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Italian quality wine and food selected by WineCountry.IT
Extensive online database listing Italian wine producers, exporters, importers and distributors
Italian Wine Hub - Extensive online database listing Italian wine producers, exporters, importers and distributors
Extensive online gallery featuring over 1,000 Italian wine labels
Extensive online gallery featuring over 1,000 Italian wine labels


Italian Native Vines

  • Vitigni Autoctoni (Italian Native Vines):
    Witness to the Past and Protagonists of the Future

    Rosa D'Ancona – June 10, 2005

    vignetiRosa D'Ancona, journalist and wine expert from Sicily, starts a new, interesting column introducing and explaining the roughly 350 Italian Vitigni Autoctoni, or Italian native vines, taking us on fascinating journeys across Italy, touching on each region and presenting all of the native grapes, from the 'ubiquitous' ones, such as the famed Sangiovese, that is found in many central regions, to the very local, such as Sagrantino, that is found just in one zone of the small Umbria region. It will be a long, engaging trip into the fascinating traditions of the Italian wine world. Kick back and enjoy every single installment.
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  • Aosta Valley Native Vines
    Rosa D'Ancona – January 31, 2007

    Aosta Valley"Difficult and heroic", thus could be defined viticulture in the Aosta Valley.

    History diverges on how viticulture was introduced into the region. On one hand there are some who believe that the Romans were responsible for the introduction of the first vines. On the other hand, there are those who believe that the plant was already present in the region long before the Romans showed up, and that it was known to the natives Salassi.
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  • Piedmont Native Vines
    Piedmont regionRosa D'Ancona – December 23, 2006

    Despite the crises that have hit the wine world in Italy and worldwide in recent years, the Piedmontese enological sector is doing rather well. Given the current critical global situation, this regions' wines are facing marketing difficulties, however they are nowhere close to the hardships faced by other Italian and international wine production zones.

    Such positive results are mostly due to the production philosophy adopted by the whole regional wine sector, which is ever more focused on turning out high quality products, in all price ranges and for all the wine varieties, based on both international and native vines.
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  • Lombardy Native Vines
    LombardyRosa D'Ancona – November 1, 2006

    Though Lombardy is known worldwide as the Italian industrial and service hub, the region has a rich agricultural legacy, of which wine constitutes a sizable part.

    The vitiviniculture tradition in this regions has very ancient roots, reaching as far back as the Etruscans, the Euganei and the Romans. In fact, Roman writers such as Catullo and Virgil, among others, wrote about the quality of Lombard wines.
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  • Trentino Alto AdigeTrentino Alto Adige Native Vines
    Rosa D'Ancona – April 1, 2007

    When someone mentions the Trentino region the first thing that comes to mind is the apples, however, despite the fact that apple orchards provide the main regional specialty crop, viticulture has carved a respectable niche for itself. Thanks to the strong terroir characteristics of its wines, the regional enological products compare favorably and hold their own, both in the Italian and the international markets.
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  • Friuli Venezia Giulia Native Vines
    Rosa D'Ancona – July 1, 2007

    Friuli Venezia GiuliaFriuli Venezia Giulia is among the most prominent Italian regions in the national and international world of wine thanks to the combination of a variety of factors. First of all, there is an excellent synergy among climate, vine and terroir, as well as an abundant use of a variety of of native varieties, some of which date back around 2000 years. In addition, the production quantity remains fairly low, but is more and more focused on high quality wines, thanks to the implementation of innovative techniques in the vineyards as well as in the cellars.
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  • Veneto Native Vines
    VenetoRosa D'Ancona – May 15, 2007

    With its 78,000 hectares (over 192,742 acres) of vineyards and an average yearly production of 8,825 million hectoliters (over 223 million gallons) of wine, Veneto is among the largest wine producing regions in Italy.

    Thanks to the great environmental variety, the respect and, in certain cases, the recuperation of ancient native vines at risk, and above all, to the dynamism of its producers, this region provides a great variety of high quality, valuable wines. The positive energy of the vitivinicultural sector of this region is reflected in the three DOCG, 22 DOC, and nine IGT wines produced.
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  • Liguria Native Vines
    Rosa D'Ancona – March 1, 2007

    LiguriaAlong with olives, viticulture is among the most ancient and widespread agricultural activities in Liguria. In this region the olive groves and the vineyards thrive on the the ridges overlooking the Mediterranean, as well as in the interior, in particular on the terraced hillsides that characterize the the regional viticulture. They are the legacy of tireless efforts by generations of farmers.
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  • Emilia-Romagna Native Vines
    Emilia RomagnaRosa D'Ancona – August 30, 2006

    The Emilia-Romagna region is possibly the most famous Italian food valley, both nationally and world wide. It is not by chance that the regional capital, Bologna, was known in the Middle Ages as La Grassa (The Fat One, as even in those hard times, good healthful food and wine of similar quality were rarely absent even upon the poorest dinner tables.
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  • Tuscan Native Vines
    Rosa D'Ancona – July 16, 2006

    TuscanyTuscany is a world famous wine region, whose historic links to the cultivation and development of vitiviniculture can be traced back to Etruscan and Roman times. Currently, the region is at the forefront among the wine production zones which act as international ambassador for the wines made in Italy.

