In Italy, when you’re not drinking water, you’re drinking one of two things: coffee or wine. The latter attracts travelers, wine enthusiasts and wine connoisseurs from all over the globe. Italian wine is about as ancient as the country itself and is therefore a large part of what it means to be Italian. In other words, there is simply no wine country quite like Italy. So whatever types of wine you’re craving, you’re bound to find only la crème de la crème at these seven best wineries in Italy.
Become a wine and cheese connoisseur with this quick and easy pairing guide.
Antinori Chianti Classico, Tuscany
While all of Italy may well be considered wine country, its heart lies in Tuscany. The birthplace of Chianti wine, Tuscany is also home to the brilliant Antinori Chianti Classico Winery. Architecturally, Antinori Chianti Classico is known for its modern and grand spiral staircases. Don’t be fooled by visuals, though, because while the winery was inaugurated in 2012, the Antinori family has been making wine in the area since 1385. Discover other types of cocktails from the different regions of Italy.
Photo Credit: Patrick Baum
Barone Ricasoli, Tuscany
The Ricasoli family has been around since the time of Charlemagne. According to the winery, one of the family’s ancestors, Baron Bettino Ricasoli, created the original formula for Chianti wine back in 1872. Treat yourself to the region’s oldest Chianti wine by booking a wine tasting or tour here.
Photo Credit: AdBar
Tenuta Castelbuono, Umbria
Tenuta Castelbuono in Umbria is a fun visit for more than just its wine (as if that weren’t enough of a reason). It is famous for its dome sculpture that was designed by the Italian artist Arnaldo Pomodoro to commemorate the winery’s centennial. The Carapace, as it is called, is a one-of-a-kind piece of art that is as instantly recognizable and well-crafted as the wine for which it stands.
Photo Credit: AHLN, Flickr
Azienda Vinicola Contini, Sardinia
The heavenly island of Sardinia is known for its incredible beaches, but there is also plenty of wonderful wine to taste here. In fact, there is evidence that Sardinia has been a place of wine production since 2,000 B.C.E.! Azienda Vinicola Contini is a great part of that long history, having spent 120 years (and counting!) making various types of wine, from red to white to rosé.
Gaja Winery, Piedmont
Piedmont, Italy is known for its extraordinary wines and champagnes. Generally speaking, the two wines you want to experience the most in Piedmont are Barolo and Barbaresco. Both are made from the same kind of grape, but they are different in taste because of the soils in which the vines grow. While both are strong, full-bodied wines, Barbaresco is slightly more mild-mannered. The Gaja Winery in Piedmont produces some of the best Barbaresco, amongst other types of wine.
(Fun fact: Piedmont is also known for its truffles! Get wine-infused truffle pasta today.)
Photo Credit: Megan Cole, Flickr
Tenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Grésy, Piedmont
This winemaker has been in business since 1797. Marchesi Di Grésy has four estates throughout the Piedmont region, the most significant of which is Martinenga, where the company is headquartered. Their Barbaresco wine is among the finest in the country, having been awarded the highest classification an Italian wine can get (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita or DOCG) which guarantees stellar wine quality.
Photo Credit: Paul Arps, Flickr
It’s hard not to visit a Planeta Winery when visiting Sicily, seeing as how there are five of them scattered all across the region. With locations in Menfi, Vittoria, Noto, Etna, and Capo Milazzo, Planeto’s wine has become nearly synonymous with Sicilian identity and history itself. Planeta has been owned and operated by the same family for 17 generations—that’s five centuries worth of winemaking! Can't make it across the Atlantic? No problem! Try Sicilian wine cheese from Supermarket Italy.
Photo Credit: Michal Osmenda