From sweet and smooth, to crisp and dry, there are many styles of Italian white wine. Most of Italy’s white’s come from the north east where temperatures are more favourable to growing white varietals. The regions south of Austria and west of Slovenia also offer a more diverse collection of white wine grapes than any other part of Italy. The range of white varieties in Friuli, Trentino and Alto Adige encompasses everything from big time whites such as Chardonnay to obscure yet classic whites such as Vitovska. By using techniques such as extended skin contact and sur lie aging, white wines from Italy are sophisticated and complex.
Italy’s climate plays a big part in the success of their whites. Alto Adige and Trentino host some of Europe’s highest altitude vineyards where cool evening temperatures allow for slow maturing and give the grapes a distinct fruity aroma.
Many of the varieties planted in Italy, such as Sauvignon, Riesling, Müller-Thurgau and Gewürztraminer, have been selected for their aromatic appeal. But other grapes such as Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco have earned respect for their superior textures.