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Hollywood’s charm extends to America’s largest wine producing region in the United States on the West Coast. Geographically this AVA takes up around 850 miles (about 1370 kilometers). ... moreof the country's west coast. California’s topography varies in latitude across valleys, mountains, plateaus and plains. The complex California weather systems presents viticulturists with many challenges especially with regards to terroir.

California’s history of wine-making began in 1769 when Father Juniper Serra, a missionary, accompanied immigrants from Mexico to San Diego. Father Serra travelled along the route now known as El Camino Real, establishing 21 missions through his journey and, introducing grapes to each region. As with wine-making in Argentina, the first wines in California were produced for sacramental purposes. The grape vines that were introduced at each mission became known as the Mission grape.

Unlike like Hollywood’s epic movies, Californian wines only achieved global fame in the last few decades, after the Paris Judgment of 1976. California’s viticultural history spans more than two centuries. European immigrants introduced European vines to the West Coast in the 18th century. The Mission Grape from the vinifera species were the most successful and soon spread to Central and South America. Unfortunately, the Mission vines are not as widespread in California currently. However, it remains an important part of the Californian wine industry.

The wine industry suffered when the Prohibition was passed in 1919 banning the production of alcoholic beverages. Wine-making began again in 1933 when the Prohibition was repealed in 1933. The long break between wine production helped vines recover from phylloxera. Leading wine producers poured their passion into wine-making in the 1970s, sparking a renewed interest in winemaking across the United States which led to a national wine renaissance. This period sparked the development of new, small-scale wineries throughout America, and renewed interest in existing wineries. The United States has managed to maintain this momentum since the 1970s.

California is home to some of the world's major wine businesses. This state is also known for its boutique wineries which produce astronomically priced cult wines. As a result, California produces 90 percent of its wine through mass production or single-vineyard artisanal winemaking. More than 60 percent of all wine consumed in the United States is produced in California. As at the end of 2017, the California wine industry contributed about $220 billion to the United States economy.

Grapes Grown in California
Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay dominate vineyards. Traditional European vines such as Vitis vinifera, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Syrah also thrive on the West Coast. Zinfandel, which is genetically identical to Tribidrag grown in Croatia and, Primitivo grown in Italy, also thrives here. White grape varieties include Sauvignon Blanc followed by Chardonnay. Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are grafted to American native vine rootstocks which are resistant to phylloxera. Less popular hybrids are grown to produce wine for local consumption.

Sparkling wines dominate wine production. This has led to French Champagne producers investing in California wineries. The most well-known French products are listed below:
• Taittinger's Domaine Carneros,
• Moet & Chandon's Domaine Chandon,
• Wines produced in Roederer Estate in the Anderson Valley, and
• Wines produced in Mumm Napa in the Napa Valley.

California has considerable differences in soil and climate throughout the state. Complex factors considered by viticulturists include:
• Altitude,
• Latitude, and
• Proximity to the Pacific Ocean.

In summer, the cold coastal waters of the Pacific helps create a fog bank over the coastal regions. As the warm inland air rises, cold fog sinks to fill the void. Records reveal that fog has traveled as far as 100 miles (160 kilometers) providing much needed to the regions vineyards as it travels. However, the mountainous terrain between vineyards and the ocean reduces the effect of the oceanic climate. The relationship between vineyards and the ocean varies across the state.

Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are known to thrive in cooler coastal regions. Cabernet Sauvignon, a key ingredient in classic Californian red wine, thrives in the warm inland climate. Dark skinned Zinfandel, also known as Primitivo, is grown to produce red wine throughout California.

Bordeaux Grapes Used in Red and White Wine
• Cabernet Sauvignon
• Merlot
• Cabernet Franc
• Petit Verdot
• Malbec
• Carmenere
• Sauvignon Blanc
• Semillon
• Muscadelle
• Sauvignon Gris

Rhone Valley Grape used in Red and White Californian Wine
• Syrah
• Grenache
• Mourvedre
• Rousanne
• Marsanne
• Viognier

Burgundy Grapes Used in Californian Red and White Wine
• Chardonnay
• Pinot Noir

Other Grapes Used in Californian Red and White Wine
• Petite Sirah
• Zinfandel

Overall, Californian wines do not need to age to be enjoyed. If you want to drink it, there’s no better time than the present.
Grapes - Blends:
Pinot Noir, Zinfadel, Chardonnay, Cabarnet Sauvignon, Rare Red Blend, Beer, Merlot
Located in the north-west of Argentina, among the Andes range, Catamarca is a renowned wine-producing region. Only table grapes and raisins were grown on this secluded corner of Argentina ... moreuntil the start of the 21st Century when the region embarked on growing wines of export quality. Just like other wine growing regions in Argentina, quality and commercial focus in this region are rapidly increasing. Plantings of Malbec and Torrontes, Syrah are rising across the region.

