Stunning Italy is truly a wine lover’s paradise, with a history that dates back centuries. Over this time, the nation has perfected the art of a brilliant wine. Thankfully for you, today there are a plethora of incredible producers all over the country that you need to visit if you’re going on a food and wine tour of Italy.

From the rich calcareous terroir of Maremma to the sea-swept terraces of Sicily, there are many incredible wineries in Italy. Many blend both traditional and modern approaches to winemaking, while a genuine love for the landscape and earth can also be felt.

With so many wineries dotted throughout Italy, there are a few absolute stand-outs. Here are eight of the most unmissable Italian wineries.

Region: Maremma

Tenta Poggio Verrano

One of the biggest influences on the character of a wine is the terrain where the grapes are grown. Changes in the soil can greatly impact on the flavors and character of a wine. Nowhere is this more apparent than at Tenta Poggio Verrano, which creates wine reflecting the character of the Maremma area.

The terrain of Maremma is calcareous, with rich clay deposits. The head winemaker is inspired by this soil as well as generations of winemaking, and creates unique, complex wines that reflect both Maremma and Tuscany more widely. With a brilliant selection of wines and a beautiful, Mediterranean-inspired property, visiting Tenta Poggio Verrano is a true delight.

Terenzi Vineyard

The wine produced at Terenzi is not only delicious, but also a love letter to the surrounding Maremma area. The family behind the Terenzi vineyard has a deep respect for the land, using it as inspiration to craft amazing wines.

Although they are one of the newer producers in Tuscany, they are true to the traditions and spirit of the region. That said, they are not afraid to try new things and push the boundaries.

Given the family’s passion for the area and for wine, it’s no surprise that a visit to this winery is a memorable one. You can expect to be welcomed as an old friend as you sample some incredible pours.

Tenuta dell’Ammiraglia

Step inside the architecturally-designed Tenuta dell’Ammiraglia and get ready to discover the tastes of the Mediterranean by the sea. Here, the warm climate is tempered by a sea breeze, creating unique conditions that are ideal for winemaking.

There is an impressive variety of wine offered here, from subtle and light Rosés to more intense Cabernet blends. It’s a true tasting journey, reflecting the best of what’s available by the sea in Tuscany.

Tenuta dell’Ammiraglia also emphasizes environmentally sustainable wine production, ensuring the land remains productive for many years. To accompany their brilliant wine, you may also like to sample their olive oil or enjoy a stunning meal in their restaurant.

Region: Sicily

Villagrande Estate

Looking at the stunning Villagrande Estate, it’s incredible to think the land was described as ‘horrific and untamed’ back in the 17th century. Today, it couldn’t be further from the truth, as the land produces exceptional grapes that are turned into one of Italy’s most sought-after wineries.

The success of Villagrande today is a true family effort, as generation after generation have tended to the vineyards. Over this time, it’s grown to be one of the most respected wineries in the region, with an emphasis on sustainability and – of course – exceptional wine.

Cantina Benanti

From atop Sicily’s Mount Etna, Cantina Benanti boasts one of the most beautiful views on the island, as well as some of the most exceptional wine. Here, a tasting is not only about trying wine, but also learning about the history of the region, the terroir, and the winery itself.

It is certainly an illustrious history, with vines that pre-date the phylloxera outbreak of the late 19th century. This makes the grapes amongst the region’s oldest.

A tour of Cantina Benanti will stop by a historic “Palmento”, used in the traditional style of Sicilian winemaking. Part-history tour, part-wine-tasting excursion and all fascinating – Cantina Benanti should be on your itinerary.

Region: Valpolicella

Albino Armani

Italy’s winemaking history is truly exceptional, and nowhere is that clearer than at Albino Armani. The family behind the estate has produced wine for an incredible four centuries, with secrets and traditions having been passed down from generations.

You can certainly feel the history as you explore the stunning estate. Beautiful old buildings are nestled in the exquisite scenery, tempting you in to try the delectable wine. Undoubtedly, after hundreds of years, Albino Armani have become exceptional producers – their wine is amongst Italy’s best.

Region: Soave

Suavia Winery

Soave is one of Italy’s most famous wine regions, known for its stunning dry whites. Few families know Soave better than the women behind Suavia Winery, who grew up watching their parents tend to the vineyards and produce exceptional wine.

Today, the four daughters carry the torch and continue the estate’s commitment to excellence. While they do produce excellent white wine, their repertoire is more diverse with several fantastic reds as well.

Region: Elba Island, Tuscany

Tenta delle Ripalte

For a unique food and wine experience in Italy, there’s Tenta delle Ripalte. Based on Elba Island, this winery enjoys unique terroir that has been producing exceptional wine since the 19th century. Today, it is a part of the wider Tenta delle Ripalte resort complex, which is dedicated to the finer things in life.

Wine lovers can visit the charming farmhouse where the high-quality wines are produced using traditional Tuscan approaches. A wine tour will introduce you to these wines, as well as the history behind them. A tour also includes a visit to the thoughtfully designed wine cellar, where many stunning vintages are available for purchase.

So there you have it – eight of the top wineries in Italy. Food and Wine Trails is pleased to visit these exceptional producers in partnership with the exceptional Californian host wineries, Chimney Rock Winery and Francis Ford Coppola Winery. Contact us to find out more!