1. Italy has more land in grapes than any other country on Earth, except France and Spain.
2. Its total vineyard area has significantly declined due to the European vine pull scheme in the 1980s.
3. The quality of Italian wine has risen as a result…
4. Prosecco, Chianti, Valpolicella and Soave maybe the most famous Italian wines but they are the tip of an extremely large range.
5. Italy has the biggest number of indigenous grape varieties used to make wine of any country in the world.
6. Many of these grapes make wines that don’t find their way out of Italy and are produced for local consumption.
7. Most of Italy is cultivated in grapes from the alps in the north to the islands in the south.
8. The ancient Greeks called Italy oenotria - ‘the land of the vine'.
9. History suggests that vines were growing all over Italy in the 3rd Century BC.
10. A lot of Italian wine is exported in bulk for blending but at least 60% of exports is now in bottle.
Joelle Thomson is a wine writer, journalist and author. She’s an avid lover of wine and currently writes for Capital magazine, Good magazine, NZ Winegrower, Drinksbiz, and her own site,www.joellethomson.com
She also teaches, works in radio, and more, so we've enlisted her help to sniff out our amazing value wines!