The region occupies the administrative jurisdiction of the same name and lies between the popular territories of Salta in the north and La Rioja in the south. Though Catamarca is a vast province, its mountainous topography means that only approximately 2500ha (6200 acres) are suitable for the vine. This means that the tiny Napa Valley sub-region of Rutherford rests on an area roughly the same size.

In Catamarca, viticulture is mostly concentrated on the banks of the Araucana River. The arable land stretches from the high-quality area of Fiambala to Tinogasta, which is a more-productive region located in the south of the province. Similar to most regions in Argentina, Catamarca enjoys a balance of low latitude and high altitude that is favorable to viticulture. The region is characterized by high temperatures coupled with low latitude, and average elevations of up to 1500m (5000ft) above sea level. This altitude ensures a more-intense sunlight during the day, while evenings are associated with low temperatures resulting from the cold alpine air from the mountains. During the growing season, this diurnal temperature difference prolongs the ripening period which allows grapes to develop a rich varietal character while preserving acidity.

Catamarca lies on the considerable rain shadow of the Andes, the region is therefore characterized by dry and hot conditions, especially in the summer. Fortunately, the mountains supply the region with abundant melted snow for irrigation, which flows into the area by the river. Viticulturists here enjoy a great deal of control over the growth of the vines, they regulate water in the vineyard, they can minimize vigor and yields, resulting to more-concentrated wines with an amazing depth of flavor.
Grapes - Blends:
Malbec, Cabarnet Sauvignon, Shiraz
Located on the foothills of the Andes Mountains in western Argentina, north of San Juan and Mendoza lies La Rioja. The mountainous terroir of this wine growing region is well suited ... moreto Torrontes, a white-grape varietal that produces aromatic, crisp white wines.
According to the locals, La Rioja was among the first regions where vines were planted in Argentina. It is here that in the late 16th Century, Spanish settlers were widely credited with being the first to grow grapes. Actually, Juan Ramirez de Velasco, a Spaniard from Rioja named the region after the northern Spanish territory of the same name. This decision by Juan Ramirez caused some animosity between the two regions. However, in 2011, this province of Argentina won a court case which allowed the region to continue labeling its wines as 'La Rioja Argentina'.

Since La Rioja is located on the rain shadow of the Andes range, the wine-producing regions strictly rely on access to water. Therefore, vineyard distribution is dispersed. The Fatamatina Valley has a single main production area which rests in the mesoclimate formed by the Sierra de Famatina and the Sierra de Velasco mountain ranges. Some tiny vineyard regions can also be found neighboring the towns of Villa Union and Nonogasta.

The connection between low latitude and high altitude plays a big role in La Rioja. The province has a latitude of 29°S putting it closer to the Equator than most wine regions in the world. Nevertheless, the high altitude moderates the high temperatures normally associated with a latitude closer to the Equator. Days are characterized by high levels of sunshine while nights are cooled by alpine winds from the adjacent Andes. This diurnal temperature difference slows ripening overnight, and prolongs the growing season, thus leading to a balance of fresh acidity and ripe fruit characters in the wine.

The sandy, alluvial soils that originate from the mountains, provide the viticultural regions of La Rioja with a favorable topography for grape production. However, the free-draining nature of the soils makes the province reliant on irrigation. Through the use of flood and drip irrigation, vignerons enjoy a great deal of management over the growth of the vines. They limit the amount of water that gets into the vineyard, they can moderate vigor and yields, resulting in grapes and wines with a considerable concentration of flavor.
While La Rioja is renowned for its white wines (unlike its Spanish namesake), Malbec, Syrah, and Bonarda can also be found growing across the region.
Grapes - Blends:
Malbec, Chardonnay, Cabarnet Sauvignon, Torrontes, Shiraz, Tannat
Located on a high-altitude plateau at the edge of the Andes Mountains, Mendoza is by far the largest wine region in Argentina. Roughly 70 percent of the country's annual wine production ... moreis produced in this province. The vineyards of Mendoza are the New World home of the French grape variety, Malbec. The region produces red wines of great intensity and concentration.

