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Best Wine Brands in Italy: Famous Italian Wines

Best Wine Brands in Italy: Famous Italian Wines

franco salzillo arriaga |

Italy is always on the top of the list of wine-producing countries, and it’s not just volume — the Italian wine repertoire contains some of the most coveted wines on earth. Italian wine is legendary, and countless winemakers in the country deserve to be in wine’s hall of fame — many of them already are. 

However, Italian wine is also incredibly varied, and it’s easy to get lost in such an enormous variety of wine styles. With hundreds of unique grapes and hundreds of appellations, a little guidance is always appreciated. These are the best wine brands in Italy. Italian wine brands for all tastes and palates, including the most famous Italian wines. 

The Best Wine Brands in Italy

Piedmont

  1. Cantina Vietti
  2. Elvio Cogno
  3. Pio Cesare 
  4. Paolo Scavino

Tuscany

  1. Fontodi 
  2. Poggerino
  3. Biondi-Santi 
  4. Antinori
  5. Tua Rita

Other Regions

  1. Marcarini 
  2. Guerrieri Rizzardi 
  3. Allegrini 
  4. Pieropan 
  5. Stefano Massone Gavi 
  6. Mastroberardino

1. Cantina Vietti

Cantina Vietti is a leading producer in Piedmont, home of Barolo and Barbaresco, both made with Nebbiolo, but there’s much more. The estate opened its doors in 1919, and slowly but surely, acquired some of the most coveted plots in the area. Vietti is known for its prestigious single vineyard wines, many of them in Barolo. 

Vietti is an excellent source for traditional red wines made with Nebbiolo, but they’re also known for championing the rare white grape Arneis. The winery took the noble varietal to the world stage. 

Wines to try:

Cantina Vietti Barolo Castiglione DOCG 2017

2. Elvio Cogno

Master winemaker Elvio Cogno founded this world-class winery at the heart of Piedmont to make the most out of the pristine fruit that grows along the Langhe. 

The modern Azienda Agricola Elvio Cogno was founded in 1990, but the family has a winemaking history going back for generations. With 15 hectares of prime vineyards, the estate produces extraordinary wines, particularly in Barolo, including wines from the Ravera and Novello crus. Cogno’s Barolos are amongst the most coveted by collectors, but the winery also produces approachable wines in the region. 

Wines to try:

Elvio Cogno Nebbiolo Langhe Montegrilli 2019

3. Pio Cesare 

Pio Cesare is another start in Piedmont’s skies. The winery was founded in 1881, making it one of the oldest in the area. With 70 hectares of vines in Barolo and Barbaresco, Pio Cesare produces traditional expressions of the land, and their single vineyards are particularly attractive. 

The estate also produces fabulous wines with Dolcetto and Barbera and even a few white wines worth seeking out. Pio Cesare is one of the most famous Italian wines and amongst the best wine brands in Italy. 

Wines to try:

Pio Cesare Barbera D’Alba 2018

4. Paolo Scavino

Few Piedmontese wines are as elegant as the ones coming out of Scavino’s cellar. The estate’s Barolo is an extraordinary example of the style, and they source the fruit from their own plots on the most exemplary properties on Barolo. 

A total of nine unique Barolo expressions comprise the winery’s collection, and they also produce wines in Alba with Dolcetto and Barbera. Paolo Scavino winery just turned 100 years old, and its wines are better than ever. This is a family estate run by a fourth-generation, which is not uncommon in the area.

Wines to try:

Paolo Scavino Langhe Nebbiolo DOC [La Morra] 2018

5. Fontodi 

Tuscany produces wines as coveted as the best in Piedmont, and many of them come from Chianti. Fontodi is located in Chianti Classico, the most prestigious subregion specialising in Sangiovese blends Chianti style. 

With 70 hectares of vines, mostly planted with Sangiovese, Fontodi produces a range of Chianti wines traditionally but ages them in French oak barrels, a modern approach. The best wine produced by one of the best wine brands in Italy is the Chianti Riserva — an age-worthy and concentrated wine that’s highly praised worldwide. 

Wines to try:

Fontodi Chianti Classico DOCG 2018

6. Poggerino

Poggerino might only own 12 hectares of vineyards, but they tend their Sangiovese vines like a garden. Poggerino’s plot lies at a high altitude, around 400 to 500 metres over sea levels in Chianti, where the grapes ripen while retaining acidity. Along with poor soils and careful management, the fruit’s quality is superb every vintage. 

Piero Lanza manages the vineyards in Poggerino, and along with his team, produces organically grown grapes that become astounding wines, much more vibrant than the Tuscan wines of the past. This is a modern winery doing everything right. 

Wines to try:

Poggerino Chianti Classico DOCG 2019

7. Biondi-Santi 

Tenuta Biondi Santi is in the top ten on our list of wineries, not only in Italy but in the world! The estate single-handedly created the now-famous Brunello di Montalcino, the purest expression of Sangiovese. The winery’s flagship estate, Tenuta Greppo, has a spectacular elevation of over 500 metres, allowing Sangiovese grapes to ripen slowly until they reach maturity. 

