Italy is the country with the most output of wines per year in the world. I have a special connection with Italy when it comes to wines. I started my import business in London many years ago with Italian wines from Veneto and Piedmonte. Not only that, but I grew up with a lot of influence from the Italian culture, food and the language. After all, Istanbul and many ports of Italy were always connected for centuries.
Italy has twenty political regions and each of these regions produce wines. Even though Italy is well behind Spain in terms of the vineyard area, they produce the most of the wine in the world. Wine produced was a staggering 39.3 million hecto litres in 2017. There are around 350 varieties commercially grown. From the cool Alpine regions to the hot mediterranean, there are some stunning wines from this country.
I was in Rome last week for a short trip visiting Tivoli Villa D’Este. This is a palace built by the cardinal Ippolito II d’Este who wanted to found a garden that is more beautiful than the gardens of the Vatican. It was his vengeance sparkled this. Because the Cardinal never became a pope. I think he achieved to build one of the most spectacular gardens in the world. Well, that little story is to the side and I would like to tell about a wine I had a pleasure to drink with my delicious Italian meal in Tivoli. It was a Lagrein, which was grown a little far away from Rome.
Lagrein is a native grape grown in Trentino – Alto Adige only about 653 ha in 2010 as per the Oxford Wine Companion. This is a black grape related to another local variety Teroldego and Syrah. It produces wines with deep colour, with an accented nose of black fruits and violet. It has full body and fine grained tannins. It has a lovely long finish. It is a very food friendly wine, and it went so well with my lamb cutlets.
I thought if this was grown in other parts of the world. And I found out that it is grown in cooler parts of Australia and the USA.
I hope that sometime soon, we at Sonvino can bring this wine to other wine lovers in the UK.