The Vermentino grape varietal is a white wine grape thought to have originated in Spain. However, today it is most closely associated with Italian wines, and it is grown in much of northern Italy and on the islands of Sardinia and Corsica, where it is a highly important varietal for the production of both fine wines and flavorful table wines. Vermentino is popular with vintners, as it is an easy grape to grow, vigorous and highly resistant to the diseases and mildews which cause so many problems when it comes to other varietals. It produces wine which is pale and light in body and alcohol content, but which is refreshingly crisp and acidic, holding flavors of lime and green apple. As such, it is popular with those looking for a light and invigorating wine, perfect for drinking with seafood.
The beautiful region of Tuscany has been associated with wine production for almost three thousand years, and as such is one of the oldest and most highly respected wine producing regions in the world. The hot, sunny climate supports quite a wide range of grapes, but the grape varietals most widely grown across this large region are Sangiovese and Vernaccia, both of which are used in the production of Tuscany's most distinctive red and white wines. Cabernet Sauvignon and other imported grape varietals have also flourished there for over two hundred years, but it wasn't until the 1970's and the rise of the 'Super Tuscans' that they were widely used, when the fine wineries of the region began experimenting with Bordeaux style red wines to great effect.
It isn't difficult to understand why Italy is famed not just for the quality of its wines, but also for the vast variety and range of characteristics found in the wines there. The terrain of the country varies wildly, from the lush rolling green hills and valley of Tuscany, to the sun drenched rocky coasts of Sicily, the mountainous and alpine regions of the north, and the marshy lowlands of the east. Italy really does have a little bit of everything. Combine this huge range of landscapes with an almost perfect climate for grape cultivation, and you have a country seemingly designed for viticultural excellence. The results speak for themselves, and it is clear to see that wine has become an inseparable part of Italian culture as a result of its abundance and brilliance. Each village, city and region has a local wine perfectly matched with the cuisine of the area, and not an evening passes without the vast majority of Italian families raising a glass of locally sourced wine with pride and pleasure.