Want to know all about Italian white wines and the best bottles for your collection?
Italy is both the oldest and the largest wine producing country in the world. Although Italy is renowned for its exotic red wines, there are some fabulous white wines you need to try as well!
While dry whites are the most common, you’ll find some lovely sweet and sparkling wines too.
Let’s dive in and find out all there is to know about Italian white wine - including grape varieties, regions, and which Italian whites you should buy in 2021!
This Article Contains
(Click on the links below to go to a specific section)
- Italian White Wine Regions
- Italian White Wine Grape Varieties
- Other Italian White Grapes
- Italian White Wine Styles
- Italian White Wine Taste and Food Pairings
- Best Italian White Wines in 2021 (Vintages and Prices)
- Giuseppe Quintarelli 'Amabile del Cere' Passito Bianco Veneto IGT, Italy, 1995
- Bibi Graetz Colore Bianco, Tuscany, Italy, 2018
- Gaja Gaia & Rey Chardonnay, Piedmont, Italy, 1994
- Ornellaia Toscana Bianco IGT, Tuscany, Italy, 2013
- Cantina Terlano-Kellerei Terlan 'Terlaner Primo Grande Cuvee',Trentino Alto Adige, 2016
- Cantina Termeno - Kellerei Tramin 'Epkale' Gewurztraminer Alto Adige, Trentino Alto Adige, 2013
- Gravner Amphora Pinot Grigio Friuli Venezia GiuliIGP Italy, 2007
- Maculan Acininobili Veneto IGP, Italy, 1985
- Gaja AltAeni Di Brassica, Langhe, Piemont, Italy, 1998
Italian White Wine Regions
White wine is produced in all the 20 wine regions in Italy. These are the main areas where Italian whites come from.
Vernaccia di San Gimignano, one of Tuscany’s most elegant white wines and grape varieties was Italy’s very first DOC wine. Vernaccia di San Gimignano is another fine wine made here - equally popular among wine lovers!
The commonly planted white grape varieties in Tuscany are Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cortese, Trebbiano, and Vermentino, among others.
Also read: Looking for a sweet and fruity wine? Take a look at these Moscatos!
Piedmont is famous for several white DOC wines, including Chardonnay, Arneis, and Gavi.
The white grape variety, Arneis, is produced in Piedmont’s Roero DOC. Cortese di Gavi is another Piedmont DOC white wine, which gets its name from the commune of Gavi.
3. Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Whites account for over 77% of the wine production in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, making the region one of Italy’s biggest white wine producers.
Collio and Prosecco are two DOCs that produce white wine in Friuli. Collio produces wines made from Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Grigio varietals, among others.
Also read: Serve wine like an expert this season with this handy guide on which wine glasses to use!
Veneto is one of Italy’s biggest white wine producers - with multiple white DOC wines, including Lugana and Prosecco.
The Garganega grape is most popular in the region, followed by Pinot Bianco, Trebbiano, Italian Chardonnay, and Pinot Grigio.The Glera grape (previously known as the Prosecco grape) is used to make Prosecco wine.
This beautiful wine region is situated in Northern Italy and produces an equal proportion of white wine and red wine. Malvasia and Trebbiano are two of the white grape varieties grown here.
The three main white wine styles are Pignoletto (a delicate, pale yellow wine), Malvasia (which is aromatic and dry), and Albana - the first white wine in Italy to obtain DOCG recognition in 1987.
Umbria in central Italy is well-known for its white wine made with Trebbiano, Grechetto, and Chardonnay grape varieties.
Campania in Southern Italy is one of Italy’s oldest wine regions.
The two Italian white wine grape varieties, Greco and Fiano, produce two wonderful Italian white wines - Greco di Tufo and Fiano di Avellino.
Sicily in Southern Italy is another popular white wine region.
Etna, situated on the slopes of Mount Etna, was the first DOC in Sicily, and produces white wine using the Carricante, Catarratto, Trebbiano, and Minnella grapes.
The Catarratto grape variety is the most-planted grape of Sicily and produces a lovely varietal white. Other grape varieties include Grillo, Carricante, Zibibbo, Inzolia, and Grecanico.
Marche (also called “the New Tuscany”) in central Italy grows many white wine grapes.
Verdicchio is the leading white grape variety, and produces two DOC wines in Marche - Verdicchio di Matelica and Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi.
Other white grape varieties grown here include Pinot Bianco, Malvasia Toscana, and Trebbiano, among others.
10. Trentino Alto Adige
Trentino Alto Adige in Northern Italy produces delicious white wine using Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay grapes.
Lazio is a wine region in central Italy. Malvasia Puntinata and Malvasia di Candia and Trebbiano are the most common white grape varieties grown here and make light, refreshing blended wine.
Read more: Are you curious about how many calories are in your favorite glass of red wine?
Now, let’s take a closer look at the top Italian grapes and the wine styles they produce.
