Where to Go for the Best Wine Tasting in Italy

Fine food and even finer wine - for those passionate about either, there surely is no more idyllic location on earth than the sun-kissed rolling landscapes of Italy.

wine regions

Where Can You Find the Best Wine Vineyards in Italy?

With its wealth of steady sunlight and fertile countryside, some of the very best vineyards in the entire world are located in Italy, producing local wines so delightful that they’ve become global household names.  

There are over 300 different wine regions in Italy, and each one offers subtle but distinct flavours and personalities in the wine they produce. While a visit to every one of Italy’s best wine regions may require more than one trip, there are some locations that you certainly should not miss.  

For those looking to experience a wine tasting holiday in Italy, there’s a range of fabulous options depending on your own personal tastes. For lovers of sparkling wines, the alpine lakes around the Lombardy region improve the quality of the soil, producing world-class sparkling Chardonnay and Pinot Nero. Delivering some of the very best dessert wines is the gorgeous island of Sicily, and for those that adore full-bodied red wines, there is perhaps no better region than the sun-kissed sprawling landscapes of Tuscany.   

Our Italy Specialist Hannah Ingle said what makes Italian wineries so special is: 

“There’s less commercialisation in the wineries in Italy. The number of family-owned tiny, ancient, wineries is unlimited, and they hold centuries of historic connection to the land. It’s all part of the experience, and it leaves you wanting more information and more wine.” 

Wine tasting in Italy combines history, culture, natural beauty, and quality: all in one delicious sip. Read on to discover what makes the best wine regions in Italy the greatest in the country and some of the finest in the world.

A map showing the different wine regions Italy

Best Places for Wine Tasting in Italy 

While each region of the Italian countryside produces wine, our experts here at Scott Dunn have curated this collection of the very best places in Italy for wine tasting tours.  

In this list, we’ve considered a range of different tastes and made recommendations for each. We also have provided you with expert advice to make the most of your time in some of Italy's finest wine regions, including the best times of year to visit and which specific wineries would be best to include in your itinerary - ensuring your Italian wine tasting tour is as truly exceptional as it deserves to be. 

1. Tuscany

 

Rolling green hills with mountains in the background

We’d like to begin this list of best wine tasting tours in Italy with the inarguably stunning region of Tuscany. Widely regarded as the birthplace of the Renaissance and the home of some of the world's most influential characters, including the likes of Leonardo DaVinci and Galileo Galilei, Tuscany is world-renowned for its gorgeous, sprawling landscapes and architectural sites. For those who appreciate the art of fine wine, Tuscany also holds a reputation as being home to some of Italy’s very best vineyards.  

Famous for its wealth of fertile countryside, Tuscany produces increasingly sought-after favourites like the bold Brunello and effortlessly smooth Chianti, both made using Sangiovese grapes which are indigenous to the country. With vineyards stretching all the way from Florence to Grosseto, Tuscany offers a vast variety of locations and some of the very best wine tasting experiences.  

A prime location to add to your visit is the breathtakingly picturesque Tuscan village Montalcino, just south of Siena. The source of the world famous Rosso di Montalcino and Brunello di Montalcino wines, this idyllic hilltop town is a key destination for those looking to experience some of the very best wine tastings in Tuscany.  

Best time to visit: Although beautiful all year round, for those looking to soak in the atmosphere and beauty of this place without the hustle and bustle of crowds, we recommend spring visits to this gorgeous Tuscan town.

2. Veneto

 

Rolling green hills and farmland

While it's best known for its capital city Venice, the northeastern Italian region of Veneto contains so much more than you may be aware of, especially for wine connoisseurs. If you’re willing to take the time to venture out from its main cities, you’ll find Veneto is home to some of the very best wine regions in all of Italy.  

To the west of Venice is Verona, a city immortalized in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and is surrounded by some of the oldest vineyards on the continent. Situated just above the city is Valpolicella, a winemaking town renowned for its dry red wine, Amarone. For those who prefer the taste of crisp white wine, the city of Custoza is just east of Verona and is home to the fruity and floral Bianco di Custoza.  

If you’re planning on booking a wine tasting tour in Venice and the surrounding regions, be sure to make a visit to the spectacular Prosecco Hills for some of the finest sparkling wine in Italy. Situated in the foothills of the Dolomites, this region is a largely undiscovered gem and one of our prime recommendations for anyone visiting Veneto.  

