Cin Cin! A Tasty Guide to the Best Italian Wine Regions

If you’re wild about wine, there’s no shortage of international wine tasting destinations around which to plan your travels. From Argentina to South Africa and from California to Australia and New Zealand, you can’t go too far without hitting some spectacular vineyards. But when it comes to wine tourism, where better to go tasting than the top wine-producing country in the world, Italy? We look at the best Italian wine regions for your next wine tasting trip.

Best Italian wine regions

Castellina in Chianti, Italy (photo credit)

Italy produces the equivalent of over five billion bottles of wine per year. Five billion! In a country that prolific, with 350 official varieties, 1.5 million vineyard acres, and twenty designated wine regions, how does a wine fanatic narrow down which regions to visit? I spoke with fellow travel bloggers and asked them about their favorite places across Italy to taste wine.

Top Italian Wine Regions

Before we dive into these bloggers’ picks, these are the top Italian wine regions by volume produced:

  1. Veneto (18%)
    Major cities: Verona, Venice
    Main varieties: Corvina, molinara, rondinella, merlot, prosecco, garganega
  2. Tuscany (17%)
    Major city: Florence
    Main varieties: Sangiovese, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, trebbiano, vermentino
  3. Piedmont (11%)
    Major city: Turin
    Main varities: Nebbiolo, barbera, dolcetto, moscato, arneis, cortese
  4. Emilia-Romagna (9%)
    Major cities: Parma, Bologna
    Main varieties: Lambrusco, sangiovese, malvasia, trebbiano
  5. Lombardy (7%)
    Major city: Milan
    Main varieties: Nebbiolo, pinot noir, chardonnay, verdicchio, pinot bianco

Sicily makes the list at #13 but is still well worth checking out! Check out this guide to the 3 cities you must visit on a trip to Sicily.

Check out Wine Folly‘s handy Italian wine regions map to explore further:

Italian wine map

Now that you have the lay of the land, without further ado, these travel bloggers highlight their favorite Italian wine spots and why they love them.

Where to Go Wine Tasting in Italy

Bologna and Emilia-Romagna

“In Emilia Romagna, we don’t age like Tuscany, we drink!” There’s a lot of truth in this playful statement I heard from vintners and wine lovers alike in Emilia-Romagna, the fertile agricultural cradle of northern Italy. The younger and sometimes sparkling wines being produced here are exciting and stand up to the rich foods Bologna is known for. Grapes like chardonnay, merlot, riesling, and cabernet sauvignon are familiar, but pignoletto, malvasia, and barbera are really turning heads when a little sparkle is added. Here are two must-visit wineries:

Orsi, Vigneto San Vito in the Valsamoggia region of Emilia-Romagna, west of Bologna. They were early adopters of biodynamics in their winemaking to return nutrients to soil. Wines are aged in fiberglass, cement, and stainless steel for maximum bubbling. Try the sparkling barbera—it’s amazing and totally unexpected!

Corte D’Aibo in Monteveglio has made organic wines for thirty years and now is also biodynamic. The sustainable and solar-powered property features an agriturismo and restaurant (their food is amazing) with a beautiful country setting to offer guests. French oak barrels are used for the cab sav and wax-sealed terra cotta pots for their other reds making for sumptuous and elegant wines.”

– Lori, Travlinmad

Tasting wine in Emilia-Romagna (photo by Lori)


Most people visit Sardinia to enjoy its amazing beaches. However, wine tourism is becoming more and more of a thing in this incredibly beautiful island at the heart of the Mediterranean. A combination of favorable weather conditions, good quality of the soil, strictly local grapes, and ancient traditions have resulted in Sardinia producing some of the best wines in the world.

Sardinia is packed with beautiful vineyards and fantastic wineries. Most of them now offer wine tasting tours. To add to this, there’s also a great number of wine festivals that take place throughout the year: from the Sagra del Vino Novello of San Vero Milis, which celebrates “new (red) wine;” to Cantine Aperte in Serdiana and Dolianova, near Cagliari (Sardinia’s capital), where each May, five vineyards spread across two small villages open their doors to visitors that wish to learn more about wine production and taste their wines; not to mention Calici di Stelle, which takes place each second week of August in Jerzu and combines wine appreciation with stargazing.

Nuragus, vermentino, bovale, monica, and carignano are just a few of the grapes which should be tasted on a good wine tasting tour in Sardinia. Among the best wines, there’s the popular Nepente di Oliena, which was appreciated by Italian revolutionary Gabriele D’Annunzio, and Turriga, of Cantine Argiolas.

