Grape Varieties of Some Major Italian Wine Regions

By Ed McCarthy, Mary Ewing-Mulligan

If you want to learn a little more about wine, it’s a good idea to start with Italian varieties. The following table identifies the grape varieties behind many of Italy’s most important wines. Note that many of these wines are blends of two or more grape varieties.

Region/Red Wine White Wine Grape Varieties
Piedmont
Barolo Nebbiolo
Barbaresco
Gattinara Nebbiolo, Bonarda*
Gavi Cortese
Tuscany
Chianti, Chianti Classico Sangiovese, Canaiolo, and others*
Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese Grosso
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Sangiovese, Canaiolo, and others*
Carmignano Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon*
Super-Tuscans** Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, and others*
Veneto
Soave Garganega, Trebbiano di Soave, and others*
Valpolicella Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara*
Amarone (Same grapes as Valpolicella; semi-dried)
Bardolino Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara*
Bianco di Custoza Trebbiano, Garganega, Friulano*
Lugana*** Trebbiano di Lugana

* Blended wines, made from two or more grapes.

** Untraditional wines produced mainly in the Chianti district; see the discussion under Tuscany.

*** Much of the Lugana wine zone is actually in Lombardy.