The Trebbiano varietal grape is a white wine grape originally from Italy, but which has been successfully planted and cultivated in several European countries, as well as in many parts of the New World. Although it is widely grown around the world, it remains relatively unknown to wine drinkers, perhaps because it has mostly been used traditionally as a blending varietal, and for the production of fortified wines. However, it is used very well in parts of Tuscany and elsewhere in Italy for single variety wines, where it is prized for its elegant character and beautiful citrus flavors, alongside floral aromas and a great expression of terroir. As such, Trebbiano wines often hold interesting mineral notes, making them fascinating and complex white wines perfect for matching with a wide range of foods.
The small central Italian wine region of Umbria has a wine making history which stretches back over two thousand years, and was considered an important center of viticulture by the Romans, who used the fine soils and excellent climatic conditions in Umbria for the production of their wines. Today, the wine industry in the region remains strong and unique, with the region benefiting enormously from the excellent weather and terroirs which typify the region. Many wineries in Umbria keen to experiment with imported grape varietals, which are often blended and aged with native varietals in order to make highly characterful and delicious wines. In particular, the blended white wines made from Chardonnay and Grechetto grapes are well worth looking out for, as are those made from Sangiovese and imported French varietals.
For several decades in the mid to late twentieth century, Italy's reputation for quality wines took a fairly serious blow. This was brought about partly due to lack of regulation in certain regions, and too much regulation in others. This led to several wineries in the beautiful and highly fertile region of Tuscany making the bold move to work outside of the law, which they saw as responsible for the drop in quality in Tuscan wines. They believed that they had the expertise and the generations of experience necessary with which to make truly excellent, world class wines, and set about doing just that. These 'Super Tuscans', as they came to be known, quickly inspired the rest of Italy to improve their produce, and now, Italian wine producers in the twenty-first century are widely recognised to be amongst the best in the world. Regulation and law began to change, and wine drinkers across the globe woke up to the outstanding wines coming out of Italy, which are continuing to improve and impress to this day.