Mendoza rests on the western edge of Argentina, across the Andes Mountains from Chile. Though the province is extensive, covering an area similar to the state of New York, its viticultural land is mainly clustered in the northern part, south of Mendoza City. Here, the regions of the Uco Valley, Lujan de Cuyo, and Maipu are home to some of the iconic names in Argentinian wine.

The history of winemaking in Mendoza is almost as old as the colonial history of Argentina. Vines were first planted here in the mid-16th Century, by priests of the Catholic Church's Jesuit order. The priests borrowed agricultural techniques from the Huarpes and Incas, who had arrived earlier and occupied the land. Malbec was introduced in the region around this time by Miguel Aimé Pouget, a French agronomist.
Italian and Spanish immigrants flooded into Mendoza in the 1800s, to flee the devastations of the phylloxera louse that was ravaging vineyards in Europe at the time. The completion of a railway line in 1885 between Mendoza and Buenos Aires, led to a boom in wine production. The railway provided an easier and cheaper way of transporting wines out of the region. For the better part of the 20th Century, the wine industry in Argentina mainly focused on the domestic market. However, in the past 25 years, there has been a push toward quality and as a result, the wines of Mendoza have graced restaurant lists globally.

One of the most important characteristics of the Mendoza terroir is altitude. The strip of vineyard land runs along the base of the Andes and rests between 2600 and 3900ft (800 and 1200 meters) above sea level. This altitude moderates the hot, dry climate of the area. Warm, sunny days are followed by cold nights as a result of westerly winds from the Andes. This diurnal temperature variation slows ripening, extending the growing season and produces grapes with rich, ripe flavors while maintaining acidity.
Irrigation in the region including Mendoza is facilitated by the rivers that flow here from the mountains. Warm, dry harvest periods allow the winemakers to pick their grapes according to ripeness, rather than being controlled by the vagaries of the weather. Similar to other New World countries, there is a reduction in vintage variation and consistent quality from year to year. Predictable harvests allow the winemakers in Mendoza to enjoy the luxury of increased control over the styles of wine they produce. This factor has contributed to the region's reputation world over.

The soils in Mendoza originate from the Andes having been deposited over thousands of years by the region's rivers. These rocky, sandy soils contain minimal organic matter making them free-draining, thus dry and low in fertility. This kind of soil is ideal for viticulture as vines are forced to work hard for nutrition and hydration. Vines grown on this soils produce tiny, concentrated berries in lieu of leafy foliage. Such vines often have firm tannins, and are highly structured, with a distinct minerality, mainly attributed to the soil structure.

The city of Mendoza has earned the reputation as one of the wine capitals of the world. The city enjoys an important slice of South America's wine-tourism industry, which is facilitated by the natural beauty of the region. The National Harvest Festival (Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia) is held in March to celebrate the harvest. This festival is one of the key events in Mendoza's calendar, it combines parades, light and sound shows, and offers abundant wine tasting opportunities. The city is also a center for numerous wine tour businesses who benefit from the clusters of wineries in the neighboring area.

Malbec is undoubtedly the star of the region, however, there are also vast plantings of Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, and Torrontes. The region is also positioning itself as a producer of sparkling wine.
Grapes - Blends:
Pinot Noir, Malbec, Chardonnay, Cabarnet Sauvignon, Rare Red Blend, Bordeaux Blend Red
Patagonia wine-producing region is located on the southernmost part of South America. Though the region is set on one of the world's least-obvious locations for quality viticulture, ... morethis desert area has proved to be well suited to producing elegant red wines from Malbec to Pinot Noir. This desert region has cool, dry climate ideal for red varietals.

Patagonia rests on an expansive geographical area across southern Argentina and Chile, about twice the size of California. The region is more closely associated with desert and dinosaurs than with fine wine, nevertheless, it has a viticultural zone that stretches 300km (200 miles) along the Rio Negro and Neuquen rivers, from Choele Choel in the east to Angelo in the west. The Patagonia wine-growing region is closer to the Andes Mountains than to the Atlantic Ocean, but it lies at a much lower altitude than Mendoza to the north, at about 300m (1000ft) above sea level.

