Many Italian white wines are much less known than the Italian reds like Chianti, Brunello, Barolo, and Amarone.
In this article we will explore some of the famous and less known Italian white wines.
First of all, how is White Wine Made?
The grapes are harvested and then pressed. Yeast is added to pressed grape juice to start the fermentation process. Once fermentation is finished, fermented juice is left to mature until it becomes wine.
White wine can mature in stainless steel or in oak, steel being more typical to keep the fruity and floral aromas.
Best Italian White Wines
North Italy Famous and Well-known White Wines
- Pinot Grigio (Veneto)
Pinot Grigio is the one Italian white wine that probably everyone knows! It is dry with a moderately high acidity.
Pinot Grigio comes from the wine regions of Alto Adige, Trentino, Friuli, Veneto, and Lombardy. Typically, very fruity, fresh and easy to drink, it can vary a lot in style depending on the area in comes from.
Can be nicely matched with chicken noodle salad or sushi.
- Gavi (Piedmont)
Gavi is an Italian dry white wine made from Cortese grape in Piedmont wine region.
It has a balanced acidity and beautiful elegance, making it an ideal addition to vegetable antipasti and seafood.
You can also pair this wine with seafood dishes and pasta served with butter and pesto or sage sauce.
North Italy Less Known Italian White Wines
- Arneis (Piedmont)
Arneis is a grape and a highly-recognised Italian white wine originating from Roero – a Piedmont sub-region. It is one of the less-known Italian white wines from North Italy however once discovered usually stays one of the favourites.
Arneis is a delicate and elegant wine and goes well with light white fish (like seabass or cod), waldorf salad, calamari, spaghetti vongole.
- Soave (Veneto)
The origin of Soave is Veneto wine region, in North of Italy, with Soave Classico being the most prestigious area for the vineyards.
Soave is made of Garganega grape and is described as rugged but sophisticated. It has notes of thyme, nutmeg, minerals, stones, baked pear, green apple, and chamomile.
The food matching for Soave includes roast chicken, dover sole, fettuccine Alfredo, and veal scaloppini.
- Vermentino (Tuscany)
Vermentino can be described as an elegant and smooth Tuscan white wine. The interesting fact is that Vermentino grapes are also grown in Liguria and Sardinia wine regions and the style of Vermentino from Liguria and Sardinia is very different to the Tuscan one.
Vermentino goes very well with soft cheeses, seafood, and vegetable pasta dishes.
- Vernaccia (Tuscany)
Vernaccia is an Italian white wine made from Vernaccia grape in San Gimignano area of Tuscany. It is one of less know Italian whites, especially for Tuscany wine region dominated by famous reds like Chianti and Brunello.
Vernaccia is typically golden yellow colour with floral aromas.
It goes well with rice salads, pasta, white meats, and ribollita of Tuscan food. You can also enjoy Vernaccia with soft cheeses, vegetables, and fish-based recipes.
- Grechetto (Umbria)
Grechetto is widely grown in the Umbria region of Italy.
This dry white wine has aromas of yellow and white flowers, as well as sweet fruit, is persistent and lively with good acidity.
Grechetto goes well with sweet almond cookies, dry parmesan crusted scallops and pumpkin-filled pasta.
- Verdicchio (Marche)
Verdicchio is the name of the grape and of an Italian wine. Verdicchio is extensively grown in Lazio, Umbria, and Marche regions of Italy. This wine got its name from the word ‘Verde’ meaning ‘Green’ – due to its typical greenish colour.
This wine offers different tasting notes of green papaya, fresh grass, kiwi, lime zest, coriander.
The food matching is anything fried, pulled pork, spicy & hot foods, and Asian food.
- Greco di Tufo (Campania)
Greco di Tufo is a type of Italian white grape originated from Tufo town of Italy.
The wine shows a gold or dark lemon colour and reflects notes of dried apricot and white blossom on the nose.
As far as taste is concerned, Greco di Tufo is sharp, bone dry, and brusque even at the first sip of it.
Food matching suggestions for Greco di Tufo include grilled fish with olive oil & lemon, buffalo mozzarella & tomatoes, and fried calamari.
- Fiano (Campania)
Fiano is a grape grown in several wine regions in South Italy, including Campania.
Fiano is typically fruity on the nose and soft, rounded and pleasantly fresh on the palate.
Food combinations for Fiano are falafels & tabbouleh, baked chicken & pesto, and poached fish fillet & salsa verde.
- Falanghina (Campania)
Falanghina is a white grape grown in several wine regions in South Italy, including Campania.
Falanghina features a beautiful and attractive pale colour combined with a bouquet of evocative flowers, almonds, and melon.
Best food pairings for this popular Southern Italy wine include salami with cold meats, sushi, fish tartare, oysters, mussels and fresh cheese.
- Etna Bianco
Etna Bianco is produced from the white grapes Carricante that can be sometimes blended with Catarratto. As the name suggests, the grapes are grown on Mount Etna, and have characteristic minerality due to the volcanic soil of the terroir.
Etna wines have recently become more recognised and valued outside of Italy due to the complexity and elegance of the wine. The grapes are often grown at very high altitudes and come from very old vineyards.
Etna Bianco goes well with hard cheeses, cured olives, caponata, grilled chicken & herbs, and tuna carpaccio.
There are a lot more Italian white wines to tell about but we will stop here for now to allow you to explore the above list of wines first!