Regions (20): Italy is divided into 20 regions, two of which have ‘special statute’ standing: Valle d’Aosta and Alto Adige. Italy’s regions are equivalent to states in the USA or provinces in Canada. They are: Abruzzo. | Alto Adige. | Aosta. | Basilicata. | Calabria. | Campania. | Emilia-Romagna. | Friuli-Venezia Giulia. | Lazio (Latium). | Lombardia (Lombardy). | Liguria. | Marche. | Molise. | Puglia (Apulia). | Sardegna (Sardinia). | Sicilia (Sicily). | Piemonte (Piedmont). | Toscana (Tuscany). | Trentino. | Umbria. | Veneto.
Vineyard area & wine production: 2019 705,000ha of vines producing, 46.6m hl or 18% of global production.
Italy’s ‘geography, essentially a mountain range reaching south and east from the Alps towards the sub-tropics, offers as wide a range of vine-worthy sites as nature has devised in any country,’ (Hugh Johnson: Wine Companion: 1991, p.292).
Terroir & Indigenous grapes: In his award winning Volcanic Wines book, John Szabo MS (2016, p.150) points out that Italy is one of the most volcanically active wine producing countries, and contains mainland Europe’s only active volcanoes, Vesuvius and Campi Flegrei in Campania on the mainland, plus island volcanoes such as Etna (Sicily) and the island of Vulcano itself, origin of the western world’s term for volcano. Italy’s volcanism arises from being near the boundary between the Eurasian and African tectonic plates which have ‘pushed up the Alps and the Apennines’, causing ‘chain of volcanism of every kind, from effusive to explosive from Soave to Sicily.’ Szabo also makes the point about how ‘phylloxera-free volcanic soils have helped preserve Italy’s unparalleled collection of indigenous grapes.’
Wine trade fairs: VinItaly.