A new, top tier – Gran Selezione – of Chianti Classico is to be added above Chianti Classico Riserva and Chianti Classico ‘straight’.
It’s not too often a single (small) appellation merits an entire book all to itself. After the Brunello-gate scandal of 2008 it probably needs a book all to itself to help restore its reputation. As a long-standing italo-phile and Italy resident, but not a native Italian, O’Keefe’s commentary has an attractive independence of voice.
A steep gradient, literally and thermally, exists from the cool, high slopes of Mount Etna in the east of Sicily to the basking west of the island, both Palermo and the island of Pantelleria, which is nearer Africa than Europe. Combine this with a bevy of well-adapted local grape varieties, and Sicily has an enviable paradigm on the cool-hot spectrum.
Sicily spreads across all five Winkler regions
In Italy’s deep south lies the country’s second biggest wine-producing region. Puglia has 85,125 hectares of vineyard, producing more than 6 million hectolitres of wine each year, which is some 14% of total Italian production.
Susumaniello – niche Italian grape variety.
Negroamaro is one of the top three grape varieties grown in Puglia and a strong component of several DOCs. It’s found mainly in the southern, Salento, region of Puglia.
A two hour – Italian-style driving – journey south and slightly west of Mount Etna lies Sicily’s only DOCG, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, in Ragusa province, made from frappato blended with nero d’avola.
The origins of the increasingly impressive nero di troia remain uncertain, though an abiding story is that it is named after a village near Foggia in the north of Puglia.
Some countries have an adopted signature grape variety – carmenere in Chile, pinotage in South Africa, malbec in Argentina. Sicily has nero d’avola.