For over a thousand years in its native Italy, the Trebbiano grape has been grown and cultivated for the production of high quality white wines. Its success on home soil led to the grape being planted in several other European countries, and later in the New World where it has also proven to be popular. Whilst the Trebbiano varietal grape is most commonly associated with fortified wines, it is also commonly used as a blending grape, as its naturally high acidity makes it ideal for boosting less acidic blends. Trebbiano grapes are also cultivated in Italy for the production of fine single variety white wines, and wine makers prize the Trebbiano for the fact that it is excellent for expressing terroir. Indeed, alongside the expected flavors of citrus fruits, it is common to pick up mineral notes and all sorts of pleasant surprises in wines made from this grape.
The beautiful central Italian region of Umbria may well be a fraction of the size of neighboring Tuscany, but still manages to impress and surprise the international wine community with their outstanding produce and the volume they make it in, with the region turning out over twenty five million gallons of wine per year. However, Umbrian wine makers have been exceptionally keen to emphasize the fact that they are primarily concerned with creating quality, characterful and unique Italian wines, often made from blends of native varietals, with imported Bordeaux grapes. In particular, the aged white wines of Umbria, made from Chardonnay and Grechetto grapes, have proven to be a huge success internationally, demonstrating how this particular region is ready to blend traditional practices with innovation and the pursuit of perfection when it comes to making wines.
There are few countries in the world with a viticultural history as long or as illustrious as that claimed by Italy. Grapes were first being grown and cultivated on Italian soil several thousand years ago by the Greeks and the Pheonicians, who named Italy 'Oenotria' â€“ the land of wines â€“ so impressed were they with the climate and the suitability of the soil for wine production. Of course, it was the rise of the Roman Empire which had the most lasting influence on wine production in Italy, and their influence can still be felt today, as much of the riches of the empire came about through their enthusiasm for producing wines and exporting it to neighbouring countries. Since those times, a vast amount of Italian land has remained primarily for vine cultivation, and thousands of wineries can be found throughout the entire length and breadth of this beautiful country, drenched in Mediterranean sunshine and benefiting from the excellent fertile soils found there. Italy remains very much a 'land of wines', and one could not imagine this country, its landscape and culture, without it.