Best time to visit: Experience the Italian wine harvest, vendemmia, and book your holiday here between the end of August to early October. Or, if you’re interested in skiing too, visit the Dolomites during the winter months for an addictive luxury experience.  

3. Piedmont

 

A woman walking through a vineyard

Tucked away in the north of Italy, nestled at the foothills of the Alps, the breathtakingly stunning Piedmont offers some of the best culinary delights anywhere on the continent. Thanks to its famously decadent range of cuisine, boasting unbeatable truffle dishes and cream sauces, Piedmont is increasingly being described as the new culinary capital of Italy.  

No good meal is complete in Italy without an expertly paired wine to complement it. With this being the case, you’ll be glad to hear that Piedmont is home to an outstanding winemaking industry and is the only place on earth that cultivates Nebbiolo grapes, which produce a vintage which is often referred to as ‘the king of wines’ thanks to its full body and distinct aroma: the Barolo. 

Best time to visit: For those looking for the best way to visit the area of Piedmont, we recommend embarking on a wine tasting tour in the region’s city of Turin from October to November. This marks the start of truffle season when harvesting takes place. Paring wines like the Barolo or the Barbaresco with fresh truffle mushroom pasta - you couldn’t dream of a more refined culinary experience.  

4. Puglia  

 

Buildings overlooking a vineyard

The vibrant and baroque region of Puglia is described as the breadbasket of Italy, thanks to its countless kilometres of ancient farmland. Making excellent use of this fertile land, Puglia is also one of the largest wine-producing regions in the entire country.  

Famous for wines produced with Primitivo and Negroamaro grapes, Puglia is home to up to 200 wineries. While on your holiday in Italy, you may be tempted to try and visit all of Puglia’s vineyards in a single wine tasting tour. Instead, we suggest an excursion to the Gioia del Colle area, home to some of the very finest wineries in the region, where you can spend long summer evenings sampling rich and exuberant Primitivo vintages.  

Best time to visit: Delightfully beautiful all year round, yet especially in spring and early summer when temperatures are steadily warm yet not too intense, the region of Puglia makes for idyllic long walks and bike rides along the stunningly beautiful Italian coastline.  

5. Sicily 

 

Two glasses of wine next to a plate of food

Under the shadow of the towering Mount Etna and encircled by the pleasantly temperate waters of the Mediterranean Sea, sits the idyllic island of Sicily. An incredibly popular tourist destination, thanks to its picturesque white sandy beaches and outstanding natural beauty, Sicily is also renowned for its incredible wines and fresh seafood dishes.  

While famous for its wide range of dry whites and reds, we also recommend Sicily's very best sweet wine: Marsala. And there’s no better location to embark on a wine tasting tour than the southern capital of Palermo. Here, you can combine unbeatable fine wine with viewing some of the most impressive architectural sites on the island, such as the stunning 12th-century Palermo Cathedral or the neoclassical Teatro Massimo, known for its outstanding opera performances. 

Our Italy Specialist Hannah Ingle loves the etna reds, however, saying they’re “very minerally red wines, with an eclectic but addicting taste.” 

Best time to visit: For those interested in the generous range of wines the island has to offer, or are considering a wine tasting holiday in Sicily, we recommend planning a visit to the town of Vittoria between April and October for the ideal weather, or between November to March for fewer crowds. A perfect place to experience some of the very best wine tasting Sicily has to offer, with some of the oldest vineyards in the country. 

6. Campania  

 

A hillside overlooking the sea

Like many other regions of Italy, Campania is known for its impressive variety of grapes grown in the area; however, it's most important is undeniably the Anglianico. This black grape, grown in the southernmost parts of the country, is considered to be one of the three very best varieties in all of Italy, sharing this title with the Sangiovese and Nebbiolo. This late-ripening grape produces full-bodied wines with musky berry flavours, such as the renowned Tauarsi and Aglianico del Taburno - wines iconic to the ‘shin’ of Italy. 

Running adjacent to the gorgeous Amalfi Coast, Campania’s name originates from the Latin phrase “happy land”. Considering its wealth of beautiful locations and gentle, rolling landscapes, it certainly earns this title. 

Ideal for those who’d like to share their love of fine wine with their appreciation for the past, the region of Campania is steeped in history - home to Naples and the ruined Roman city of Pompeii. One of our star recommendations during your Italian holiday is celebrating this combination with a wine tasting on the foothills of Mount Vesuvius, one of Europe's last remaining active volcanoes just off the Amalfi Coast. 