Patagonia being a desert, means that viticulture is only possible near the rivers, where there is plenty of meltwater for irrigation from the Andes. The classic desert climate characterized by warm days and cold nights prolongs the growing season in the region. The extended growing season slows the ripening of the grapes and lets them achieve a rich varietal character while retaining acidity.

To compensate for its lower latitude and cooler climate, Patagonia is warmed by a wind created on the eastern slopes of the Andes, and known in this region as (La Zonda). The warm, dry air sweeps throughout the vast-open spaces of La Pampa, thus bringing warmth to the vineyards of Patagonia while aiding bud-break. Vines subjected to these year-round high winds coupled with the free-draining alluvial soils tend to grow little berries with thicker skins, which leads to a higher concentration of tannins, sugars, and acids. Wines made from these grapes are extremely flavored, with excellent structure and tough, ripe tannins. La Zonda to some extent negatively affects the vineyards, while it lowers the risk of vine disease. The persistently dry wind which moves at speeds of up to 40kph (25mph), can damage young vines, though it brings warmth to vineyards.

Patagonia is acknowledged within the wine world due to its two viticultural regions set in the northern section. These regions are; - the well-established Rio Negro and the newer and developing Neuquen. Wines from these two zones have a more traditional European style than those grown in the central and northern regions of the country, due to the higher latitude and cooler climate of the area. Though Malbec still commands a central role in Patagonian wine, Pinot Noir has become the iconic grape variety of the region. Excellent white wines made from Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Chardonnay also exhibit the fresh climate of Patagonia.
Grapes - Blends:
Pinot Noir, Malbec, Chardonnay, Cabarnet Sauvignon, Rare Red Blend, Merlot
Located in the far north of Argentina, Salta is home to some of the world's outmost vineyard sites. Many vineyard sites here rest at lower latitudes and higher altitudes than anywhere ... moreelse in the world. Interestingly, these factors stabilize each other out; the cold temperatures related to high altitude are alleviated by the high temperatures common at these latitudes. This combination generates a surprisingly excellent climate for quality viticulture. Malbec and Torrontes, Argentina's signature grape varieties are the top performers in Salta. They produce intensely flavored, bright wines.

Similar to Catamarca in the south, and Jujuy in the northwest, vineyards in Salta are often located amid mountainous topography. Some vineyards reach altitudes of 3000m (9840ft) above sea level. With latitudes as low as 24°S, their closeness to the Equator is similar to places such as Mozambique, Egypt, Alice Springs, and Baja California.
The mountainous landscape of Salta creates a rain shadow over the vineyards below. This ensures clear skies and low precipitation levels. The appropriate flipside is that the mountains also supply reliable meltwater for irrigation, down from the snowy peaks. This mesoclimate benefits from a broad diurnal temperature variation, which enables the grapes to attain phenolic ripeness while retaining fine acidity. Summer temperatures in Salta reach 38C (100F) in the daytime and drop to a low of 12C (55F) at night.

Merlot, Malbec, Tannat and Cabernet Sauvignon are the most prominent red-wine varieties in this region, while Torrontes and Chardonnay account for the most respected white wines in Salta. The region shares the same alluvial soil profile (sandy topsoil over a clay base) to Mendoza, 800km (500miles) to the south, which explains why these varieties thrive in both regions.

Key wine-growing areas in Salta are the world-topping vineyards of Molinos and Cafayate. Cafayate, in particular, is fast gaining an international reputation for producing high-quality wines, as much as for the vagaries of its terroir.
Grapes - Blends:
Malbec, Cabarnet Sauvignon, Rare Red Blend, Torrontes, Merlot, Tannat
San Juan is an important wine-producing area of Argentina. Initially, San Juan produced prolific high-yielding pink grape varieties such as Cereza, whose high sugar concentration made ... morethem perfect for blending. Currently, the region is producing wines of increasing quality using traditional European grape varieties. The ever-present Malbec and Syrah are the most important of these varieties.

San Juan wine region rests on the jurisdiction of the same name in the north-western corner of Argentina. The province is located between La Rioja and Mendoza and is almost fully sandwiched within the mountainous foothills of the Andes. San Juan is the second-largest wine region in Argentina in terms of production (after Mendoza), with vineyards covering about half of its agricultural land. The most important area of production in San Juan is the Tulum Valley, however, other wine regions in the area include the high-quality Pendernal Valley and Zonda Valley.

