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Italy is one of the oldest wine-growing countries in the world, the origins go back at least until 1000 BC. At this time in central Italy appeared the Etruscan on, the part-populated areas of today's Abruzzo, Lazio, Tuscany and Umbria. The origin of the Italian wine culture lies in the Greek colonization, with the 10th Starting century BC on the island of Sicily and Campania and Calabria regions of today's Greek wine culture was brought to the Peninsula. The Greeks brought many of their vines gave the almost ideal for winegrowing country name Oinotria . Similarly, at that time practiced the later to become great enemy Phoenicia (Punic), who built on Sicily and the Mediterranean bases, an influence. From the 6th Century BC, began a lively trade with the Celts in Gaul (France), the imported substantial quantities of wine from the upper and middle Italy.

Of all these people, and also led the Romans learned the winemaking to a fine art. In the 3rd Century BC, the grapevine was common across the boot. In the 1st Century BC, the wine culture reached its peak. The city of Pompeii was until it was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 BC, the wine trade and wine center-the main supplier of the capital Rome. The most famous Ancient wines were at this time Caecuber , Falernian and Surrentinum . The Romans were in the newly acquired provinces in today's France, Spain, Portugal, Germany and England vineyards. Wine was to import and export products and the Romans introduced it also has been manufacturing wooden barrels, taking it from the Celts had learned.

A number of Roman authors wrote about viticulture and wine culture in some very extensive work and thus allow a very accurate picture. It ranges from a purely scientific and didactic writings on poetic descriptions to descriptions about the drinking and dining culture. The most important, in chronological order are Cato the Elder (234-149 BC), Virgil (70-19 BC), Horace (65-8 BC), Ovid (43 BC to 8 AD), columella first (1st half century.), Petronius (d. 66), Pliny (23-79) and Palladius (4th cent.). Wine became a cultural medium of the first rank, in continuation of the Greek Dionysus enjoyed the wine god Bacchus (god of wine) great veneration. The Romans were very creative regarding vinification techniques. A specialty was the flavoring to make the wine tastier and more durable.

It has already sparkling wine by storing the amphora produced in cold spring water (fermentation interruption). In the first century AD, occupied themselves intensively with the Breeding of vines and tried for the particular soil to find the most suitable grape. Many of today's indigenous grapes come from the then cultivated varieties Ancient off. By the collapse of the Roman Empire in the 5th Century and the great confusion of the great migration came the wine culture has been forgotten and was only by various religious monasteries of the Roman Catholic Church through production of altar wine being maintained.

Gave great impetus it again at the beginning of the Renaissance in the 14th Century. To revive the wine, did Pope Paul III. (1468-1549) the French wine outlawed and had to create detailed reports on the former Italian wine. Already in 1716 were Grand Duke Cosimo III. (1642-1723) set out to the Medici family in Tuscany, the wine zones of the Chianti, Italy was one of the first countries with Origin . But it was not until the 19th Century wine types with French help, such as Barolo, Brunello and Chianti were created himself initiated a new beginning. With more than 2,000 different varieties Italy has most of the world, many of them are still Ancient varieties (Greek) origin. Of these, but "only" 400 officially approved. The Blend (2007):