Italian White Wine Grape Varieties
Many white grape varieties are native to Italy, and some (like Sauvignon Blanc) have been imported from neighboring countries, especially France.
Sauvignon Blanc is a green-skinned grape, related to the red wine grape, Cabernet Sauvignon, and is indigenous to France. But, it is found in multiple wine regions within Italy, where it is simply called ‘Sauvignon’.
Sauvignon is vinified into various wine styles, and the best ones can be found in Tuscany, Trentino Alto Adige and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
Read more: Store your wine beautifully! Read all about how to design a Wine Cellar in your home!
2. Malvasia Bianca
Malvasia Bianca, also known as White Malvasia, is a grape variety that’s vinified into multiple styles - including passito, dessert wine, and blended wines.
Chardonnay - the famous French white wine grape - is the fourth most planted white wine grape in Italy. It’s usually used as a grape in blended wines. However, you’ll also find some delicious varietal wines.
Italian Chardonnay is similar to its French counterpart though the winemaking techniques differ.
The best Italian Chardonnay is crafted by the winemakers Luigi Coppo, Antonio Gaja, and Pio Cesare.
The DOCG Fiano di Avellino in Campania creates a wonderful varietal white wine from the grape. The wine has flavors of honey and nuts and is usually quite sweet.
The Cortese grape has been grown in the Piedmont region since the 17th Century. The DOCG Cortese di Gavi produces a beautiful varietal wine with lively acidity from the grape.
6. Pinot Grigio
Pinot Grigio, known as Pinot Gris in France, shares its genetics with Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc and produces a refreshing white wine.
The Garganega grape is a white wine grape from Northern Italy used to make the Venetian wine Soave and the blend, Gambellara. The Garganega grape can be used to produce both sweet and dry wine.
Trebbiano is a very popular Italian wine grape that is used to make both varietal wines, as well as blends. (It is even used to create balsamic vinegar.)
There are seven DOCs in Italy that grow the Trebbiano grape, including the Lugana DOC.
9. Pinot Bianco
Pinot Bianco is a French grape mostly grown in France and Germany but also found in a few Italian wine regions. Pinot Bianco is a creamy white wine that has subtle floral and fruit scents.
Vermentino is an Italian white grape variety that is primarily grown in Sardinia.
It is also grown in other parts of Italy under different names. In Piedmont, it is called Favorita, and in Liguria, it is called Pigato.
11. Pinot Nero
Italian white wine isn’t only made from white-skinned Italian grapes!
Pinot Noir (or Pinot Nero in Italian) is one of the grape varieties used to make delicious white wine. This is done by fermenting Pinot Noir without skin contact, so the color does not blend with the wine.) A good example is the Pinot Nero White Sillery Frecciarossa 2017.
Other Italian White Grapes
- Muscat Blanc
- Sauvignon Vert
Italian White Wine Styles
Below are the four main white wine styles found in Italy, though there are many more!
Asti is a sparkling wine made in the Asti and Alba appellations of the Piedmont region.
DOCG Moscato d’Asti is a sweet, sparkling wine made using the Moscato grape to make a.
Frascati is a fine wine, preferred by the ancient Romans and Renaissance Popes!
It is a light-bodied wine that is made mainly from Trebbiano grapes as well as Malvasia and Grechetto. It has prominent fruit flavors, particularly citrus, with zesty acidity.
Orvieto DOC produces a predominantly dry wine in Umbria and Lazio. The Italian grapes used are usually a blend of Trebbiano and Grechetto.
Soave is a dry Italian white wine made in the Veneto region. (Soave is a DOC, and Soave Superiore is a DOCG.)
The Soave Classico vineyard that lies within the Soave wine DOC produces dry white wine. Soave Classico is a title used to distinguish good quality Soave wine from sub-par Soave wine.
The main grape used is Garganega, but Chardonnay and Trebbiano di Soave are also allowed in small quantities.
Italian White Wine Taste and Food Pairings
Italian white wine ticks all the boxes - it can have the rich flavor of walnuts and honey or the zesty acidity of tropical fruit.
In terms of flavors, you can say there’s an Italian white wine for everyone!
Italian wine tends to reflect the cuisine of the region it is produced in. For example, Italian white wines from the Veneto region pair very well with seafood dishes, pasta, and Pecorino - Italian hard cheese.
Best Italian White Wines in 2021 (Vintage and Prices)
Here are our top picks of Italian White Wine for wine lovers in 2021!
1. Giuseppe Quintarelli 'Amabile del Cere' Passito Bianco Veneto IGT, Italy, 1995
This amber-hued fine wine is a bold, well-balanced one with the rich flavor of toffee, maple syrup, and walnuts. Pair this wine with fresh bread and balsamic vinegar.
Price of Giuseppe Quintarelli 'Amabile del Cere' Passito Bianco Veneto IGT, 1995: $658
2. Bibi Graetz Colore Bianco, Tuscany, Italy, 2018
This dry central Italian white wine is bold with relatively high acidity. You can taste the peach and honey undertones, along with subtle hints of oak and honey.
