpolicella producing dense, robust and sturdy wines, the best of which can hold their own against any beefy Australian Shiraz, or anything else, for that matter. The best Amarones are decadent and can live for twenty years or more. Conversely, another tasty local drop is Italy’s favourite sparkling wine, Prosecco. Light and gently refreshing it makes a great apéritif. To the East of Venice is the region of Friuli-Venzia Giulia. Friuli produces many decent reds, from grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carmenère and Merlot. The crisp whites, though, are really where it’s at with the regions of Collio, Grave del Friuli and Colli Orientale del Friuli, home to many of the best. Here up to twenty grapes can be used, but the top wines are from the international varieties of Pinot Gris (known here as Pinot Grigio), Pinot Blanc and Riesling, as well as local specialities of Tocai Friulano and finally Picolit, which makes an extraordinarily rare but also beautiful dessert wine. To the West is Trentino-Alto Adige which, with its similar climate, is best known for its crisp whites made from international varietals, such as Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc.
Country Italy
State IT

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