Best time to visit: There are two great periods for visiting the Campania region, between April and June or September and October. Our favourite month to visit southern Italy though is May, when it’s dry and sunny and the perfect time to add a beach trip to the Amalfi coast.

7. Lombardy  

 

Mountains overlooking wine vineyards

For those partial to their sparkling wines, the Lombardy region is a must-visit location during your wine tasting holiday in Italy. Famous for its light yet robust sparkling Franciacorta and Lambrusco varieties, this area in the very north of Italy offers a vast array of fine wine, excellent cuisine and unbeatable locations for wine tasting such as the picturesque Lake Como, situated at the foothills of the Alps and adjacent to the beautiful village of Bellagio.  

Particularly notable is the gorgeous sub-region of Lugana, straddling the border between western Lombardy and the eastern Veneto region. Wearing its history on its sleeve, the area is scattered with a wealth of castle-topped towns and timeless fishing villages. Particularly renowned for its blanco (white) Verdicchio grapes, grown in the vineyards around the area.  

Best time to visit: Lugana is a perfect destination for any wine tasting tour of Italy, particularly in the warm summer months.  

8. Lazio 

 

Two glasses of wine in front of the Trevi Fountain

The central Italian region of Lazio is home to Rome, the historical seat of one of the largest and most influential empires the world has ever seen. Known for its wealth of vast historical sites and architectural wonders, this gorgeous region of the country is also renowned for its love and passion for fine wine and cuisine. There’s something about wine tasting in Rome, the iconic capital, that makes the experience even more thrilling.  

The white Trebbiano, Malvasia di Candia and Malvasia Puntinata grape varieties are grown in the Lazio region, making Rome perhaps one the finest wine tasting locations in Italy for lovers of white wines. Lazio is a perfect location looking to soak up the culture and history of the local area while sampling some of the very best produce the vineyards of Italy’s heartland can offer.  

Best time to visit: We strongly recommend visits to this region in early spring, since the area can become quite busy due to its bustling tourist industry. During this time, the weather is bright and calm, yet not too hot, allowing you to truly appreciate the area’s outstanding natural beauty and delectable wine offerings in comfort and peace.  

9. Emilia-Romagna  

 

Rolling hills of farmland in autumn

Finally on our list of the best wine tasting in Italy is Emilia-Romagna. This is a star recommendation for those connoisseurs of fine food and wine who hope to take in the authentic flavours of Italy, without the bustle of crowds or the buzz of busy citites. For these travellers, surely there is no finer location than the gorgeous northern region of Emilia-Romagna. Stretching from the Apennine Mountains in the north to the Po River in the south, this vibrant area of the country is one of the wealthiest regions in all of Europe, famous for its medieval cities. 

World-renowned for its tasteful sparkling red Lambrusco wine, grown from the grape sharing the same name, this region of Italy is a perfect choice for wine lovers the world over. Its crown jewel, the capital city of Bologna, is bursting with culture and wears its Romanesque, Byzantine and Renaissance-era influences on its sleeve. Bologna is packed with things to do and see, offering some of the very best tours of the local vineyards and winemakers in Italy.  

Best time to visit: We recommend visits in the late summer or early spring, when temperatures are cool and refreshing, letting you direct your focus to some of the best culinary and cultural offerings in all of Italy. 

Our guide contains an overview of just some of the best wine regions in Italy and there are so many more to explore and indulge in for yourself, which is all part of the fun of building your own unique trip with the help of our experts. 

Experience an Unforgettable Wine Tasting Tour in Italy with Scott Dunn 

To experience a wine tasting holiday in Italy like no other and enjoy the opportunity to sample some of Italy’s finest wine, cuisine and landscapes, look to Scott Dunn. Our untrammelled ability in delivering unforgettable luxury experiences guarantees that an Italian wine tasting excursion booked with us will be an experience to cherish for a lifetime. 

Our 5 night private tour of Florence and rural Tuscany is a prime example of the sheer luxury experiences we offer. Spend your days delving into the local markets of Florence, getting up close and personal with master producers, guided by Michelin star chef Marco Stabile. Learn the history and take in the views at the finest Tuscan vineyards and sample decadent cheeses at local farms. Truly a Tuscan experience like no other, we couldn’t dream of a better way to take in the raw authenticity of this charming corner of Italy. 

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