When it comes to wine, Italy is a treasure trove of diverse and unique flavors. While mostly seen as a red wine country, with the fame of Chianti or Barolo, Italy has a whole world of white wines, particularly the lesser-known native grape varieties waiting to be explored. If you’re ready for a delightful wine adventure, here are five Italian native white grape types that will tickle your taste buds and take you to Italy’s gorgeous landscapes.

Italy has numerous indigenous varieties to offer (Source: Manuel Venturini, Unsplash)

1. Grillo

Main producing region: Sicily

Wine Style: Refreshing and Crisp

We begin our journey from south to north. Grillo, a zesty and crisp grape varietal from the sun-kissed island of Sicily, is first on the list. Grillo is a true representation of Mediterranean characteristics, with its vibrant acidity and crisp citrus aromas. Previously mainly used in the blend to make the fortified Marsala wine, still white Grillo is taking the spotlight nowadays. This white wine is ideal for hot summer days when you want something refreshing and light, similar to Pinot Grigio, but offers more body. Imagine yourself relaxing on the beach with a glass of cool Grillo and Fritto Misto or a Mediterranean salad. It’s no surprise that locals appreciate this wine; each sip effortlessly embodies the essence of Sicily.

2. Fiano

Main producing region: Campania

Wine Style: Rich and Aromatic

Fiano, an ancient grape type from Campania that is gaining appeal among New World winemakers, provides wines with enticing flowery aromas and juicy tropical fruits. You’ll be taken to the scenic hills and old ruins of Campania as you appreciate its luscious texture and well-balanced flavors. Fiano goes well with everything from grilled chicken and creamy pasta to exotic Thai cuisine. The wine’s versatility makes it an excellent choice for both casual gatherings and elegant dinners, guaranteeing to leave a lasting impression on your palate.

3. Greco

Main producing region: Campania

Wine Style: Mineral and Complex

Greco, another treasure from Campania, is a wine with character and depth. Its peculiar mineral flavors are a tribute to the region’s volcanic soils, providing a one-of-a-kind taste experience. With flavors of peach, citrus, and herbs, this wine has a richness that wine lovers can’t get enough of. The best Greco wine is “Greco di Tufo DOCG”, which is made nearby the town of Tufo, which is noted for having exceptional terroir for Greco grapes. Greco di Tufo is one of most age-worthy white wines in Italy, thanks to its high acidity, outstanding structure and complexity.

4. Ansonica

Main producing region: Tuscany

Wine Style: Floral and harmonious

While Vermentino and Malvasia are the most well-known white types of Tuscany, Ansonica, a true indigenous jewel, thrives on coastal Maremma as well as the picturesque Elba and Giglio islands in Tuscany. Ansonica, also known as Inzolia in other parts of Italy, produces wines with a delectable bouquet of floral and fruity scents, hints of herbaceous notes, and a harmonious and rich palate. It is preferred by Tuscan producers seeking a more serious style of white wine.

5. Friulano

Main producing region: Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Wine Style: Elegant, nutty and herbal

Last but certainly not least, we have Friulano, an elegant white grape variety native to Friuli-Venezia Giulia in northeastern Italy. Friulano is distinguished by its delicate almond aroma with herbal notes. Like most white wine from mountainous regions, Friulano pairs well with aged cheeses, prosciutto, or a classic herb-roasted chicken to create an exquisite dining experience.

Italian white wine (Source: Nati Melnychuk, Unsplash)

Discover Italy’s hidden gems

Next time you find yourself browsing the wine selection or planning a delightful meal, don’t hesitate to seek out these hidden gems. Allow Grillo’s zesty charm to guide you through the tasting journey from south to north, up to the refinement of Friulano from the mountainous northwest.

Explore fascinating Italian native whites with the VinoVoss platform!

Sylvia Ba

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