Travel

Southern Italy

About Southern Italy

While the bulk of Italy’s DOCG wine-producing regions aren’t located in Southern Italy, there are plenty of quality wines fashioned here. The south’s reputation is predominantly built on the red grapes Aglianico, Primitivo, Negroamaro and Nero D’Avola and the white grapes Vermentino, Greco and Trebbiano. The Taurasi DOCG located in Campania is one of Southern Italy’s most renowned wines. Vinified from the thick-skinned Aglianico grape, the wine lends brooding dark fruit qualities with a burly structure. Campania white wines shouldn’t be overlooked, either; the Greco di Tufo DOCG produces zesty, Greco-based whites, which offer copious white fruit and mineral flavors. Further southeast, the region of Puglia is home to Primitivo di Manduria Dolce Naturale DOCG, a decidedly sweet wine based on Primitivo, a varietal that’s been genetically linked to Zinfandel. Quality wines can also be found in Puglia’s Salice Salentino DOC, a deeply pigmented and tannic wine based on the Negroamaro varietal. On the island of Sicily, the Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG—a red blend based on Nero D’Avola—garners much respect. And of course one cannot overlook the island’s well-known Marsala DOC, a fortified wine that suffered the reputation of being solely a cooking wine in the 20th century. On Italy’s other island, Sardegna, located off the southwestern coast, Vermentino di Gallura is produced, a DOCG white wine that pairs beautifully with the island’s seafood offerings. To discover some Southern Italy’s best wines and values, visit the Southern Italy Wine Guide for some top picks.