What To Drink Now: Italian Whites

Earthy, mineral-rich, fruit-forward, and delicious, the white wines of Italy showcase the style and character of the expressive country, pairing with local cuisine, and international favorites with ease. From high-elevation vineyards in Alto Adige to the volcanic, rugged island of Sicily, Italian white wines have something for everyone.

Bubbly is always ideal, and of course, Prosecco is top of mind when you say Italian sparklers. From certified-organic grapes grown in the heart of Prosecco, Zardetto Brut Prosecco ($20) is crisp, lively, and lusciously vibrant from hilltop vineyards dotted throughout the area. Juicy golden apple and pear meld with honeysuckle and fresh lemon blossom.

Valdobbaidene, Prosecco, Italy

Prosecco Superiore DOCG, especially those from the UNESCO World Heritage area of Congleliano-Valdobbiadene, reveals a mineral-rich character that displays the essence of Italy. Adami Bosco di Gica Prosecco Superiore ($20) from Valdobbiadene layers honey, golden apple, and lemon custard with crushed stone, and a touch of soft herbs rounding out the rich, lingering palate.

High in the hills of Italy’s Alto Adige, in the foothills of the Italian Alps, Rotari crafts traditional method sparkling wine, from the classic varieties of Champagne, with an Italian style. Rotari Brut ($19) shines with equal amounts of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are blended together to create the highly aromatic sparkler with intense lively bubbles. Warm days and cool nights ensure that delicate fruit develops ripe fruit flavors of nectarine, peach, Asian pear, and golden apple, with vibrant acidity and freshness. After second fermentation, the wine rests on the yeasts (en triage) for a minimum of 2 years, giving a creamy, brioche, and hazelnut note to luscious wine.

Vineyards of Alto Adige, Italy at dusk

Also from these high elevation vineyards in the foothills of the Dolomite Mountains in Italy’s far northeast region of Alto Adige, Kellerei Terlan shines as one of the leaders in premium quality, age-worthy, white wines in the region. Terlan Terlaner Cuvee ($28) blends Chardonnay with Pinot Bianco and a touch of Sauvignon Blanc for a well-rounded, medium-bodied wine with a highly aromatic open and smooth, silky palate. Stainless steel and large oak vat fermented and aged on the lees for 7 months, the textured wine opens with peach and apple blossom, followed by a palate filled with golden peach, lemon curd, and wet stone. If you wanted to let the wine age a bit, it will continue to evolve in the bottle, bringing in touches of brioche, with dried apple and peach notes. Terlan is known for its highly aged white wines as the character continues to develop in the bottle beautifully

From one side of Italy to the other, Banfi Principessa Gavia ($20) showcases the terroir of Italy’s northwest Piemonte region. Produced from 100% Cortese in Piemonte’s Gavi region of Novi Ligure, with rolling hills filled with rocky clay and marl soils. Refreshing, with a refined touch, the aromatic wine opens with floral and citrus blossom notes, followed by juicy tropical pineapple, mango, and apple. The fruity palate melds with wet stone minerality, and fresh acidity, keeping the wine balanced, delicate, and dry.

From the volcanic soils of Sicily’s Mount Etna, sitting at around 1500 feet elevation, Tenuta Tascante Buonora ($25) is produced from the indigenous Carricante variety grown sustainably in the mineral intense rocky soils. This minerality comes through in the earthy, slightly briny wine with the character of the land. Late ripening, revealing golden fruit notes of apple and nectarine, with crushed stone, soft herb, and saline, this is a great wine to pair with seafood.

Malvasia di Lipari, named after a small island off the northeast corner of Sicily is the base of Tenuta Campofaro “Didyme”. Grown on the beautiful island of Salina, north of mainland Sicily in the Tyrrhenian Sea, Didyme showcases a dry, crisp, lively palate of white flowers, crushed stone, candied ginger, and orchard fruit. A perfect wine to pair with roast chicken, or pasta with cream sauces.

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