Italian Red Grapes
Abbuoto: a grape that is mainly cultivated in the Lazio region of central Italy.
Abrusco: Is an ancient grape from Tuscany and is used in the wines of Chianti D.O.C.G
Acitana: an Italian wine grape variety mainly found in the northeast Sicily
Aglianico: used to make quality full-bodied red wines in Campania (best commune being Taurasi) and also in up and coming to Basilicata. Of Greek origin, it was known as “Vitis Hellenica.”
Aleatico: strong Mediterranean red varietal grown on the island of Elba and also in Puglia and Lazio
Barbera: makes both elegant and juicy wines in Piedmont
Bonarda: classic Lombard grape is grown in the Oltrepò Pavese and Colli Piacentini DOCs.
Bovale: Sardinian red grape of Spanish origin
Cannonau: grown in the gorgeous island of Sardegna, also called Alicante. Said to have been imported from Spain in the 13th century
Cesanese: grown in the Lazio region, it is often used to make semi-sparkling red
Corvina: one of the key grapes used for the production of Amarone, also used for wines like Valpolicella, Bardolino, and Recioto Classico
Dolcetto: originated in Piedmont and has become a huge commercial success
Frappato: the main grape used to make the famed Sicilian Cerasuolo
Freisa: light red from Piedmont used to make semi-sparkling wines
Fumin: grown in the Aosta Valley
Gaglioppo: Greek varietal imported in ancient times to Calabria, Cirò is the most famous brand to use this grape
Grignolino: light-colored red wine is made from this grape in Piedmont, mainly around Monferrato and Asti
Lambrusco: historical grape in Italy from Emilia Romagna became notorious for the sweet sparkling red wines.
Malvasia Nera: Black Malvasia, used in many wines from Puglia
Molinara: one of the 3 grapes used for Amarone production (the others being Rondinella and Corvina)
Montepulciano d´Abruzzo: up and coming grape used to make some excellent wines in the Marche and Abruzzi regions, also in Molise and Puglia
Nebbiolo: the Piemontese grape used to make Barolo and Barbaresco, also called Chiavennasca in Valtellina to produce Sforzato, and Spanna
Negrara: Veneto grape from the Negrar district of Valpolicella, characteristic
Negroamaro: means “Black bitter”, this intense black grape is king in Puglia,
Nero d’Avola: also called “Calabrese, this is considered to be the finest red grape in Sicily and makes powerful wines
Ormeasco: the term used for the Dolcetto grape in Liguria
Piedirosso: found in Campania, probably of Greek origin as many Campania grapes. Means “red feet”, and is the main grape in some of Mustilli´s best wines.
Primitivo: cousin to California’s zinfandel and originating in Croatia, this popular red grape used in Puglia, particularly in the Salice Salentino and Primitivo di Manduria wines
Prugnolo Gentile: name of the Sangiovese Grosso clone used to make the famed Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Raboso: grown in the Padua province, especially for the wines from Colli Euganei
Refosco: main red grape from Friuli, makes light reds
Rondinella: used as part of a trio of grapes in Amarone and other Valpolicella wines
Sagrantino: the main red grape of Umbria and used to make the excellent DOCG Sagrantino di Montefalco
Sangiovese: also called Morellino, this is the flagship grape of Italy used to make Chianti Classico,
Schiava/Vernatsch: northern red grape found in Trentino Alto Adige
Italian White Grapes
Addoraca: is grown in the Calabria region of southern Italy and is one of the varietals blended to produce Moscato di Saracena dessert wine
Albana: found in Emilia Romagna, making ordinary still whites and some interesting sweet passitos.
Albanella: the main varietal used in the wines of Colli Pesaresi DOC, in the north of the Marche
Albanello bianco: primarily grown in Sicily, the grape is part of a blend used to create Ambrato di Comiso a rare and expensive Marsala-style fortified wine
Arneis: fragrant white grape found in Piedmont
Bombino: found in central and southern Italy, especially in Puglia
Carricante: found growing on the slopes of Mount Etna in Sicily
Catarrato: Sicilian varietal, one of the grapes used to make marsala
Coda di Volpe: means “foxtail”, used in the production of the Lacyrma Christi del Vesuvio Bianco wines
Cortese: a grape used to make Gavi, in Alessandria (Piedmont)
Falanghina: fabulous varietal found in Campania, very aromatic. Top Falanghina comes from the Feudi di San Gregorio winery
Fiano: used to make lovely whites in and around Avellino
Forastera: found on the island of Ischia
Garganega: a grape used to make Soave and Gambellara wines
Greco di Tufo: Greek descendant found all over the south of Italy
Grillo: originating in Western Sicily, main varietal used for Marsala
Inzolia: common white grape found in Sicily
Muscat: aromatic grapey grape found throughout Italy
Pigato: unusual varietal found in Liguria
Pinot Grigio: a commercial success story, this is Pinot Gris
Pinot Bianco: found all over the north especially in Lombardia, Veneto, Friuli and Alto Adige
Prosecco: the grape used to make the Venetian bubbly with the same namesake, a key ingredient to the famed Bellini cocktail
Tocai Friulano: grape with confusing terminology as it is not related to Hungarian Tokay. Makes nice whites in Veneto, Friuli, and Lombardia
Trebbiano: known as ugni blanc in France, is a varietal grown all over the country.
Verdicchio: interesting white used in the Marche, one of Italy´s hottest up-and-coming wine regions.
Vermentino: most famous white grape from Sardegna, believed to be of Spanish origin.
Vernaccia: a white grape used in a DOCG in San Gimignano, Tuscany
Zibibbo: the main grape used to make the delicious sweet Passito di Pantelleria