Grape Color Synonyms or varieties Hectare %
Sangiovese red Brunello , Prugnolo Gentile 85,000 10.0
Trebbiano white Trebbiano d'Abruzzo , Trebbiano Romagnolo , Trebbiano 81,500 9.6
Catarratto Bianco white C. Bianco Comune, C. Bianco Lucido 74,000 8.7
Montepulciano red Cordisco, Morellone 32,000 3.8
Merlot red - 24,000 2.8
Barbera red B. Amaro, B. Mercantile, as Nera, as Nostrana 23,000 2.7
Negroamaro red Negro Amaro 20,000 2.4
Nero d'Avola red Calabrese, Calabrese d'Avola 14,000 1.6
Chardonnay white - 12,500 1.5
Lambrusco red Grasparossa L., L. Maestri, L. Marani, L. Salamino 12,500 1.5
Cabernet Sauvignon red Cabernet 12,000 1.4
Garganega white Garganega di Gambellara, Garganego 12,000 1.4
Malvasia Bianca white Malvasia di Candia, Malvasia Candida 12,000 1.4
Muscat Blanc white Moscato Bianco 12,000 1.4
Aglianico red Aglianico del Vulture, see also Falernian 10,000 1.2
Manzoni Incrocio white Incrocio Manzoni 6.0.13, Manzoni Bianco 9500 1.1
Inzolia white Ansonica, Insolia 9500 1.1
Primitivo red Primitivo di Gioia, Zinfandel 9000 1.1
Cannonau red Cannonao, Grenache Noir 7500 0.9
Pignoletto white Pignoletta Bianca, Pignoletto Bolognese 7000 0.8
Pinot Gris white Pinot Grigio 6700 0.8
Glera white until 2009 known as Prosecco 6700 0.8
Dolcetto red Ormaesca 6600 0.8
Corvina red C. Veronese, C. Comune, C. Gentile 6500 0.8
Grecanico white Grecanico Bianco, Grecanico Dorato 6500 0.8
Cabernet Franc red Cabernet Frank 5000 0.6
Nebbiolo red N. del Biela, N. Lampia, N. Michet, Spanna 5000 0.6
Pinot Blanc white Pinot Bianco 5000 0.6
Malvasia del Lazio white Malvasia Puntinato 4700 0.6
Nerello red N. Mascalese, N. Cappuccio, N. Catanese 4700 0.6
Ancellotta red Ancelotta Tues Massenzatico, Balsamina Nera 4600 0.5
Albana white Albana di Romagna , Albana di Bertinoro 4500 0.5
Gaglioppo red Aglianico di Cassano, Gaglioppo Nero 4300 0.5
Friulano white Tocai, Tocai Friulano 4200 0.5
Syrah red Neretto Saluzzo 4200 0.5
Vermentino white Favorita , Malvasia de Corse, Pigato 3800 0.4
Nuragus white Abbondosa, Nuragus Trebbiana 3500 0.4
Pinot Noir red Pinot Nero 3500 0.4
Verdicchio white Verdicchio Bianco 3500 0.4
Sauvignon Blanc white Sauvignon 3300 0.4
Monica red Nera Monica, Monica Sarda 3000 0.4
Rondinella red Nessuno conosciuto 3000 0.4
Cortese white Cortese Bianca, Bianca Fernanda 2900 0.3
Ciliegiolo red Aleatico di Spagna 2700 0.3
Malvasia Nera red MN di Brindisi, MN Tues Casorzo, MN Lecce 2600 0.3
Bonarda red Bonarda Novarese , Croatina , Uva Rara 1800 0.2
Carignano red Carignan 1800 0.2

Beginning of the 1990s, the vineyard was still well over a million acres, but due to subsidized Clear the EU were reduced by approximately 200,000 hectares. In 2007, 847,000 hectares of 45.981 million hectoliters of wine were produced. This puts Italy in the world on the top and Knights constantly with France and Spain for the first place (see Wine production quantities ). Wine is produced from the north of the country (South Tyrol) and in the deep south (Sicily) and the Mediterranean islands. Currently, more than 300 DOC and DOCG zones are recognized by almost a thousand types of wine, but make up only around 20% of production. There are around two million harvesters, 340,000 and 45,000 wine cellar bottler.

The soil is characterized by great diversity, but the climate has, despite local differences common factors. The Alps shield against cold north winds, the Apennine mountains form the Piedmont in the north to Sicily in the south, a 1,500-kilometer-long weather divide. The eastern Mediterranean and the Tyrrhenian Sea west of the boot as well as the numerous rivers and lakes affect determinative. The best areas have on average. Temperatures between 12 and 16 ° C, enough snow and rain in the winter and warm to hot summer with sunshine until late in the autumn The vineyards are created from sea level up to 1,000 meters high. The 20 wine regions agree exactly with the political boundaries region. The values ​​are from the book "Wine" (ed. André Dominé) and date from the year 2006:

Abruzzo Abruzzo L'Aquila 37,407
Valle d'Aosta Valle d'Aosta Aosta 726
Apulia Puglia Bari 105,601
Basilicata Basilicata or Lucania Potenza 6224
Emilia-Romagna Emilia-Romagna Bologna 61,266
Friuli-Venezia Giulia Friuli-Venezia Giulia Trieste 19,513
Calabria Calabria Catanzaro 12,716
Campania Campania Napoli 28,100
Lazio Latio Romany 29,252
Liguria Liguria Genoa 1942
Lombardy Lombardia Milano 24,030
Trademarks Marche Ancona 19,187
Molise Molise Campobasso 6282
Piedmont Piemonte Torino 55,118
Sardinia Sardegna earlier Tinakria Cagliari 31,131
Sicily Sicilia Palermo 128,144
Tuscany Toscana Firenze 62,501
Trentino-Alto Adige Trentino-Alto Adige Trento 15,084
Umbria Umbria Perugia 13,757
Veneto Veneto Venezia 72,460