San Juan, just like Mendoza, is predominantly semi-desert, and its viticulture relies on irrigation from the Jachal and San Juan rivers. Since many vineyards are at the mercy of a very dry continental climate, they are dependent on the meltwater flowing down from the Andes mountain range to the west. What little rainfall the region receives, mainly falls during the storms, commonly experienced during the summer months.

As is common with other wine regions in Argentina, San Juan is both aided and hindered by the La Zonda, a hot, dry wind that forms in the rain shadow of the Andes. The wind is such a common feature of the region that the Zonda Valley, one of San Juan's three sub-regions, is named after it.

Similar to Mendoza, San Juan's vineyards are set at a comparatively high average altitude, with the lowest point at around 600m (2000ft) and the highest at 1200m (4000ft) above sea level.

San Juan is home to Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bonarda, Syrah, Merlot and Malbec for red wines, and Sauvignon Blanc, Torrontes, Chardonnay, and Viognier for white wines. The region also produces a large quantity of Cereza and Criolla grapes, which are usually used to make slightly sweet, cheaper wines. Additionally, San Juan produces sherry-style wines, and also provides most of the base for brandy and vermouth in Argentina.
Grapes - Blends:
Pinot Noir, Malbec, Chardonnay, Cabarnet Sauvignon, Rare Red Blend, Torrontes, Shiraz, Pinot Grigio
The region of Abruzzo is located on the east (Adriatic) coast of central Italy, and halfway up the 'boot'. Marche neighbors Abruzzo to the north, Lazio to the west and south-west, ... morewhile Molise lies to the south-east.

Winemaking traditions in Abruzzo started in the sixth century B.C. following the introduction of viniculture to the area by the Etruscans. During that time, vineyards in Abruzzo were generally concentrated in the province of L'Aquila, around the Peligna valley. Interestingly, there is evidence that vine growing started as early as the fourth century B.C., at that time, Apianae, a sweet, Moscato-style grape was grown. It is also believed that soldiers serving under Hannibal when he made his epic journey over the Alps, were given Abruzzo wine from Teramo (then known as Pretuzi).

Sadly, viniculture was sidelined for centuries as the population in the region declined. Over the last 40-50 years, there has been a renaissance in winemaking through the efforts of co-operative wineries clustered in the Chieti province. Though the region is historically unproductive, Abruzzo is now thriving and continually gaining economic prosperity. The USA, Canada, and Germany are the main importers of Abruzzo wine, with increasing purchases coming from the UK, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.
A revival in viniculture resulted in the production of bulk wine, which dominated the area for a significant period. Fortunately, Abruzzo has now improved its image. The region is gradually moving towards producing bulk quality-driven wines, specifically in boutique wineries. Gianni Masciarelli is one of the pioneers of this style and is part of a new generation of wine experts, entrepreneurs and oenologists, behind the notable improvement in the quality of Abruzzo wines.

Vines in Abruzzo are planted on at least 89,000 acres (36,000ha) of land, with a production of more than 92,000 gallons (3.5 million hL) annually. In spite of that, Abruzzo remains the fifth-leading wine growing region in Italy, in terms of quantitative wine production after Sicily, Puglia, Veneto, and Emilia-Romagna.
Abruzzo has an impressive geographical makeup. The region is mountainous and rugged, with a vast coastline, its lush, green terrain is scattered with forests and national parks. Abruzzo is perfectly located between the Adriatic Sea to the east, and the Maniella and Apennines mountain ranges to the west - including one of Italy's highest peaks, Gran Sasso, at more than 2895m (9500ft) above sea level.

Unsurprisingly, Abruzzo provides an ideal haven for grape growing. Here vines thrive thanks to the terroir, the generous precipitation, the abundance of sunshine, and a variable climate: more continental (cold in winter and hot in summer) inland, and warm and dry on the coast. Additionally, the high altitudes influence dramatic diurnal temperature variations. The cool mountain air currents moderate the temperatures in the vineyards located on the slopes, thus providing an ideal mesoclimate for the vines. The low hills of Teramo and the Colline Teramane has the most favorable growing conditions.
Most vineyards in Abruzzo are found in the hilly areas, Chieti province accounts for 75% of these, while the remainder is found in Teramo, Pescara, and L'Aquila. Typical Abruzzo viticulture encourages pergolas, where the vines are supported upwards towards narrow arbors. This style accounts for almost 80% of the vines, while the rest are young and grown in rows.