– Claudia, My Adventures Across The World

Wine tasting, Sardinia, Italy

Sardinia’s wine (photo by Claudia)


The gravel under the wheels of our car was indicative of the fact that we were over terrain that had experienced harshness. It’s this aspect that contributes to the greatness of many wine regions. This element of topography is not lost on Umbria. The vines need to fight to survive, and the product, the grape, replete with character.

The white grechetto is crisp and lovely with lentils that are famous in the region. The sagrantino red is velvety and stands up to the greatest truffle dishes in the world. For a true vintner’s experience, visit the Goretti Winery and be introduced to the good life that comes from the dirt under our wheels.

– Andrew and Brenda, Dish Our Town

Umbria, Italy wine

Umbria (photo by Andrew & Brenda)


The Valpolicella is a celebrated wine district in the Veneto wine region in Northeastern Italy. Remarkable cities surround this region: Venice is to the east, Milan is to the west, and the capital of romance, Verona, is just to the south. The most famous of all of the wines in the region is the Amarone de Valpolicella. This wine is a ravenous red, full-bodied in flavor, and higher in alcohol content than most wines.

The Valpolicella wines are best paired with heavy meats and cheeses, making it the perfect wine region to visit when there is a nip in the air. The top vineyard to visit is Serego Alighieri, a Venetian estate purchased by the son of famed Italian poet, Dante Alighieri. Just about twenty-five minutes from Verona, the home of Romeo & Juliet, the Alighieri estate has a delicious tasting room, food and wine pairings, and acres of lush vineyards and cypress trees.

– Collette and Scott, Roamaroo

Valpolicella, Italy wine region

Valpolicella (photo by Collette and Scott)

Whether you’re a casual sipper or a full-fledged somalier, few places in the world come anywhere close to these Italian wine regions. When you add in the food, landscapes, towns, and weather, it’s no wonder Italy is the fifth most visited country in the world.

Looking for even more wine inspiration? Be sure to check out these picks for California, Australia, New Zealand, and the rest of the world. Che squisito!

In a country as prolific as Italy, how does a wine fanatic narrow down which regions to visit? I spoke with fellow travel bloggers and asked them about their favorite Italian wine regions and vineyards for wine tasting. Here are their tips.

26 Responses

  1. The thing about wine countries in wine countries too Kirstie; these areas are gorgeous. I spent 3 months in New Zealand – flying out of Auckland tomorrow – and the wine country in NZ was breath-taking. Green pastures, vineyards all around, blue skies. Gorgeous. Rocking post!

  2. I havent gone to a vineyard before and it has everything that I need in my life! Green, beautiful views, romantic areas for dinner, instagram worthy spots and really good wiiiiinnnee!!! Thank you for this post. Super detailed, I should really start with Italy!

  3. That wine map is epic. I’ve never been to a vineyard before either, but all of my favorite wines just so happen to be Italian wines (like dessert wine Roscato….sooo good!) And that picture of the wine Lori tried at Corte D’Aibo looks like it tastes amazing. It might have something to do with the pink hahaha. That soft rose tint is just so…..perfect. <3

  4. Kevin Wagar says:

    My wife and I just LOVE wine. When we toured Italy 15 years ago we didn’t have the budget for it, unfortunately, but we can’t wait to go back and explore some of these amazing wine regions!

  5. Abigail says:

    It has been a while since I last visited a vineyard and this post made me want to book a flight to Italy asap! Wines and italy are such a great combination. I need to go to Sardinia and Umbria for the wines alone.

  6. Sarah says:

    I’ve been to all these regions except for Veneto. Now I know where I’m going next time to Italy!

  7. Oh I love wine, I would need a lot of time in Italy to indulge. I love the wine map too!

  8. What’s life without wine? I just want to move in Italy after reading your blog post 🙂 So clever of you to include a wine map. Cheers!

  9. I’m a big fan of Italian wines – and I’d love to explore a few more regions. Of course, I’d also like to go back to Tuscany and Umbria – but I really enjoyed exploring Abruzzo which has some fantastic wines in addition to some really basic ones

    • Isn’t Italian wine great? That’s great you’ve been able to discover so much of the country! My Italian wine tasting has been limited to house wines at restaurants, so I must go back to explore some vineyards!

  10. Tuscany has always been high up on my places to visit, the vineyards are supposed to be spectacular… although Sardinia sounds like a good shout. I’d be able to enjoy the beaches in one trip, perfect!

  11. Mitch says:

    I’m a total wine noob and had no idea Italy was a wine powerhouse. I always hear about Chile…speaking of which—do you guys have any recommendations for economical, but high-quality wine tasting experiences in Chile? I’m heading there next month 🙂 Thanks!

  12. Kirtika saha says:

    Excellent Blog! I would Thanks for sharing this wonderful content. Its very useful to us. Thanks for sharing this information.

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