The Best Wines of Northern Italy

Italy is the world’s biggest wine producer and grows in particular the trebbiano grape which tends to return high yields. Although it produces the most bottles of wine per year than any other country, Italian wine producing does not concentrate on large corporate wineries.

Italy turns its attention to making quality wines that come from small regional vineyards and wineries. And that is one of the great beauties of taking a wine tour in Italy as there is so much choice. There are six main wine growing areas of Italy and some of the very best Italian wines are produced in the north of the country where the climate is a little cooler. Perhaps the two best northern wine producing areas are Veneto and Piedmont, although there are some other great areas producing top quality wine. Among the best wines of northern Italy are:

Soave Borgoletto

Soave is a white wine made from the Garganega grape and is decidedly a light, crisp and refreshing wine that is excellent with fish and white meats. This particular soave is a classic dry white wine that is un-oaked, it is also full of aromatic flavors that are quite gentle, almost flowery.  

Valpolicella Classico La Corte del Pozzo

Valpolicella is one of northern Italy’s classic wines, it is famous all over the world for its subtle fruit flavors and robust finish. It is made in the Verona region which is mostly hilly and agricultural and mostly contains three grape varieties, Molinara, Rondinella, and Corvina Veronese. This particular Valpolicella is a mature wine, that has distinct cherry flavors with plenty of red fruit and berry overtones.

Amarone La Corte del Pozzo

Amarone literally translated means great bitter, and this is greatly misleading as most Amarone’s are far from bitter. They are rounded well developed wines that are really one step up on the taste scale to Valpolicella.  This particular Amarone is a powerfully tasting wine with strong overtones of blackcurrent, liquorice and spices. Really a delightful strong wine that is great for drinking with red meats and strong cheeses.

Fontanafredda Barolo

Barolo is a king among the red wines of the world, produced in Piedmont the wine is produced from the Nebbiolo grape which is high in tannins and acids and perfect for making strong red wines. There are no blends in Barolo, only 100% Nebbiolo grapes are used.

Barolo is Italy’s version of the great Pinot Noirs of France due to its bright acidity and color. The common aromas of Barolo feature dried herbs and rose flowers, with a distinct hint of tar. Top Barolos such as Fontanafredda have to be aged for a minimum of three years, one in the bottle and two in the oak barrel. Every true Barolo has to be a minimum of thirteen percent alcohol content. 


No summary of the great wines of northern Italy would be complete without mentioning Chianti, and the original squat bottle wrapped in straw is one of the most famous in the world. Good Chianti’s are superb and can match any robust red wine made on the planet.