Abruzzo is renowned as the home to one DOCG - Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colline Teramane - and three DOCs: Cerasuolo Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and the red, while the most notable whites are the Trebbiano d'Abruzzo, followed by the lesser-known Controguerra. The region's star grape varieties are the native red Montepulciano and white Trebbiano, while a few international varieties like Merlot, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon play minor roles. Native varieties include Cococciola, Sangiovese, Passerina, and Pecorino. Oak is the typical maturation process for Abruzzo wine. But the Montepulciano Cerasuolo matures in stainless steel.
Grapes - Blends:
Rare Red Blend, Nebbiolo, Sanglovese, Valpolicella Blend, Pinot Grigio, Chianti Blend
Although Lombardy is one of Italy's largest and densely populated regions, it only produces two wine styles of particular note: sparkling Franciacorta and red Valtellina. Most wines ... morehere are produced under one of the area's various IGT titles, or under lesser-known DOC titles (check Italian Wine Labels).

Lombardy is set at the heart of northern Italy and is fully landlocked. The region borders Piedmont to the west, Veneto to the east, and Emilia-Romagna to the south. Located to the north is the Swiss region of Ticino and the mighty Central Alps. Lombardy is not entirely without the cooling influence of massive water bodies, however: lakes Iseo, Como, Garda, and Maggiore dominate the region's northern half. These lakes attract more than just vista-seeking tourists to the region, they also aid to temper the climates of their immediate vineyard zones.

For centuries, vines have been grown around the shores of Lake Garda. Each of these lakes has a climate-moderating effect which is valuable especially in the cooler, more elevated regions. Valtellina which is dramatically framed by the Central Alps, is a perfect example of this, just like Franciacorta, whose vines grow in the hills to the south of Lake Iseo. Lower down, in the south and east of Lombardy, the topography consists mostly of low hills and plains. The most outstanding low-lying vineyards in Lombardy are those in the Po Basin: Mantovano, Oltrepo Pavese, and San Colombano al Lambro.

The location between the Alps and the Po Basin contributes to Lombardy's excellent diversity of mesoclimates. For instance, the vineyards of Valtellina rest at altitudes between 230m (750ft) and 765m (2500ft). These vineyards are cooled by alpine breezes that blow east-west down the valley. The diurnal temperature variation here is high due to the alpine continental macroclimate: the sunbaked slopes rapidly lose their heat as the sun goes down. However, vineyards located lower down on the plains, where average temperatures and humidity are higher, enjoy a relatively stable climate.
Lombardy is the industrial powerhouse of Italy and the second-largest city in the country, with Milan as its regional capital. The region has large expanses of unspoiled countryside with numerous small-scale wineries which make a substantial proportion of the area's 1.5 million hL wine output annually.

Lombardy is a vast and geographically complex region, which is ideally placed to offer a diverse range of wine styles. The region is home to 20 DOC and 5 DOCG titles. The Oltrepo Pavese zone is among one of the largest, well-known regions, not only for its fine Oltrepo Pavese Metodo Classico DOCG but also for its Pinot Grigio. Since 2008, the region has had its own independent DOC (Oltrepo Pavese Pinot Grigio). Franciacorta from the well-regarded and rapidly developing vineyards located between Lake Iseo and Brescia is the second of Lombardy's two sparkling DOCG wines.

The secluded, alpine Valtellina has 2 DOCG wines to its name: the distinctive, dried-grape Amarone-style Sforzato di Valtellina and Valtellina Superiore, which are based on Chiavennasca, which is the Lombardian form of Piedmont's Nebbiolo.
The western banks of Lake Garda, in the east, generate characteristic Garda and Lambrusco Mantovano wines, where the red wines are significantly influenced by Valpolicella's Rondinella grape. Just like anywhere else in Italy, in eastern Lombardy, highly marketable 'international' varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are increasingly popular. However, white varieties Garganega and Trebbiano are holding their ground well, though at the expense of traditional, local varieties like Marzemino and Schiava.

