Italian Wine Regions

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007 at 12:00 am

Italy vineyardWine production in Italy has steadily grown over the years. 20 wine regions make up for the total wine production in Italy. Each region produces wines distinct to its area, depending on where they are located. The wine regions are spread from the North down to the southernmost part of the country.

The Italian wine industry makes use of a classification system for Italian wine that is also similar to that used by the French. Italian wines are classified generally as Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) or Denominazione di Origine Controllata et Garantita (DOCG). DOCG wines are supposedly classified as such because they are considered wines with an extra degree of quality. The wine regions and their wine classification levels are:

Aosta Valley – Aosta Valley is a wine region located in the mountainous terrain of northwestern Italy. It is considered as the smallest of the wine regions at only 3,263 sq. km. In this small region nestled in the Western Alps along the French border, the grapes are grown up 800 meters above sea level. The Valle d’Aosta DOC zone includes seven sub-zones.

Vineyards cover 635 hectares, or 1,569 acres; yearly wine production is 22,000 hectoliters, or 581,241 gallons; 10% white, 90% red; 22.8% is DOC.

Abruzzo – A wine region bordered by Marche to the north, Lazio to the west and south-west, Molise to the south-east and the Adriatic Sea to the east. This region is able to produce one DOCG and three DOC classified wines. The region vineyards cover 33,252 hectares or 82,166 acres. Yearly wine production stands at 4,184,000 hectoliters or 110,541,611 gallons of which 17.6% is DOC.

Apulia – With a region whose economy is based mainly on wine production, Apulia counts 25 DOC’s as among the wines that it makes. Its vineyards cover about 107,715 hectares or 263,693 acres. Annual wine production brings about 7,236,000 hectoliters or 191,175,693 gallons with 30% white, 70% red and 3.8% is DOC.

Basilicata – Basilicata is located south of the country and is known to produce only produces only on DOC wine, the Aglianico del Vulture. This wine region stretches 9,992 Km2 or 6,205 square miles with vineyards covering about 10,848 hectares or 26,825 acres of the area. Annual wine production is at 481,000 hectoliters or 12,708,058 gallons with 27% white, 73%red and 2.4% of it DOC.

Calabria – Also a wine region found at the southernmost tip of the main island, Calabria covers about 15,080 sq kilometers of prime grape producing land. The region’s vineyards cover 24,339 hectares or 60,142 acres of the land area. It is able to produce 12 DOC wines and with an annual wine production of 753,000 hectoliters or 19,894,319 gallons with 9% white, 91% red or sosé and 2.4% is DOC.

Campania – Campania is a wine region that covers about 13,590 sq. kms. It has been able to produce one DOCG wine along with 19 DOC wines. Its vineyards cover a total of 41,129 hectares or 101,630 acres with a yearly wine production standing at 1,971,000 hectoliters or 52,073,976 gallons. Wine production is composed mainly of 36% white, 64% red and 2.8% DOC’s.

Emilia – Romagna – This Italian wine region produces one DOCG wine and 18 DOC’s. Its vineyards cover 58,237 hectares or 143,904 acres with annual wine production reaching the target at 4,733,000 hectoliters or 125,046,235 gallons. Total wine produced is comprised of 43% white, 57% red; 21.4% and DOC.

Friuli – Venezia Giulia – Friuli-Venezia Giulia is a wine region that covers about 7,850 sq. kms. with a population of 1.2 million people. It produces only one DOCG wine with 9 DOC’s among its products. Its vineyards cover 18,704 hectares or 46,218 acres with a yearly wine production standing at 1,018,000 hectoliters or 26,895,640 gallons composed of 52% white, 48% red and 60.5% DOC.

Latium – Lazio is located in Central Italy with an area covering 17,208 sq. kms. This region is able to produce 25 DOC wines. Vineyards cover about 47.884 hectares or 118,321 acres. Its yearly wine production is currently at 2,940,000 hectoliters or 77,675,033 gallons with 84% of it white, 16% red and 6.5% is DOC.

