The central regions of Italy are responsible for the delectable Italian wine and food most recognized throughout the world. From rich cheeses and tomato sauce to excellent wine, central Italy is a mandatory stop for traveling food- and wine-lovers.

Among the four geographic areas of wine-making (north, central, southern, the Islands), the central region is famous for many popular wines, including Chianti.

The areas included in the central Italian wine region are:

  • Abruzzi
  • Emilia-Romagna
  • Latium
  • Marches
  • Tuscany
  • Umbria.

Sangiovese is the main grape variety used for the central regions, as it produces an elegant and fruity wine.

Abruzzi

Known as a region of hearty but simple eaters, the wine of Abruzzi is simple and robust to match. The terrain of the Abruzzi region is favorable for growing grapes, and one popular wine is the affordable export Montepulciano d”Abruzzo.

Molise, which was once a part of Abruzzi, boasts the Biferno, which comes in Rosso, Rosato and Bianco varieties, and the Pentro di Isernia, found in dry whites and reds.

Emilia-Romagna

As one of the richest regions in Italy, Emilia-Romagna enjoys fertile land and a prosperous wine industry. One of Emilias-Romagna”s most notable Italian sparkling wine is Lambrusco. Lambrusco is consumed within the year that it is made, and most often has a sweet taste. However, authentic versions are dry, and are the best match for the region”s cuisine.

White wines from this region include Albana di Romagna, which is dry with an almond undertone, and Trebbiano di Romagna, which is light and fresh, in sparkling versions or otherwise.

Latium (Lazio)

Latium is the capital region of Italy and its white wines are the most famous, notably Montefiascone and Castelii (Frascati) white wine. The interestingly named Est! Est!! Est!!! is also native to Latium and is a highly celebrated white wine.

Although white wine is the main focus of Latium wine production, the region”s red wines are beginning to gain attention; Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are among the choice reds.

The Marche (Le Marche)

Red and white wine are equally produced in The Marche. Standouts include red wines Rosso Conero, Rosso Piceno and Vernaccia di Serrapetrona.

If you like seafood, Le Marche is home to white wines that are perfect accompaniments, namely Verdicchio (di Jesi or di Matelica) and Bianchello del Metauro.

Tuscany

Chianti is the most well-known Italian wine from Tuscany. Chianti comes in both red and white.

The Vernaccia di San Gimignano is probably the most well-known Tuscan white wine.

The famous Vin Santo “Holy Wine” is also native to Tuscany. This dessert wine is made from Trebbiano grapes that have been left to dry until Holy Week.

Umbria

Wine production in Umbria is limited, but the wine itself is quite good. One excellent white is the Orvieto, which is made from a blend of for our five grape varieties. The “semi-sweet” version of Orvieto is called Abboccato.

Notable reds are the Torgiano Rosso and Sagrantino di Montefalco, a local favorite.