The Lugana DOC is common in the south of Lake Garda. It is a star wine that boasts lively and crisp whites from Trebbiano di Lugana, and a more 'noble' version of the Trebbiano grape. It is one of very few Trebbiano wines that show any complexity or depth. The Garda region is credited with a number of high-quality vino da Tavola wines, mostly made from 'international' varieties such as Cabernet and Merlot, which are popularly known as the Bordeaux duo. These grapes can also be found Valcepio, in the Bergamo heights of the pre-Alps, where they are at per with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, France's most famous varieties. San Colombano, at the southern end of the area, by the waters of the Po river, is a home for traditional northern Italian red varieties. San Colombano uses Barbera, Croatina, and Uva Rara for its Rosso wine.
Grapes - Blends:
Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Nebbiolo
Pronounced Mar-kay, Marche is a region on the eastern side of central Italy. The region occupies a triangular-like area where the Apennine Mountains in the west, form the longer sides ... morewith the Adriatic Sea in the east. Abruzzo and Emilia-Romagna neighbors Marche to the south and north respectively. The Apennines separates the region from Umbria.

Winemaking heritage in Marche spans thousands of years and has been influenced, by the Lombards, Etruscans, and Romans among others. The presence of various cultures in this region goes a long way to explaining the rich vinicultural tradition and wine styles that characterize the area. Marche has numerous terroirs that are perfectly well suited to the cultivation of vines, especially among the rolling coastal hills like those around Ancona. Due to the influences of the Adriatic, the Apennines, and the rivers of this region (the Nera, Tronto, Metauro, and Potenza), there are multiple climates at work in Marche, which offers wine producers both cool and warm viticultural zones to utilize. Clay, Calcareous, and limestone-rich soils characterize the unique terroir and vary according to the distinctive topography of the area.

Vineyards in Marche cover approximately 25,000ha (60,000 acres) of land and produce close to two million hectoliters of wine annually. Most of this is sold under the Indicazione Geografica Tipica title IGT Marche, or as Vino di Tavola. Barely 20 percent is sold under the region's 15 DOC and 4 DOCG titles: far from the 40 percent achieved by the wines of the country's high-quality region Piedmont. However, this is much higher than is found in Calabria and Sicily, where the DOC wines only make up 5 percent of total production.

Marche is well-known as a white-wine area, although the area produces some reds of very high quality too. In terms of volume, top white varieties in Marche are the ubiquitous Trebbiano (in diverse forms) and Verdicchio, the grape to which has made Marches a spiritual home for over 600 years. The finest expressions of Verdicchio are evident in the DOCGs Verdicchio di Matelica and Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi. These refreshingly crisp, green-hued, green-tinged white wines are characterized by subtle herbaceous undertones and lively acidity and are a perfect food match for Brodetto di Pesce, a rich seafood stew prepared locally. Bianchello di Metauro is another notable white wine from Marche, it is made from Bianchello (also known as Biancame) grapes cultivated around the Mataro river valley. Other widely cultivated white grapes include Malvasia, Pinot Bianco, Toscana, Bianchello and Pecorino, with Bianchello being the most famously used in Bianchello del Metauro.

Among the red wines of this region, the finest are mainly made from Montepulciano and/or Sangiovese, the dark-skinned types that command central Italian red and in this region, make the extremely fragrant Rosso Conero Riserva. This duo is backed up by Pinot Nero, Ciliegiolo, Lacrima di Morro and of course the Vernaccia Nera, the varietal behind the fine DOCG wine Vernaccia di Serrapetrona.
Backing up these fine reds are DOCs Rosso Conero (the Riserva is the only one with true DOCG status) and Rosso Piceno. These solid, tannic wines are uncommon in the sea of Marche's lighter-hearted reds and whites. They fly the flag for diversity in the Marche's wine production. Another pair of promising DOCs is Lacrima di Morro d'Alba and Terreni di Sanseverino, the earlier a tasty red wine based on Lacrima di Morro, a variety distinctive to the commune of Morro d'Alba.

The above-listed DOCs specialize in wines of one color only, however, the majority of Marche DOCs comprise both red and white. Of interest among these are Offida (where Pecorino is quickly dominating), those from the Colli Maceratesi hills, mostly Esino, and Maceratino with its finest Verdicchio and Sangiovese-Montepulciano blends.
Grapes - Blends:
Rare Red Blend, Sanglovese, Montepulciano, Verdicchio, Pecorino, Lacrima