Italian Grape Varieties


Italy is the country with the highest number of different grape varieties, many of them very local and planted exclusively in the specific area of origin. Italian newspaper Corriere Vinicolo recently published a report analyzing the performance of the main varieties over the last 5 years. The major findings are summarized below:

• The main 12 varieties account for 45% of total plantings.
• Although declining 23% in the period 2010-2015, Sangiovese remains n. 1 Italian grape variety with more than 53.000 ha planted in 2015, accounting for 9% of total plantings.
• Montepulciano (4%), Glera (4%), Pinot Grigio (4%) and Merlot (4%) are the next most planted varieties.
• Local (autochnonous) varieties, such as such as Garganega (-14%), Catarratto (-15%), Barbera (-13%) and Verdicchio (-6%), have been decreasing.
• While other local varieties like Pecorino (+82%), Glera (+65%), Primitivo (+47%), Vermentino (+23%), Corvina (+8%), and Grechetto (+8%) are growing.
• Some (mostly red) international varieties, such as Merlot (-2%), Syrah (-11%), and Cabernet Sauvignon (-17%), decreased.
• While other (mostly white) international varieties, such as Sauvignon Blanc (+107%), Pinot Grigio (+144%) and Chardonnay (+21%), registered an important increase.
• All in all Italian red varieties lost 10%, and whites lost only 1%. Thereby the tendency is for white varieties to gain importance so that 233,000 ha are planted with red varieties contra 230,000 white.

Read more on: Il Corriere Vinicolo n. 24 18 July 2016