Guide to Italian Red Wine

The length and breadth of Italian red wine Italy wrote the book on viticultural diversity. A nation of just over 59 million people boasts a treasure trove of indigenous grape varieties and esoteric wine styles that has no equal anywhere in the world. If you care to look, untold riches are waiting to be discovered […]

Esoteric, eccentric and underrated: the Croatina grape variety

Croatina Grape Variety If you’re worried about the globalization and standardization of wine – head to Italy! This glorious nation has the widest variety of indigenous grape varieties, terroirs, and wine styles in Europe. This country does not stake its primary reputation on Bordeaux imitations and a surfeit of wines made from French varietals. Yes, […]

Tuscany’s best kept secret: Canaiolo

Canaiolo Grape Variety In the rolling hills between Florence and Siena, there is a grape variety with ancient origins. It has been part of this timeless landscape for centuries, providing color, acidity, and verve to the wines of Chianti. It is an Italian red wine grape with beautiful aromatics and a very distinct flavor profile […]

The Refosco family reunion

Refosco Grape Varietals Refosco has spent over a century shrouded in anonymity. Cultivated in discrete corners of northeastern Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia, the name ‘Refosco’ is only occasionally mentioned on wine labels. It is the equivalent of a globe-trotting spy, always in the shadows and adept at not attracting widespread attention. Yet, if there were […]

A Sicilian treasure: the Frappato grape variety

Frappato Grape Varietal Sicily represents the last frontier of Italian viticulture. When pioneers like Piero Antinori and the Marquis Mario della Rocchetta were busy reinventing Tuscany’s image and creating global icons, Sicily was mired in mediocrity and apathy. Encouraged by generous subsidies, the island’s winegrowers focused their energies on ripening vast quantities of grapes for […]

Lagrein grape variety finds its roots

Lagrein Grape Varietal Sommeliers often remark that certain wine styles and regions sell themselves. After all, most collectors are (self-certified) experts when it comes to the Cru Classé estates of Bordeaux and the Grand Crus of Burgundy. However, for some lucky brands, a marketing pitch is surplus to requirements – Le Montrachet and Latour will fly […]

Teroldego: jewel of the Italian Alps

Teroldego Grape Varietal First-time visitors often believe that the Tuscan cliché defines Italy’s entire landscape. This is perfectly understandable: the rolling hills, olive groves, and sweeping vistas of central Italy have been hyped out of all proportion. Moreover, it is undeniable that Tuscany is one of the most beautiful examples of Instagram heaven on earth, […]

Negroamaro grape: The secret ingredient in the best red wines of Puglia

Negroamaro Grape Varietal Collectors love Italian wine, but they do tend to quibble about one thing. “It is so difficult to understand Italy’s wine culture, with its multitude of regions, grapes, and vineyards,” they often complain. Indeed, there are over 350 DOC appellations and more than 100 IGTs (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) in this glorious country. […]

Nerello Mascalese’s great revival

Nerello Mascalese Grape Varietal The wine trade is unanimous: Nerello Mascalese is the most exciting grape variety cultivated in Sicily today. One might even believe that it was created in a lab, custom-built to receive high scores from critics. All the cards are in order – Nerello Mascalese is often planted on spectacular volcanic terroir […]

Montepulciano’s rising star

Montepulciano Grape Varietal Montepulciano grape is something of an outlier among Italy’s eclectic palette of red grape varieties. It lacks the international renown of Sangiovese (although it is Italy’s second most widely planted indigenous variety) and the glamour of Nebbiolo. It is not achingly trendy; it does not lend its name to luxury brands marketed […]

Aglianico emerges from the shadows

What is Aglianico Wine? Italy has a thousand distinct red grape varieties, each adapted to a niche in the country’s incredibly diverse landscape. Sadly, many of these wonders remained local curiosities throughout the 20th century, consigned to local palates and cuisine. Few connoisseurs in the US and Northern Europe heard of Nerello Mascalese or Greco […]

The Spice of Sicily: Nero d’Avola

Although the key ingredient in Sicily’s viticulture lacks the global renown of Merlot, every Sicilian will tell you that Nero d’Avola can make spectacular wine. Not even the pungency of charcoal-seared red meat can overwhelm this robust red grape variety, celebrated for its immense structure, ripe acidity, and darkly-colored wines. Wine producers in Sicily are […]

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Cellar Tours Private Luxury Food & Wine Tours

Cellar Tours

Cellar Tours is a Luxury Travel Specialist, operating since 2003 and offering exclusive Mercedes chauffeured Gourmet Vacations in Chile, France, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, South Africa, and Spain. We specialize in luxurious custom designed vacations, events and incentives related to food and wine. We are proud members of Slow Food, UNAV (Travel Agency Association in Spain), and the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals).

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