Italy is bursting with interesting grape varieties that you’ve never heard of. Just because you don’t know it, don’t discount it! The Italian peninsula is a veritable fruit basket of ripe, juicy white wines, perfect for summer relaxing and entertaining. This summer, drink like the Italians al fresco, invite over some friends, prepare a simple grilled white fish with lemon, and enjoy.
With our large selection of Italian whites it’s difficult to narrow it down to our favorites, but we’ve attempted to cultivate a list of recommendations to wow and impress you.
Ca Maiol Lugana.Veneto
If you’ve ever vacationed in Como or Lake Garda, you know Lugana. It’s the simple white wine served in café’s by the carafe. This not-so-secret white is extremely popular in Germany, where almost 70% of it is exported. The grape in this wine is Turbiana, and it loves the clay-rich soils around Lake Garda, where it is cultivated.
Abbazia di Novacella Kerner, Alto Adige
Tucked into the Alps north of Bolzano is this centuries-old monastery that is has been making wine basically since the beginning of time itself. Kerner is a simple mountain grape that pairs perfectly with speck, the salted ham popular in the Italian Alps. Clean, classic and delicious with a charcuterie board.
Malvira Favorita, Piedmont
The land known for Barolo and Barbaresco also makes some world-class whites, although they are overshadowed by their big brother red wines. The grape name Favorita should indicate to you how much the Italians love this grape, they did name it their favorite, after-all!
Bosco Pecorino, Abruzzo
You’ve heard of the cheese, but the grape? Despite its name, there is no direct link between the Pecorino grape and Pecorino cheese. Ampelographers believe that the grape’s name stems from the Italian word pecora, meaning sheep. Local legend is that sheep in the Marche region would often eat the grapes while moving through the vineyards.
Terre Nere Calderara Sottana Single Vineyard Etna Bianco, Sicily
100% Carricante. Notes from the winemaker, “I made this wine for the first time in 2007, after having had the fortune of tasting a 42 year old Carricante from the East side of the Etna. So beautiful it was, so vigorous and impeccable in its venerable age, that I was moved to produce something like it myself. I tried to imagine how a talented winemaker would have made such a wine half a century ago, with little or no technology. And sought to do the same.”
Raduno delle Streghe Falanghina, Campania
Falanghina is an indigenous Greek varietal, and some of the oldest grapes planted in Italy for winemaking. Subtle, with minerality and freshness, it is the perfect food wine.