In Vino Veritas: Central Italy, as told through wine

Discover the oenological treasures of Central Italy: a journey through the vineyards

Nestled between the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic Seas, and cradled by the majestic Apennine Mountains, Central Italy unveils its geographical diversity through a vast array of wines. From the rich Sangiovese to the zesty Verdicchio, chances are you've already savored the delights of this region! While Tuscany and Umbria shine brightly on the global wine stage, other areas deserve a closer look. Dive into the oenological history of Central Italy by continuing your exploration.

One of the most fertile areas in Italy, Emilia-Romagna is considered by many to be the Italian capital of gastronomy, but it’s also a significant wine region, synonymous with the Lambrusco variety. Usually used for sweet and sparkling red wines, it is made to be drunk young, and pairs beautifully with the delicacies of the region; prosciutto, parmigiano reggiano and balsamic vinegar, to name a few. The region’s white wines tend to be light and fresh, normally produced from the Trebbiano grape. Just next door, in Le Marche, aromatic white wines are plentiful. The star variety is Verdicchio - a fine, fruity and acidic wine with a beautiful finesse. Influenced by the Romans and Etruscans, the region’s long winemaking heritage remains present in its 20 DOC and DOCG titles. On the opposite coast, Liguria is a tourist hotspot, attracting millions of visitors each year to its beauty spots Cinque Terre and Portofino. Despite being a relatively small region, it has an output of 7.5 million litres per year, primarily white wines such as Vermentino; known locally as Pigato, the Ligurian iteration is fragrant and mineral, with whispers of sea salt. Bring a taste of the Italian riviera to your kitchen!

Also on the Eastern coast, the beautifully picturesque region of Abruzzo spans from sandy beaches to snow-capped mountains. The area is primarily concerned with producing red wines, but Trebbiano is the white grape of choice - and up in the mountains of L’Aquila Cerasuolo, a deep cherry-pink rosé, is the local specialty. The stand-out of the region is Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, a complex, rich red wine with peppery, spicy notes; the perfect wine to drink alongside hearty meat and pasta dishes. A little further down the Adriatic coast sits Molise, one of the smallest (and most underestimated) of Italy’s wine-producing regions. Similar to Abruzzo, Molise is a big producer of Trebbiano and Montepulciano, as well as Anglianico and Tuscan favourite Sangiovese. As many of the wines of the region remain undiscovered, they have retained their traditional, rustic qualities.

Finally, we come to two heavyweights of the Italian wine scene. When one thinks of Tuscany and Umbria, we conjure images of rolling hills, olive trees and, of course, vineyards as far as the eye can see. Home to Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Tuscany is a force to be reckoned with in the wine world. Its warm temperatures and hilly terrain produce grapes with a perfect balance of aromatics, sweetness and tartness, notably of the Sangiovese variety; this type of grape has high acidity and tannins, thus giving Tuscan wines their signature medium body, earthy characters and garnet-red hue. Umbria is equally as accomplished; while also dominated by Sangiovese, the region is home to Sagrantino, the most tannic grape in the world. When cellared properly, Sagrantino will continue to age well for over thirty years, giving you plenty of time to enjoy its bold richness. Umbria also excels at producing white wine; Trebbiano varieties are prolific, while Grechetto, Umbria’s flagship white variety, is often used in wine blends because of its herbal, nutty profile.

Thirsty for more? Browse our collection of Italian wines here!