Guides to the Best Italian Wine Regions

Learn all about Italy's best wine regions and be inspired to plan your next Italian wine vacation!

Last updated: April 30, 2024

Italy offers discerning wine lovers some of the best and most famous wine regions in the world alongside a myriad of little-known, insider wine gems. The rich diversity of landscapes, terroirs, and grape varieties across Italy’s mainland and islands offers a truly exhilarating variety of wine styles.

The lush and verdant north of Italy, home to stunning lakes (like Como, Maggiore, Garda, Orta, and Iseo) and dazzling mountains like the Alps and Dolomites, is where you will find the iconic fine wine regions of Barolo and Barbaresco in Piedmont, Amarone in Veneto, the beautiful sparkling Prosecco and Franciacorta wine country and the fragrant “Super Whites” of Friuli.

In central Italy, the scenic vineyards of Brunello, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and the Super Tuscans of Maremma make Tuscany one of Italy’s most popular wine regions. Adjacent Umbria is lesser known but up and coming, with many dynamic, small wine estates actively making powerful Sagrantino reds with increasing finesse. Then, the Adriatic coastal wine area of Marche is where they make the delightful, crisp, and fresh Verdiccio whites, known for their distinctive and fun fish-shaped bottles.

The sunkissed south, with its idyllic coastlines with pastel-colored villages and sparkling turquoise seas, is where you can discover some of the country’s most interesting wines- many of which date back to the Ancient Greeks. Aglianico (referred to as “Barolo of the south”), elegant, volcanic Falanghina in Campania, and the velvety red Negoramaro wines of Puglia are some of the more renowned Southern Italian wines. But the heel to the boot of Italy is a treasure trove of literally hundreds of wine appellations, an adventure and satisfying challenge for wine aficionados.

Finally, Italy has over 400 islands, many of which cultivate vines. Sardinia and Sicily are the largest islands and fantastic wine producers, with wines like the slightly effervescent Vermentino and the sultry wines of Mount Etna firmly on the connoisseur’s map. You might be surprised to learn, though, that they also make unique and delicious wines in popular tourist haunts like Capri and volcanic Pompeii and even in the Venetian lagoon on Mazzorbo Island.

From the north to the south to the islands, wine enthusiasts are simply spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing great wines from Italy! Here, you will discover more detail and background on Italy’s main wine regions, grape varietals and famous wines:

Map of Italian Wine Regions

Italian Wine Regions Map
Download Map of Italian Wine Regions

Northern Italian Wine Regions

Lambrusco vineyards near Castelvetro
Lambrusco vineyards near Castelvetro

Northern Italy is a “must” for true wine lovers. It encompasses some of Italy’s best and undoubtedly most famous wine regions—Piedmont, where you can enjoy VIP wine tastings at premium small Barolo and Barbaresco estates. The north also includes the country’s two sparkling wine regions, Franciacorta and Prosecco. The picturesque wine region of Franciacorta is a relative secret, virtually untouched by non-Italian tourists. Its famed bubbly is considered on par with the finest champagnes.

Further west, we explore Prosecco, the land of Palladian villas and gently rolling hills covered in vines and noble manors. The surrounding vineyards, mainly of the Prosecco grape, are used to make the notorious Italian bubbly!

Valpolicella shouldn’t be missed; it’s one of Italy’s loveliest wine regions and home to the famed Amarone wines. It is located just northwest of the historic city of Verona and east of Lake Garda. And let’s not forget the “Super Whites” of Friuli, stunning wines in the most splendid countryside, with uplifting landscapes of vineyards, medieval villages, and rolling green hills.

Central Italian Wine Regions

Tuscany Vineyards
Tuscany Vineyards

Tuscany is high on the list of desired destinations of many; traveling from Florence in the direction of beautiful Siena, you pass through Chianti Classico’s scenic wine country, quintessential Tuscany. From Siena, you can visit Montalcino and Montepulciano (top Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano producers). The stunning Maremma region is where the “Super Tuscans” were born.  Sandwiched between Tuscany and Marche, Umbria is world-famous for its wines, chocolates, and truffles. Apart from all that Umbria offers culturally and gastronomically, the region is still a relative secret, unspoiled and pristine, and doesn’t receive the tourist hordes. A hidden gem in Italy!

Southern Italian Wine Regions

Sicilian vineyards, with Grillo vines
Sicilian vineyards, with Grillo vines

Southern Italy is a tourist magnet, especially Campania, with its fascinating capital, Naples, and nearby Pompeii. Interestingly, however, the region isn’t well known for its wines, although people have appreciated the fertile volcanic soils since ancient times. Rightly so, producers are now making some fantastic wines from ancient Greek varietals. However, the captivating island of Sicily is very much on the map. It produces an extensive range of styles of wine, which superbly accompany the divine local cuisine.

  • Campania Wine Region Guide

    The region of Campania is firmly on the tourist’s map, but curiously not on the wine lover’s map. Yet, Campania is a fascinating wine region. Read more
  • Puglia Wine Region Guide

    Puglia's wine evolution: from bulk production to quality vintages with modern techniques and traditional methods, reshaping its global wine reputation. Read more
  • Sicily Wine Region Guide

    Explore Sicily's wine renaissance with tours of volcanic vineyards, tasting world-class wines, and embracing rich cultural heritage. Read more

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