The Terrale wines from Sicily and Puglia are produced by Calatrasi which emerged in the 1990s as one of southern Italy's most progressive wine producers. Owned by Sicily's Micciche family, Calatrasi has played a pivotal role in shaping a positive new identity for southern Italian wines. Calatrasi controls about 2,500 acres of vineyards in Sicily alone.
Learn More About Primitivo
Kin of Zin
Recent "DNA" testing has shown Primitivo to possess the exact same genetic make
up as the popular California grape, Zinfandel.
Oddly enough, both varieties origins are tracked back to Croatia. And while
the grapes may be identical in theory, the wines they produce have distinct
Primitivo's home province is Apuglia (sometimes called Puglia), located in the
"heel" of Italy's boot. Wines made from Primitivo have notes of plum and spice,
like Zinfandel, but because of different growing soils and climate, the fruit
character is less jammy, the structure more akin to old world wines, with rustic
notes of earth and spice, as well as tamed fruit flavors.
Summing it up
Successful Sites: Italy
Common Descriptors: jammy, brambly, chocolate, rustic
Learn More About Italy
Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Umbria
Home of the fashion capital of Milan, Lombardy is not quite Italy's capital of wine. It is, however, home to a few wines worth noting. Most vineyards are far north, far south or far east. First, in the south, the sparkling wine Franciacorta – this sparkling wine is made in the methode champagnoise and the better wineries produce wine that can hold it's own in a quality bubbly line up. Lugana, a pleasant, white wine made from Trebbiano, comes from Lombardy as well. Lean reds from the Nebbiolo grape are made further up in the Valtelliana region, near the Alps.
The region of Emilia-Romagna is better known for its food rather than wine. Most of the wine coming from this region is the red, slightly-fizzy Lambrusco. It's high in acid and best drunk young. The white coming out of the region is mostly Albana di Romagna. Made from the albana grape, it's typically dry and pleasant, although not found often.
Talk about being in the center of things… the land-locked region of Umbria is smack dab in the middle of the country. The most familiar white wine of the region is Orvieto, named for the medieval Etruscan town. It's a Trebbiano-based wine with good fruit flavors and high acid. Originally a sweet wine, most Orvietos are now dry. Red wine from Umbria includes Torgiano and Montefalco - Torgiano made from the grapes of Chianti, while Montefalco uses the native sagrantino grape, making big and bold reds.