Until after the Second World War, began in Italy more grounded and less on quality. From the 1960s took place then a profound change. The first area in which the "Italian wine miracle" was noticeable was Chianti Classico in Tuscany, where a radical break with the past was completed. These include the famous wineries contributed Antinori , Frescobaldi and Ricasoli and later Ca 'del Bosco decisively in Lombardy. In the last third of the 20th Century, the Italian wine has changed more than a thousand years before that.

In 1963, with a new wine law created a comprehensive policy and introduced a new quality designation "Controlled Denomination of Origin" (DOC), which is critical as a result of quality improvements helped. As the first DOC wine in 1966, Vernaccia di San Gimignano named. Only in 1980 for the very best wines followed the highest level "Denomination of Origin Controlled and Guaranteed" (DOCG). The first four DOCG wines this year were first Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano , then followed Barbaresco and Barolo .

There were no other significant changes to it in 1992 with the after the Italian Agriculture Minister Giovanni Goria Law (1943-1994) named "Goria-law", with the Origin once more emphasizes the quality and level of IGT was introduced. The addition Classico called traditional areas and better quality Asked core zones within a DOC or DOCG area. Are alcohol or maximum income over the minimum values, the addition is Superiore , with longer barrel maturation Reserve permitted.

Wine categories: In August 2009, EU wine market was valid with fundamental changes to the wine labels and quality levels. By the EU Member States to allow time for changes, a transition period until end of 2011. There are the following new names and quality levels (see also detail under Quality System ):

* Vino - equivalent to the now banned term as Vino da Tavola
* IGP = Protected Geographical Indication (formerly IGT = Geographical Indication Tipica)
* PDO = Protected Denomination of Origin (formerly DOC, DOCG)

In April 2010, the new national wine law was valid, with the Decree No. 164 was replaced in 1992. They were not content with merely adapting to the new EU law, but made a few substantial changes. The old and the new names on the label may be alternatively or simultaneously. This choice is the main reason to avoid a "flattening" of the DOC to DOCG, since both would be unified in an exclusive use of DOP and DOCG is yes to continue to provide high quality standard with DOC. In summary, there are now stricter and clearer rules formulated.

Grape : All appellation wines may be pressed only from approved varieties for IGT wines under observation are located varieties approved. The grapes must be called mandatory in the production regulations. This information may also be made subject to a percentage tolerance of one percent (previously only the composition of the varieties specified in the vineyards). It may also Table grape is vinified, the existing ban was lifted.

Vino: The old name "VdT" (Vino da Tavola) is now banned. There are wines and without which the cultivar and / or vintage.

IGT = Geographical Indication Tipica = IGP: The next highest quality level corresponding to a Wine Country . IGT also have to undergo in the future, a chemical-physical analysis (sensory testing, however, remains still prescribed only for DOC / DOCG wines). The wine must be in the nature of a typical geographically based characteristics. Designation as he can as a region as "Rosso di Toscana" or even a grape designation as "Moscato di Canelli" bear. The minimum requirements for alcohol-hectare maximum yields are below the DOC level. The areas are usually much larger than the DOC zones, for example, there is a comprehensive the entire region, "Toscana". From the 1980s led to the high quality of some of IGT wines from Tuscany to the term super-Tuscans . There are about 120 IGT wines with around 30% of production.

DOC = Denomination of Controlled Origin = DOP: This Quality wine with controlled origin must come from specified grape varieties that are grown in certain areas, are processed according to fixed amounts and methods and expanded (see below). Some DOC zones produce only one wine, others. Several in different colors, varieties or species As a German-language counterpart to the South Tyrolean wines QbA name is (quality wine produced in specified regions) allowed. These wines make up about 25% of production.

= DOCG Denomination of Origin Controlled and Guaranteed = DOP: This Quality wine with controlled and guaranteed origin represent the highest Italian "honor class", the most highly prized wines guarantees authenticity. These wines make up only about 5% of production.

