This week, M ran into an interesting article in CN Traveler: The Italian wine regions you should visit next. The article snubs crowded Toscana, Piedmont and Barolo and talks about lesser known areas for wine that could be the next big thing. Valtellina was there on the list with a very accurate description on its amazing potential. So I consider this piece to be quite credible. You can just imagine what kind of wine-travel fever I got from reading it.So now I am sitting here, having breakfast and browsing google maps. Northern Italy is of course interesting with its high-altitude, cool-climate wines. Rossese is just over the French border, close to Nice. There they make light Burgundy style reds with salinity and mineral notes. Carso, close to the border of Slovenia, tucked away behind more known Friuli is a great area to find some delicious skin contact whites (orange wines). Very trendy right now. The Teroldego Rotaliano wine zone in northern Trentino produces silky smooth and spicy reds. I think I could do a road trip from Nice all the way across Italy to the edges of Slovenia.
In central Italy, Verdicchio di Matelica (Marche) wine region lies on mineral-rich slopes of the Apennine mountain range, some 1,400 feet above sea level. The most commonly grown grape is Verdiccio and the wines turn out fresh and crispy, more so than Veridiccio closer to the coast, with added structure and minerality. In southern Italy Greco di Tufo is a DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) of Campania. The white wines coming from the region have distinct mineral flavors from the region’s volcanic soils (Mmmmm..).
So while I have been playing down Italy in this blog (pre-Valtellina revelation), I am now a huge fan. I cannot wait to visit these little gems and try out some crispy, mineral Verdiccio from Marche and orange wines from Carso. That’s the good thing about wine: there is so much to learn and so many new regions to discover and get excited about. At least for an amateur like me.