Guide to Italian white wine

One of the most enduring Italian stereotypes is the ‘mammone’: spoilt, live-in mummy’s boys who expect their parents to pay the rent, cook their food, and iron their shirts. It is somewhat analogous to the state of Italy’s white wine industry in the mid-1900s. For centuries, Italian winegrowers have been spoilt. Of course, they’re spoilt […]

La Dolce Vita: Verduzzo Friulano grape variety

In the hills of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, tradition has always counted for a great deal. True, the region planted great swathes of international varieties like Sauvignon Blanc in the 20th century, mindful of the rising popularity of this very bankable grape. However, winegrowers also continue to champion their viticultural heritage, increasing the acreage of indigenous varieties […]

Vernaccia di San Gimignano

Every wine lover, critic, sommelier, and buyer has an opinion on Tuscany. Each of them will have a set idea of what this corner of Italy offers – the majority coalesce around an archetype best represented by Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino. That is to say, exquisite red wines based on the Sangiovese grape. […]

Jewel of Sardinia: Vermentino

The destinies of Vermentino and Sardinia have long chartered a parallel course. Until recently, this beautiful island (widely adored for its spectacular landscape and pristine beaches) had little clout in the fine wine department. Indeed, a flurry of government-subsidized plantings in the 20th century did little for the island’s reputation; Sardinia was covered in high-yielding […]

Verdicchio conquers all

Italy used to have zero cachet in the white wine market. The small volume exported in the mid-1900s seldom elicited a positive response from critics or consumers: it wasn’t so much a hit-and-miss as avoid at all costs! The cause? A potent – and pernicious – combination of laziness, poor viticulture, outmoded methods, and archaic […]

Trebbiano Toscano Grape Variety

Regular visitors to our blog may have detected a certain sniffiness toward this ubiquitous variety. You might construe this as a simple case of jumping on the bandwagon: wine critic and author Ian D’Agata describes Trebbiano Toscano as one of the most maligned white grapes in Europe. Represented in over 80 DOC appellations, Trebbiano Toscano […]

Extinction Rebellion: Timorasso grape variety

You can level many legitimate criticisms at Italian wine producers. Or, indeed, at Italian wine. Their labels can be overly complicated due to the myriad of designations and separate appellations recognized under Italian law. Moreover, the country’s obsession with importing French varieties in the 20th century led to a certain homogenization of its wine culture, […]

Becoming mainstream: Ribolla Gialla

In 2021, British retailer Marks & Spencer welcomed a new brand of Ribolla Gialla into its wine range. It represented a historic milestone for the growers of Friuli-Venezia; the Italians have long cultivated an astonishing array of indigenous grapes and unique tastes. Indeed, you could spend a lifetime and still not get to the bottom […]

Pinot Grigio’s comeback

The Italians, for all their virtues, have damaged the reputation of this noble variety. Pinot Grigio: the name sends a shudder down the spine of any self-respecting wine snob. For decades, bulk producers have been churning out dilute, insipid white wines from this grape, the darling of supermarkets worldwide. The chief culprit (other than lazy […]

Masterclass: Pinot Bianco grape variety

Pinot Bianco (Pinot Blanc to the French) is the most misunderstood grape variety cultivated in Italy today. A lighter-skinned mutation of Pinot Noir, the grape was historically confused with its cousin Chardonnay in the vineyards of Italy, particularly in the hills of Alto Adige. But even when growers recognized the variety as Pinot Bianco, it […]

The hero of Marche: Pecorino

The genius of Italy is its ability to cater to everyone: there are as many autochthonous grapes as varieties of pasta in the Italian peninsula! So, if you seek comfort and familiarity, immerse yourself in the warming reds of Chianti Classico and the ethereal pleasures of Barbaresco. Or, if you crave some of the finest […]

Moscato Giallo’s hidden talents

Wine lovers can overlook the spectacular vineyards of Trentino-Alto Adige. It may be because they lack the global fame of Tuscany or the collector cachet of Piedmont. Perhaps it is because the region, until very recently, had struggled to market a single, overarching identity to oenophiles. But whatever the root cause, it is worth persevering […]

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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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