We explore why Italy is one of the largest producers of wine in the world, its viniculture, and the making of some of the world’s best wine brands. Let’s focus on how wine culture developed in Italy.
History of Italian Wine-The Land of Wine
Italy has a history that dates back to over 4,000 years since it started growing grapes commercially for wine production. The climate perfectly suited expansion of viniculture in many regions of Italy. When the Greeks first landed in Italy, wine production was becoming a daily activity. Afterwards, Italy was named Oenotria-the land of wine. As the Catholicism religion became widespread and strong, the need for wine increased cementing wine production in Italy. Winemaking techniques were developed throughout the middle stage until the sophisticated modern techniques.
The Roman Influence- Why Romans Still Love Wine to Date
When the Romans arrived in Italy, they fell in love with wine. They paired wine with their meals and also drank it for religious and festive celebrations. Wine became an intricate part of Roman culture as the Roman Empire expanded. The Italians became obsessed with sweet wine and started mixing it with honey, herbs, and spices to avoid the bitter or sour taste. They preferred White Wine which came from Falernian region over any other wine. Today, Italians are purists in wine production. (https://blog.xtrawine.com/en/a-short-history-of-italian-wine/ )
Destruction of Vineyards
The Vine Louse Phylloxera disease infected most of Italy’s vineyards which led to a decrease in wine production. The aftermath was so devastating that the Romans and the Etruscans, who had settled in the central Italy, came together to establish new vineyards. They concentrated more on the quantity of wine to be produced rather than its quality. As a result, Italy became the world’s source of cheapest table wines. However, in 1960s, regulatory laws were passed to control wine quality. This helped Italy build a cohesive international reputation in making first-rate variety of wines.
Wine Making Techniques Used- Romans’ Contribution
The Romans greatly improved wine making process through a series of techniques. They came up with the use of trellises that enabled crushing and pressing of more grapes to extract juice. Also, they had mastered viniculture and decided on which grapes thrived best in which regions and disease control measures. They invented the wooden barrels which were airtight to effectively age wine. Arguably, they were the first people to use corks and glass jars in wine production
Modern Wine Culture in Italy
Today, Italian government has imposed regulations that have secured their international reputation in wine production. The Italian culture of good food and wine being served in every dinner table has been elaborate and concretized. Their wine selection is more diverse and improved. Italy remains the world’s second best wine producer.
Florence can be considered one of Italy’s wine capitals, therefore you can happily base yourself in Florence (see apartments FIBNB) to enjoy a real bit of Italian lifestyle and great wine.