In addition to iconic works of art, welcoming people and wonderful food, Italy is also often noted for its great variety of wines. Tracking down the right wine in the right region can be a bit of challenge. We’ve assembled a list of some of our favorite varietals and where to look for them, but if you find yourself in any doubt, stay local. No matter which Italian region you’re exploring with VBT, a great vineyard with delicious wine won’t be far off.
1. Chianti Classico
On any one of our Tuscan Vacations, you’re sure to find ample opportunities to sample a Chianti or two. Perhaps the best opportunity presents itself on our Tuscan Hill Towns by Bike vacation. We’ll make our way from Florence to Rome, straight through the heart of Chianti Classico country. So if you’re an avid biker with a taste for deep, dry reds, then you’ll certainly enjoy your time spent on and off the bike in Tuscany’s hill towns.
2. Rosso della Maremma Toscana
Partly made up of the premier grape in Chianti Classico – sangiovese – Rosso della Maremma is a smooth red blend, often with notes of cherry, plum and even a hint of chocolate. Take advantage of the chance to sample wine at the beautiful Fattoria di Magliano on our Tuscany by the Sea vacation. One of their signature offerings is Sinarra, a delicious example of the Rosso della Maremma varietal.
3. Pinot Grigio
If you’re cycling through northern Italy and the crisp mountain air sweeping through the Dolomite Valleys has you in the mood for a dry white wine, then you’re in luck. This region produces some of the most notable Pinot Grigios in the world. Balanced and bright, this young white will be light in your glass and on your palette, complimenting the range of cuisine you’ll find in northeastern Italy.
Moving south, into the Puglia region of Italy, you’ll find a wine that’s always in a bit of a hurry. Its name, Primitivo, is a reference to the grape’s tendency to ripen very early. As a result, this complex wine offers a vibrant range of flavors. But don’t let the name rush you. Be sure to take some time on your Puglia Vacation to sit back, relax and savor a glass or two.
5. Nero D’Avola
Though its title may have already given it away, this bold wine, indigenous to Sicily is very dark in color, but surprisingly easy to drink. Up until a couple of years ago, you’d have to go all the way to Sicily just to taste it. Fortunately, the varietal has recently made a splash in the international wine scene and you can now find it in many American wine shops. But don’t worry—we’ve got a great Sicily Bike Tour in mind if you’re up for an exciting, and delicious adventure.
Like Nero D’Avola, all of the wines mentioned are readily available without making the journey to Europe, but with nine different ways to Travel Italy, VBT is sure to have a biking, walking or skiing vacation that will tempt you all the way to the Mediterranean.