    With the alternating of hills, valleys and Mediterranean coastline, the regional landscape appears to be made to order for vine growing. Additionally, there's the large number of vine types grown in the region, where the native varieties have achieved excellent results, and the international vines have produced successful wines on the world market.
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  • Marche Native Vines
    MarcheRosa D'Ancona – June 1, 2006

    The roots of viticulture in the Marche region of Italy are more than just ancient. In fact, fossil remains of vitis vinifera dating back to the Iron Age have been found in archeological digs in the province of Ascoli Piceno. Furthermore, the fame of local wines is celebrated in ancient documents.

    In Roman times, the 'Vino Piceno' (Wine from the Piceno area) was well known throughout the empire and the white Verdicchio wine was already fairly appreciated.
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  • Latium Native Vines
    LatiumRosa D'Ancona – May 1, 2006

    Vitiviniculture in the Latium region has roots in truly ancient times, dating as far back as to the Etruscans, who were known to have grown vines in what's currently the Viterbo province. During the Roman times though, Rome became the imperial capital and vine growing was further developed and spread throughout the whole region.

    Vine and olive groves found their ideal environment in the volcanic soil of the Castelli Romani (Roman Castles) area, where their cultivation was mentioned in works by the poets, Tibullo, Orazio and Catullo, as well as in more scientific writings of the time, such as the Naturalis Historia (Natural History) by Plinio the Elder.
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  • Umbria Native Vines
    UmbriaRosa D'Ancona – April 1, 2006

    Viticulture in the Umbria region has deeply rooted traditions. many archeological findings reveal that two different civilizations, the Etruscan and the Umbri, cultivated vines in the area long before the arrival of the Romans. Another indication of the natural inclination of this region for winemaking, is the fact that in course of time several native vine varieties developed locally, such as Grechetto, Verdello, Drupeggio, Procanico, Trebbiano Spoletino and various types of Malvasia, among the white grapes, and Sagrantino, Sangiovese and Ciliegiolo among the red grapes.
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  • Campania Native Vines
    Rosa D'Ancona – March 1, 2006

    Campania The Campania region has played a truly important part in the evolution of viticulture and worldwide enology, with a vine-growing tradition that dates back to the 13th century BC. Most likely the first vines were brought to this region by the ancient Greeks. Viticulture was then further developed by the Romans who, more than any other civilization, contributed to spreading the culture of vine growing and winemaking.

    The archeological sites of Ercolano and Pompei offer one of the most important insights into the everyday life of the Roman times. In those towns, frozen in time by the sudden lava eruption of nearby Vesuvio volcano, the symbols and references to enology are among the most recurrent.
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  • Abruzzo Native Vine
    AbruzzoRosa D'Ancona – November 15, 2005

    Though Abruzzo is well known for its pristine environment, having earned the definition of 'Regione Verde d’Europa' ('European Green Region'), few know that viticulture was introduced in this region by the Etruscans in the Sixth or Seventh century B.C.. Viticulture knowledge and techniques were passed from generation to generation and improved upon over the course of time, making Abruzzo currently the fifth largest wine producing region of Italy.
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  • Molise Native Vines
    Rosa D'Ancona – December 15, 2005

    MoliseVine cultivation in the Molise region was already practiced by the ancient Samnites, who produced wine and other fermented drinks, having learned the trade from the Greeks and the Etruscans.

    Though vine growing has had its ups and downs in the history of this region, the particularly favorable climate has contributed to establishing an interesting wine culture.
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  • Apulia Native Vines
    Rosa D'Ancona – January 28, 2006

    ApuliaAs a result of the re-qualification and re-evaluation process of the unique Apulia region vitivinicultural legacy, promoted by local producers and public administrators, the regional wines have met with the favor of the Italian and international markets in recent years. In addition, the current trend has attracted attention and investment from Northern Italian entrepreneurs. This is a true rebirth for the wine producing sector, one which was unimaginable just 20 years ago,. Back then just a very small amount of wine was bottled and most product was shipped up north, where it was used in several quality blends.
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  • Basilicata Native Vine
    Rosa D'Ancona – October 1, 2005

    BasilicataAs mentioned in the introduction to this column, wine is part of the cultural heritage of a region and its inhabitants.
    Basilicata is certainly among the Italian regions that have long promoted wine quality appreciation among the various market players, including end users or consumers, making detailed information about the variety of grapes produced and particular local situations affecting wine production available to them.
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  • Calabria Native Vines
    CalabriaRosa D'Ancona – September 1, 2005

    This Italian region has been well known for the quality of the local grapes and wines since time immemorial, so much so that in Ancient Greece they were awarded as prizes to the Olympic winners. This is the region that was first called Enotria, or 'Land of Wine', the name that ultimately defined Italy for the Ancient Greeks. We are talking about Calabria, the area whose viticulture and winemaking traditions are interwoven with the region's own history, which have been this way for thousands of years.
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  • Sicilian Native Vines
    SicilyRosa D'Ancona – June 29, 2005

    In the past, the majority of wines made with native Sicilian vines were used to produce either simple local wines, or sold in bulk to be used in northern Italian and French blends. Currently though, after years of hard work, local producers and administrators alike understand perfectly that, in order to sustain what is sometimes called the enological 'Sicilian Miracle', the industry must push the envelops with regards to unique and typical wines.
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  • Sardinian Native Vines
    SardiniaRosa D'Ancona – July 31, 2005

    Sardinia is an Italian island with a splendid wine production area. In this region, viticulture represent an excellent mixture of cutting edge technology and centuries-old traditions which, we must emphasize, have been greatly influenced by the many invasions which the island underwent for centuries in the past.
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