Liguria – A wine region located at the coastal northwestern Italy, Liguria is considered as the third smallest wine region in the country. Despite its rather small land area of 5,420 sq. kms., Liguria is able to produce 7 DOC wines. The region’s various vineyards cover about 4,837 hectares or 11,952 acres. Its annual wine production stands at 165,000 hectoliters or 4,359,313 gallons, with 66% of it produced into white wine, 34% red and 13.9% DOC.

Lombardy – Lombardy is one of the largest of the 20 wine regions in Italy. With an area of about 23,861 sq. kms., The region vineyards total over 26,951 hectares or 66,593 acres and produces two DOCG’s wines as well as 15 DOC’s. Yearly wine production is at 1,665,000 hectoliters or 43,989,432 gallons. The wine production in this region is composed of 38% white, 62% red and 47.3% DOC.

Marches – Marche in located somewhere in the central area of the Italian wine regions. It covers about 9,694 sq. kms. with vineyards totaling 24,590 hectares or 60,762 acres. This region produces 12 DOC wines with a total wine production comprising of 62% white, 38% red and 19.6% DOC.

Molise – Molise is somewhere in South Central Italy and covers an area of about 4,438 sq. kms. The region has a vineyard cover of about 7,650 hectares or 18,903 acres and produces only three DOC wines. Yearly wine production stands at 360,000 hectoliters or 9,511,228 gallons, 3.9% is of DOC.

Piedmont – As a fertile agricultural region, Piedmont is one of the great wine producing regions in the country. With a total land area of 25,399 sq. kms., it has a total population of 4.4 million people. It has about 57,487 hectares or 142,050 acres of prime vineyard lands that is able to produce seven DOCG wines and 44 DOC’s. Yearly wine production stands at 3,405,000 hectoliters or 89,960,369 gallons with 30% white, 70% red and 55.8% DOC.

Sardinia (island) – Sardinia is different from most of the other wine regions in Italy in that it is the one separated and a distance apart from the mainland. The island covers 9,300 sq. miles with vineyards covering about 43,331 hectares or 107,070 acres. Sardinia as a wine region produces one DOCG wine as well as 19 DOC wines. Its yearly wine production stands at 1,062,000 hectoliters or 28,058.124 gallons. The total wine production is composed of 43% white, 57% red and 15.6% DOC.

Sicily (island) – Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea covering about 25,700 sq. kms. As a wine region, it has a total vineyard cover of about 133,518 hectares or 329,923 acres. Sicily produces 19 DOC wines with its annual wine production figures set at 8,073,000 hectoliters or 213,000,000 gallons of which 2.1% is made up of DOC wines.

Trentino – Alto Adige – Trentino-Alto Adige covers an area of 13,606 sq. km. with vineyards covering about 12,810 hectares or 31,653 acres of its land area. This wine region produces 8 DOC wines with an annual wine production of about 953,000 hectoliters or 25,178,335 gallons. The wines that it produces yearly is composed of 45% white, 55% red and 79.1% of which is DOC.

Tuscany –Tuscany is a well-known wine region in Italy able to produce some of the countries most famous wines. It covers an area of 22,990 sq. kms. with vineyards covering 63,633 hectares or 157,237 acres of that total. This wine region produces seven DOCG wines as well as 44 DOC’s with its annual wine production steady at 2,156,000 hectoliters or 56,961,690 gallons. Tuscany’s annual wine production is composed of 30% white, 70% red and 55.5% DOC.

Umbria – Umbria is located in Central Italy and covers a land area of 8,456 sq. kms. Its vineyards cover about 16,503 hectares or 40,779 acres of the area and produces two DOCG wines along with 11 DOC’s. Annual wine production stands at 740,000 hectoliters or 19,550,858 gallons, the total of which is composed of 58% white, 42% red and 30.5% DOC.

Veneto – Veneto is one of the three highly productive wine regions collectively known as the "Venezie". Its vineyards cover an area of 73,314 hectares or 186,101 acres and produces two DOCG wines along with 11 DOC’s. Wine production is at 6,785,000 hectoliters or 179,260,237 gallons annually with 55.4% of the total in white, 44.6% red and 29.1% of which is DOC.