Italy is one of the oldest wine-making countries in the world. It has many time-honored wine-producing areas. Thousands of years of wine-making technology has laid a solid foundation for Italy to become a major wine-producing country. Its narrow terrain (from south to north across a total of 10 latitudes), coupled with the adjacent climateregulating mountains and seas, gives each region a unique climate, resulting in a great variety of wine styles. Italian wines are mainly made of native varieties. There are several hundred kinds of wines, each with its own characteristics and styles. More than 2,000 grape varieties, 20 statutory wine producing areas and centuries of written wine-making history constitute the glorious wine culture of Italy.
It is well known that Italy is a big wine exporter, and the export momentum of sparkling wine is especially strong. According to the export data released by the Italian National Institute of Food Statistics (ISTAT), in the first five months of 2018, the export of Italian sparkling wine maintained a steady and upward trend, and the export volume increased by 14% compared with the same period last year. In 2017, Italian sparkling wine exports reached 1.36 billion euros. With this high starting point, it was a great achievement that steady growth was maintained in the first five months of 2018. In terms of destination countries, the United States is still the most active overseas market for Italian sparkling wine, followed by the United Kingdom and Germany. In the first five months of this year, the demand for Italian sparkling wine in the French market changed dramatically, which enabled the exports to the country increased by 20% year on year. Among the categories of sparkling wines exported, Prosecco still has the highest export volume. Franciacorta produced in Lombardy and Asti produced in Piemonte are also popular in overseas markets.
Top Four Sparkling Wines
Prosecco sparkling wine is made of Glera grapes grown in the northeastern region of Veneto. Usually it has the aromas of flowers and peaches, with a hint of vanilla pods. It tastes sweeter than Champagne. Prosecco is divided into two types: Spumante and Frizzante. Both of them are fresh, crisp and price-friendly. Major producing area: northeastern Italy, including Valdobbiadene, which is adjacent to Conegliano and considered the world's best producing area of Prosecco. Most bulk Prosecco sparkling wine comes from the plains around Treviso.
Lambrusco is a sparkling wine made of Lambrusco red grapes. The color is mostly red or peach red. Lambrusco has about 60 varieties, many of which are grown in Piemonte and Emilia-Romagna. The major variety is Lambrusco di Sorbara, the wine made of which has light color, distinct flower fragrance, fresh fruit aroma, high acidity and relatively dry aftertaste. The second and third most important varieties are Lambrusco Salamino and Lambrusco. Because there are many Lambrusco grapes, there are many types of Lambrusco wines too, ranging from dry to sweet, and from light to strong. Dry Lambrusco has a light strawberry flavor and a sour crisp taste, while full-bodied Lambrusco is like black tea with blackberries. High-quality semi-sweet or semi-dry Lambrusco has high acidity, strong tannins and rich flavors. Major producing area: Emilia-Romagna, located in the south of northern Italy, where the climate is changeable. The mountain areas are cooler, while the coastal areas are warmer. The vineyards generally have rocky and alluvial soil. Lambrusco is the most representative and unique wine in this producing area.
The sparkling wines are generally made of Chardonnay, Pinot Nero and Pinot Bianco. Most of them have pure fruit aroma, fine bubbles, suitable acidity, and sometimes the smell of toast. Because of the different brewing methods, Franciacorta is usually more delicate and connotative than Prosecco. Major production area: Franciacorta region, near Lombardy and Brescia. There are many Vineyards around the Lake Iseo in Franciacorta. Grapes grown in those vineyards are protected by mountains from cold wind. Warm climate and sufficient light are conducive to the growth and maturity of grapes. The soil is rich in limestone, sand and minerals.
Asti is one of the most famous sparkling wines in the world, which is generally produced in the southeast of Piedmont. Mainly made of Moscato Bianco or Moscato di Canelli, it is one of the sweetest sparkling wines in Italy. The wine has all the characteristics of Muscat Canelli - flowery, fruity and sweet taste. Major producing area: Asti in Piedmont. Asti is located in the northwest of Italy, in the hills and valleys of the upper reaches of the Tanaro River. The region is famous around the world for its Asti sparkling wine. In 1993, Asti was rated as a DOCG producing area.