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.
Italy is recognised as being one of the finest wine producing countries in the world, and it isn't difficult to see why. With a vast amount of land across the country used primarily for vineyard cultivation and wine production, each region of Italy manages to produce a wide range of excellent quality wines, each representative of the region it is produced in. Any lover of Italian wines will be able to tell you of the variety the country produces, from the deliciously astringent and alpine-fresh wines of the northern borders, to the deliciously jammy and fruit-forward wines of the south and the Italian islands. Regions such as Barolo are frequently compared with Bordeaux and Burgundy in France, as their oak aged red wines have all the complexity and earthy, spicy excellence of some of the finest wines in the world, and the sparkling wines of Asti and elsewhere in Italy can easily challenge and often exceed the high standards put forward by Champagne. Thanks to excellent terrain and climatic conditions, Italy has long since proven itself a major player in the world of wines, and long may this dedication to quality and excellence continue.