Candida Martinelli's Italophile Site

Main Page This family-friendly site celebrates Italian culture for the enjoyment of children and adults. Site-Overview



Italian Wines, and Winery Tours, Prints...





















































































Wine bottle sizes and names in this image:

Bottle - .75 liters

Magnum  - 1.5 liters

Jeroboam - 3 liters

Methusalah - 6 liters

Balthazar - 12 liters


All of the names and sizes at Wikipedia.



Wines by Category and Region

Wineries and Touring

Books About Italian Wine

Liqueurs (recipes), Aperitifs, Digestives

Wine Items for the Home




The ancient Greeks called Italy the Land of Wine.  They've been making wine in Italy for over 3500 years.

In the last few decades, the quality of Italian wines has improved dramatically with plantings of new varieties, and the modernization of the wine-making process, and the application of strict quality laws.

Italy boasts two native grape varieties Nebbiolo and Sangiovese that are the basis for most of the top quality wines produced in Italy (DOCG category).  


Tuscan Vineyards


Italy cultivates more varieties of grape (both native and acclimatized international varieties) than any other country, and exports more wine than any other country.

Below you'll find information and links to information on all those wines, and more, including wine tasting tours. 

Just remember however, that when you're drinking in Italy, Italians interpret getting drunk as a great weakness.  Drunk men are not real men, and drunk women are worse.


Wines by Category and by Region

When presenting wines by quality category and by region, no site does it better than the Italian Made site.  So I'll have you link through to their information throughout this section.

DOCG is the highest quality category and includes 30 wines (appellations), that come from various regions of the country.  

These two lists let you click through to the individual wines, providing descriptions, websites, and even recommended food pairings:

There are 309 wines (appellations) in the DOC quality category.  I call these 'quality categories' because the rules include quality standards, but they actually guarantee that the grapes for the wine come from the specified region and that the wines are made according to the rules for that region and that wine.

These two lists link through to the wines, providing descriptions, websites (if they have one), and recommended food pairings:

The newest category for Italian wines is IGT which includes 118 wines.  This category permits mixing of grape varieties and for a larger growing area than the previous two categories (usually equivalent to an Italian region).  The quality is higher than Table Wine, but is often equal to the DOC wines.

These two lists link through to the wines, providing descriptions, websites (if they have one), and recommended food pairings:

All remaining wines fall under the Vino da Tavola category.  They are not bad wines, necessarily, just wines that do not fulfill the requirements in process or geography or grape variety that the above categories require.

Helpfully, the Italy Made site also offers these guides:


Wineries and Touring

There is a useful and charming site set up by wineries in Tuscany, Italy:  Wines of Tuscany.  They sell directly to customers all over the world. The site might be an ideal way of planning a tour of Tuscan wineries when you're next in Italy.  Many have restaurants and some offer accommodation.   



Chianti Vineyards


One Tuscan winery, Castello Banfi, has an excellent site explaining this and describing their wines and the tastings they offer to visitors, and about the area and their restaurants.  They also have an on-line brochure about their wines.  



Castello Banfi's Wine Brochure


Ristorante Banfi at Castello Banfi


And the Italy and Wine site offers VIP winery tours of Italian wineries in Tuscany, the Veneto, and Piedmont.

Italian Wine Tours offers customized wine tasking tours and lots of regional wine information on their site.

Cellar Tours offers "Luxury Wine Tours of Italy", and even has a special one for honeymooners.


Books About Italian Wine

If you like to read about wines, I've listed a few below, but you can use this search tool to see what else is on offer, what people say about the books, and what they cost.  

Just enter 'Books' in the 'Search' field, and 'Italian wine' or 'Chianti', for example, in the 'Keywords' field.  Then click on the 'Go' button to see the list.

Amazon Logo





Wine Items for the Home

August Living brings Italy's ancient past to life with it's pewter collection.  All made in Italy, with classic patterns from antiquity, the stunning collection transports you to another time and place. 

Grape vines entwine the wine glass


A grape leave and vine wine bottle holder, and below, two stunning wine decanters.





Some fun light wine switch covers from on-line shop Touch of Class's Tuscany collection, priced about 15US$ each.