Price of Bibi Graetz Colore Bianco, Tuscany: $382
3. Gaja Gaia & Rey Chardonnay, Piedmont, Italy, 1994
Here we have an elegant and complex Chardonnay. You can really taste the oak influence, as well as the fruit flavors of peach and pear. Pair this wine with pasta and pecorino.
Price of Gaja Gaia & Rey Chardonnay, Piedmont, 1994: $782
4. Ornellaia Toscana Bianco IGT, Tuscany, Italy, 2013
This delightful bottle of Sauvignon Blanc wine has the taste of citrus, with tangs of green apple and tropical fruit, complemented by zesty acidity.
Price of Ornellaia Toscana Bianco IGT, Tuscany, 2013: $439
5. Cantina Terlano-Kellerei Terlan 'Terlaner Primo Grande Cuvee',Trentino Alto Adige, Italy, 2016
This wine is smooth and bold, with earthy notes of smoke, citrus fruits, and black truffle. Pair this wine with balsamic vinegar and sweet strawberries.
Price of Cantina Terlano-Kellerei Terlan 'Terlaner Primo Grande Cuvee',Trentino Alto Adige, 2016: $236
6. Cantina Termeno - Kellerei Tramin 'Epokale' Gewurztraminer Alto Adige, Trentino Alto Adige, Italy, 2013
The Gewurztraminer grape is the star of this wine. It’s a floral and pleasantly sweet white wine, with aromatic notes of lavender and honeysuckle with low acidity.
Price of Cantina Termeno - Kellerei Tramin 'Epokale' Gewurztraminer Alto Adige, Trentino Alto Adige, 2013: $212
7. Gravner Amphora Pinot Grigio Friuli Venezia Giulia IGP, Italy, 2007
This Pinot Grigio from Northern Italy is a caramel-colored wine that tastes of toffee and citrus fruit. This is a complex and dry wine with aging notes of walnut and a deep, rich flavor.
Price of Gravner Amphora Pinot Grigio Friuli Venezia Giulia IGP 2007: $143
8. Maculan Acininobili, Veneto IGP, Italy, 1985
This Italian white wine is elegant and sweet, with flavors of stone fruit, such as apricot and peach, citrus fruit, and a lively acidity. Pair this bottle with pasta and grated Pecorino cheese.
Price of Maculan Acininobili Veneto IGP, 1985: $490
9. Gaja Alteni Di Brassica, Langhe, Piemont, Italy, 1998
Here we have a fresh and crisp Sauvignon Blanc with a bouquet of green apple and apricot and lively acidity. Pair this Italian white wine with a charcuterie board of cured meat and a selection of mature cheeses.
Price of Gaja Alteni Di Brassica, Langhe, Piemont, 1998: $297
All of these wines are a treat to the senses!
Now let’s see if these Italian whites are meant for long-term investing.
Should You Invest in Italian White Wines?
Usually, Italian white wines are not taken as seriously as their red wine counterparts.
However, in recent years Italy’s top-tier winemakers have been producing some exceptional bottles of white wine that, after aging, may increase in value (a Terre Alte, for instance.)
Alternatively, you can invest in Italian red wines.
However, this will take a good deal of research and expertise, as the Italian wine industry is very complex!
That’s why you should leave the investing woes to a trusted wine investment company like Vinovest!
Buy Italian White Wines and Other Bottles through Vinovest
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How it works
Investing with Vinovest is simple. Start with only four simple steps:
- Sign up on the Vinovest website.
- Share your risk appetite and insurance preferences
- Add a minimum of $1000 to your account
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2. Best Prices
Vinovest buys your wine directly from winemakers, global wine exchanges, and wine auctions, so you get delicious sweet red wines and other exclusive bottles at wholesale prices.
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At Vinovest, every single bottle you buy is authenticated, and the provenance is traced - so a counterfeit bottle is out of the question!
4. A Curated Portfolio Specific to You
With the help of Vinovest’s expert sommeliers and data scientists, you are able to make wise investment choices. They use a proprietary financial model to help you build a high-performing portfolio.
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Vinovest uses 24/7 surveillance cameras in all their warehouses, and there’s a power-back up which will maintain the right conditions in case of a power cut.
Vinovest’s comprehensive insurance policy will protect your wine storage at all times. Plus, your wines are stored with the right light, temperature, vibration, and humidity in bonded warehouses - keeping your bottles of Moscato d’Asti, Pinot Gris, and others safe and fresh.
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Dive into the Exciting World of Italian White Wine
The delicious, refreshing Italian whites are loved by novice wine drinkers and wine connoisseurs alike!
But, when it comes to long-term investing, the Soave Classico and other Italian whites may not be your ideal options.
You can easily add the best investment-grade Italian reds, and other fine, rare wines into your portfolio - through Vinovest.
So, sign up and get started with your wine investment journey right away!