What makes Biondi-Santi’s Brunellos so special is the ageing process. The estate’s wines spend up to 36 months on Slavonian oak, gaining complexity and concentration. 

Wines to try:

Tenuta Greppo Biondi-Santi Rosso 2015

8. Antinori

Marchesi Antinori is one of the largest wineries in Italy. Although they specialise in Tuscan wine, they produce a myriad of styles around the country and offshore — they have over 150 labels. 

There’s no doubt Antinori is one of the best wine brands in Italy, not only for its size but for the quality of its wines, including the famous Super Tuscans Tignanello and Solaia. The winery makes wine at all price points and quality levels, so there’s an Antinori for every occasion, guaranteed.

Wines to try:

Antinori Peppoli Chianti Classico DOCG 2019

9. Tua Rita

Tua Rita is an acclaimed winey in Suvereto, Tuscany, up in the hills where the grapes ripen without losing acidity. Rita and Virgilio purchased their first vineyards in 1984, two hectares that soon became the foundation of a world-class estate. 

The better-known labels from Tua Rita include Redigaffi, a Tuscan Merlot and Giusto di Notri, a robust Bordeaux blend. Tua Rita is taking Super Tuscan wines to another level, but they work with native varieties as well, as the passionate team keeps on taking the terroir to the limit. 

Wines to try:

Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana IGT 2017

10. Marcarini 

Marcarini is all about state-of-the-art equipment and expertise to craft modern-cut Italian wines. The Marcarini family has been in the wine business for six generations, but they haven’t lost their edge. 

Marcarini lies in the historical town of La Morra, in the Langhe. They produce a spectacular Barolo, a lovely Moscato d’Asti and a juicy Dolcetto, amongst others. There’s excellent value here, and the quality is consistently off the charts. Marcarini knows the region intimately, and you can tell with every sip of delightful wine. 

Wines to try:

Marcarini Roero Arneis DOCG 2018

11. Guerrieri Rizzardi 

Rizzardi is a known producer of Valpolicella. The estate produces Valpolicella, Bardolino and Soave, the three main wine styles made around Verona. Of course, their most splendid wines are the Prosecco and the Calcarole Amarone, but their Ripasso is extraordinary as well. 

Guerrieri Rizzardi has been producing wine for over a century, but the family has roots in the region going back to 1649. The historical estate has adopted the most modern grape growing and winemaking methods, and they still are one of the leading estates in the area. 

Wines to try:

Guerrieri Rizzardi Prosecco

12. Allegrini 

Allegrini is another fabulous estate in Verona, making wine from the steep vineyards overlooking the city. Valpolicella is the name of the game, and the centenarian winery does it very well.

Allegrini wines have been world famous since the 1960s, but the family has called the region home since the 16th century. There’s no doubt Allegrini is one of the best wine brands in Italy and makers of perhaps the most famous Italian wines, the Amarone and the Ripasso dell Valpolicella. Try their Soave as well!

Wines to try:

Allegrini Amarone DOC 2016

13. Pieropan 

Pieropan is best known for its silky Soave, a famous white wine made with Garganega in the hills around Verona. The estate has its origins in the 19th century, and they have positioned themselves as leaders in the wine region.

Pieropan also produces fantastic, sweet wines under the Recioto di Soave banner, and it makes structured red wines with grapes from neighbouring Valpolicella. Pieropan is also a safe buy, as the quality is outstanding for both whites and reds. They’re one of Verona’s finest. 

Wines to try:

Pieropan Soave Classico DOC 'La Rocca' 2018

14. Stefano Massone 

Stefano Massone is a protector of the terroir in Gavi, Piedmont — the source of deliciously crisp white wine made with Cortese. Although the estate produces a fantastic Barbera, the Cortese is on another level.

For clean-cut, refreshing Italian white wines, there’s nothing like Massone’s Gavi. These are also fantastic wines to pair with seafood; Gavi is amongst the most famous Italian wines influenced by the Mediterranean and the altitude in the Monferrato mountain range. Stefano Massone has been tending the land for over 40 years!

Wines to try:

Stefano Massone Gavi ‘Vigneto Masera’ 2019

15. Mastroberardino

Mastroberardino is the best-known winemaker in Campania, and the winery specialises in wines made with Aglianico, Fiano, Greco and other local varieties. 

The finest wine in Mastroberardino is most probably its Taurasi DOCG. Still, the winery’s white wines are extraordinary — Fiano grapes produce floral whites, and Greco is behind the most mineral wines in the estate’s repertoire.

Mastroberardino is also known for reviving ancient wine styles and popularising uncommon grapes and winemaking techniques — this winery is undoubtedly one of the best Italian wine brands for their traditional approach to the country’s most revered wine styles. 

Wines to try:

Mastroberardino Greco di Tufo DOCG 2019