Italy is one of the world’s most renowned wine producing countries, with over 1,000 indigenous grape varieties. To learn all there is about wine producing in Italy would take a lifetime of study and research. Today we will focus on some of the most important aspects of the Italian red grape varietals called Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, and Corvina.  You may have seen these grapes when you are out at your favorite wine bar or restaurant – but what do they mean? What makes them different from other wines? Let us explore together!

Sangiovese is the main grape variety used to produce Chianti wines, along with Canaiolo and Colorino grapes. The name of this popular red wine grape translates into “blood of Jove” or Jupiter in Italian – which refers to its dark coloring that can range from purple-red to deep crimson. Umbrian soil provides the foundations for Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino, two of Tuscany’s most well-known wine producing areas.

Nebbiolo is one of two major grapes used to produce the Italian Wine Barolo. The grape’s name Is derived from the Italian word “Nebbia”, which translates to fog, a common sight in this part of Italy. Nebbiolo is another key grape variety used in red wine production in northern regions such as Piedmont and Valtellina (Lombardy). This noble grape is descended from Piedmont. This grape can only thrive in a few places on Earth, and none of them compare to the complexity of even the most basic Piedmont versions. Wines produced from this grape tend to be medium-bodied with a deep color.

Corvina is one of three major grapes used in Amarone and Valpolicella Wines, along with the other red wine grape varieties Rondinella and Molinara. This grape is not well-known in Italy for its role in making wine. It’s the most common grape in Italy, yet people are unaware that it’s usually the stuff behind their favorite wine. Corvina is responsible for producing light, fruity wines that are suitable as an aperitif or with lighter meals.

Some wine enthusiasts might prefer Sangiovese wines because they have a more earthy flavor profile that can be reminiscent of mushrooms. Nebbiolo wines are also enjoyed by many due to their complex aromas and flavors, which can include violet, rose petal, tobacco, and truffle notes. Corvina wines are a good choice for those who want a light-bodied red wine that is easy to drink, often with fruity flavors of cherry and blackberry.

Italy is one of the world’s most famous wine producing countries. To learn all there is about wine production in Italy would take time and dedication, but today we focused on some of the key aspects that make Italian red grape varietals so well loved and sought after around the globe. Your favorite will depend on your palate and preferences so do yourself a favor and explore them!

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