Lesser Known Facts about the Italian Wine Industry
The list of beloved and famous Italian exports is a long one; the rest of the world loves their fashion, cars, furniture, and design. But none of these things come close to the global popularity of Italian food and wine.
Here are some facts about Italian wine that you probably didn’t know.
Italy’s dominance in the wine industry
Italy’s wine production has dropped significantly over the years. However, it is still a massive wine producer. With 702,000 hectares under vine, Italy produced over 49.1 million hectoliters in 2020. Italy holds the crown as the largest wine producing country in the world.
Italy has a rich wine history
Italy has a rich and long tradition of wine production, beginning as early as 4000 BCE. The Italians have the perfect climate and location to grow wine. Early settlers, like the Ancient Greeks and Etruscans (a rival people of the Ancient Greeks located in modern day Italy) were the first to recognize the potential of grapes here. As a result, they started the tradition of wine making in Italy.
Later settlers, like the Romans, expanded the already vast and blooming Italian wine industry, introducing advanced winemaking techniques and pioneering large-scale production. Thus, significantly increasing the quality of Italian wine. Southern Italy was even called “Oenotria” at one point, which roughly translates to the “land of wines.”
Wide variety of grapes in Italy
You will be surprised to hear how many different varieties of grapes are grown in Italy. This country grows and uses over 400 different grape varieties.
The five most popular grape varieties (according to amount of hectares planted) in Italy are:
- Glera (grape used in Prosecco)
- Pinot Gris
Good ol’ Italian pasta is a perfect match
Italian pasta has its charm and has continued to be one of the most influential cuisines in Italy’s culture. It is widely popular around the globe, with many people coming from all parts of the world to taste Italy’s famous spaghetti. Of course, you may obtain the ideal pairing by combining it with Italian wine!
There is an Italian rule for those struggling with food, pasta, and wine pairings: “red for red, white for white.” For example, a tomato-based pasta pairs nicely with a red wine and a white sauce pasta will go well with a white wine.
Italian wine is beloved all around the world
The Italian wine industry is popular all around the world, with their current wine export value residing at $8.4 billion USD and increasing every year. The top three countries importing Italian wine are the USA, Germany, and the UK.
Did some of the facts listed here catch your eye? Leave it down in the comments!