DOC and DOCG correspond to the French AOC system. One of the constraints in different varieties including, bottle shape, minimum aging period in barrels and bottles, minimum alcohol content, minimum acid content, minimum net dry extract, and color and bouquet. Prior to marketing there is a sensory and Analytical Review . Since 1992, the controlled source naming of sub-zone (sottozona), municipality (comune), district (frazione), microclimate zone (microzona), winery (fattoria, cascina or podere) and the vineyard parcel (vigna or vigneto) for wines extraordinary quality possible. The new law thus raises the importance of the origin prominent.

The wines or regions can stay flexible in quality and hierarchy. This means that inefficient DOC areas can be eliminated. If wines have maintained their quality five years, they DOC and after another five years of DOCG status is granted. This is also possible for subdivisions and individual layers (vigna), which is considered a top rank. It can also achieve a single, outstanding brand wine DOCG status if he "does honor to Italy". As of June 2011, there are around 400 DOC / DOCG areas, of which the DOCG wines:

Name or area (synonyms) Color Main variety Region
Aglianico del Vulture red Aglianico Basilicata
Albana di Romagna white Albana Emilia-Romagna
Valpolicella red Corvina, Corvinone Veneto
Asti (Asti Spumante) white Moscato Bianco Piedmont
Bagnoli Friularo red Raboso Piave Veneto
Barbaresco red Nebbiolo Piedmont
Barbera d'Asti red Barbera Piedmont
Barbera del Monferrato red Barbera Piedmont
Bardolino red Corvina Veneto
Bardolino red Corvina Veneto
Barolo red Nebbiolo Piedmont
Brachetto d'Acqui (Acqui) red Brachetto Piedmont
Brunello di Montalcino red Brunello Tuscany
Carmignano red Sangiovese Tuscany
Cerasuolo di Vittoria red Nero d'Avola Sicily
Cesanese del Piglio red Cesanese Lazio
Chianti red Sangiovese Tuscany
Chianti Classico red Sangiovese Tuscany
Colli Bolognesi Classico Pignoletto white Pignoletto Emilia-Romagna
Colli di Conegliano white, red various Veneto
Eastern Hills of Friuli white Picolit FJ-Giulia
Conegliano-Valdobbiadene - Prosecco white Glera Veneto
Dolcetto di Diano d'Alba red Dolcetto Piedmont
Dolcetto worthy red Dolcetto Piedmont
Dolcetto di Ovada red Dolcetto Piedmont
Fiano di Avellino white Fiano Campania
Franciacorta white, pink Chardonnay, PN Lombardy
Gattinara red Nebbiolo Piedmont
Gavi (Cortese di Gavi, Gavi di Gavi) white Cortese Piedmont
Ghemme red Nebbiolo Piedmont
Greco di Tufo white Greco Bianco Campania
Montefalco Sagrantino red Sagrantino Umbria
Montello Rosso red Merlot, Cab Franc Veneto
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo red Montepulciano Abruzzo
Morellino di Scansano red Morellino Tuscany
Asti white Moscato Bianco Piedmont
Moscato di Scanzo white Moscato di Scanzo Lombardy
Offida white, red various Brands
Oltrepò Pavese white, pink Pinot Noir Lombardy
Ramandolo white Verduzzo FJ-Giulia
Amarone della Valpolicella red Corvina, Rondinella Veneto
Recioto di Gambellara white Garganega Veneto
Amarone di Soave white Garganega Veneto
Roero white, red Arneis, Nebbio Piedmont
Rosso Conero red Montepulciano Brands
Soave white Garganega Veneto
Soave white Garganega Veneto
Taurasi red Aglianico Campania
Torgiano Rosso Riserva red Sangiovese Umbria
Valtellina (Sfursàt) red Chiavennasca Lombardy
Valtellina red Nebbiolo Lombardy
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi white Verdicchio Brands
Verdicchio di Matelica white Verdicchio Brands
Vermentino di Gallura white Vermentino Sardinia
Vernaccia di San Gimignano white Vernaccia Tuscany
Vernaccia di Serrapetrona red Vernaccia Nera Brands
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano red Sangiovese Tuscany

Influential Italian wine writers and wine critics are Burton Burton Anderson (USA wrote, but almost exclusively from Italy), Daniele Daniele Cernilli , Giancarlo Giancarlo Gariglio , Fabio Fabio Giavedoni , Luigi Luigi Veronelli and Franco Franco Ziliani . They work in many magazines and wine Wine Guide such as Gambero Rosso , Slow Wine and Luigi Veronelli .
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