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Italy is a country known for its wine, as well as its history. Those two things are the main reasons why so many people choose Italy for their vacation destination. While you can easily fill your itinerary with must-see attractions, it is much more difficult to determine what Italian wine regions to visit. After all, there are twenty incredible wine regions in Italy. And each one offers something unique from all the others.
I have my own personal favorite wine regions over in Italy. However, today I am going to focus on the best Italian wine regions for your next vacation in Italy. Most of these are on my list of favorites and I know you will love them as much as so many other travelers do.
Tuscany happens to be the best Italian wine region in the entire country. Travelers like yourself are drawn there for the incredible wine. However, most people also visit this central Italy destination for the rolling hills, hilltop villages, and the abundance of history. Add in the delectable cuisine and extraordinary artwork in the galleries and you have a vacation of a lifetime!
There are five main wine regions to explore in Tuscany, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stop into the smaller regions during your visit. Driving around Tuscany in a rental car is the best way to experience the scenic vineyards, while also tasting the wine produced at each one.
A few of my favorite wineries in Tuscany include:
You must try both the red and white wines when visiting the wineries in Tuscany. This will be difficult, because the red wines always overshadow the white wines in this Italian wine region. The best white wine in Tuscany is the Vernaccio di San Gimignano. The tart apple and citrus flavors create the perfect wine for even the hottest day in Italy.
The list of red wines in Tuscany will overwhelm you, but you must make sure you taste the Chianti. This red wine is tart, but pairs well with many of the traditional Tuscan dishes you will eat in the area.
When you are not discovering new wines in Tuscany, you must take the time to visit the Florence Cathedral, Uffizi Gallery, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Piedmont is another one of the best Italian wine regions. While the landscape in this region is gorgeous, you will find that the main focus of your visit will be the wine and food. You simply won’t be able to get enough of either when you spend at least part of your vacation in the Piedmont wine region.
I recommend taking the time to check out the Alps to the north, as well as the Mediterranean when vacationing in Piedmont. Seeing both those areas will give you a better appreciation of how they work together to create the growing atmosphere of this Italian wine region.
My favorite wineries in Piedmont include:
The red wines definitely outpace the white wines in Piedmont, but again, that doesn’t mean you won’t find some amazing white wines to try! Each one of the white wines are wonderful, but the one that will have your taste buds dancing the most is Arneis. This crisp white wine pairs well with many different foods, so you will never go wrong ordering it with a meal.
Barolo is the top red wine in Piedmont, and you cannot visit this Italian wine region and not taste a small sip. This red wine ages well and even gets better the longer it stays in the bottle.
On the days you are not sipping wine in Piedmont, you can spend your time exploring the Fenestrelle Fortress and the National Cinema Museum. You may also want to check out the nightlife on the Murazzi.
The wine region of Puglia is also filled with ancient towns, bustling cities, and a stunning countryside. If you are not a fan of crowds, this Italian wine region will check off many of the boxes for you. This is an excellent place to unwind, while indulging in some of the best Italian wines.
A couple of my favorite wineries in Puglia include:
For years, Verdeca was the favorite white wine in Puglia. However, times are changing and Bombino Bianco is a floral and citrus white wine that is becoming the new favorite. What many people don’t know is that while Bombino Bianco is a white wine, it is also mixed with red grapes to create other types of wine. So, don’t discount rosé wines if you usually don’t drink them.
Negroamaro is one of the best red wines in Puglia. The grapes that are used to make this wine grow well in the climate of this Italian wine region. The smoky taste is slight but noticeable with a fuller blackberry flavoring. While most reds are served at room temperature, you will prefer this red wine slightly chilled.
A visit to Ostuni, or the White City, is a must when you are vacationing in Puglia. An entire day can be spent wandering around the ancient walls and looking out over the surrounding area.
Sicily might be part of Italy, but a getaway to this gorgeous island might be exactly what you need during your next vacation in Italy! Your visit here can include hiking to volcanoes, wandering along the coastline, and checking out the amazing architecture. Of course, you can’t forget about the delicacies you will dine on at the local restaurants while drinking Sicily’s local wines.
There are more vineyards in this Italian wine region than any other wine region in the country. This is excellent news if you want to see the true beauty of vineyards, in between wine tastings and other adventures.
A few favorite wineries in Sicily include:
Chardonnay is considered the white wine everyone must try when visiting Sicily. This is true, even if you are not a fan of Chardonnay! This white wine goes well with any type of seafood, as well as chicken.
Nero d’Avola is the red wine that has brought Sicily to the top of red wine producers in the country. This wine is made from the red grape that is planted the most on the island. Most of these red wines have a fruity taste, but some will have a chocolatey flavor that is more intense.
A little of your time in Sicily must be spent near Mount Etna. This volcano can be explored by ATV or via a long hike. But you can also take a cable car up twenty-five hundred meters if you want to take the easy way out on your vacation. If the volcano doesn’t appeal to you, I recommend checking out the Cathedral of Monreale and the Valley of Temples.
Veneto is an Italian wine region that many people skip over, because they are too busy wandering around Venice. I never recommend skipping a visit to Veneto, especially if you have time to spare during your vacation in Italy. This Italian wine region has some fantastic wines to try, as well as historical attractions that you shouldn’t miss.
A couple amazing wineries in Veneto include:
There are two white wines that you must try when you are visiting Veneto. The first is Prosecco, which is a sparkling wine that pairs well with any type of seafood. The second white wine is Soave, which is a still wine that goes with almost any type of meal.
The red wine of choice in Veneto is Bardolino. This is a dry red wine that is fruity. There are many types of Bardolino wines, including a Classico and Superiore. Therefore, you must know which one you are trying, so you can compare it with all the others.
There are many Venetian villas to see when you are vacationing in this part of Italy. These Venetian palaces are full of glitz and glam and surrounded by lush gardens.
Abruzzo is the last of the best Italian wine regions on our list. This wine region is close to Rome, but it never gets all the love it deserves. I love visiting this area of Italy, because so much of it remains untouched. Most of the towns and villages still have traditions that have been in place since those areas were founded.
This off the beaten path destination is full of gorgeous national parks and forests, as well as majestic mountains in the distance. You won’t want to skip over the stunning coastline either, especially since you will be able to dip your toes into the sparkling water after a trip to a local winery.
My favorite wineries in Abruzzo:
Red wines dominate Abruzzo, just like many of the other Italian wine regions. However, there are two white wines you must pay close attention to. Those white wines include Trebbiano Toscano and Trabbiano d’Abruzzo. They are both quite floral and have lower levels of acidity.
As for red wines in Abruzzo, I recommend Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Most of these red wines are very dark in color and age quite well. Any Montepulciano wine will pair well with any dish you order at a local restaurant.
There is so much to do in Abruzzo when you are not tasting the different wines. A visit to the Majella National Park is a must. But you may prefer the Trabocchi Coast and the sparkling water of the sea.
These are the six best Italian wine regions for your next vacation in Italy. While you may not have time to visit them all, you now have an idea of which ones will be perfect for your vacation. Contact me today and let me plan the perfect Italian wine tasting vacation for you! I will take care of all the small details, so all you need to do is check off your to-do list and get ready for the trip of a lifetime!
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