A Guide To The Central Italy Wine Regions

3rd January 2023

Mountains of Le Marche italy

If you have always wanted to know more about the most famous Central Italy wine regions, keep reading.

I’ll give you a brief yet detailed overview of what each of the most famous wine regions offers so that you know exactly what to expect.

Let’s begin!

What are Central Italy’s most important Wine Regions?
Central Italy has at least four main wine regions. Moving down from the north you’ll encounter Toscana, Lazio, Marche, and Abruzzo regions.

Out of the four regions, Toscana is the one that offers the largest varieties of high-quality wines including the renowned Super Tuscan.

Having said that the other regions have gems that totally deserve to be tasted and known, and that’s what you’ll find out if you keep reading this article.

What’s Centrally Italy’s climate like?
To get a sense of the climate of this large area, the easiest thing is probably to look at Google Maps and you’ll immediately notice that these regions are crossed by the Apennine Mountains.

Summers are pretty hot in those regions.

The areas that are away from the coast take advantage of the different altitudes and that is why grapes are planted on the hills to benefit from a more moderate climate.

On the other hand, those that are on the coast will get the natural cool breeze from the sea.

You might now wonder why excessive heat is such a problem. That’s actually a very good question!
Amongst other things, excessive heat affects the grape’s acidity and flavors. Extra ripen grapes will usually have a cooked fruit or jammy taste which when not balanced has a detrimental effect on the wine.

The Toscana Wine Region
Toscana is by far one of the most widely known wine regions worldwide where red dominates.
Sangiovese, from which Chianti is obtained, for example, is the main grape here and it’s not a coincidence as it requires a lot of heat to ripen and reach the right level of acidity and tannic structure.

Typical Sangiovese aromas are cherry, plum, and herbal. These are some of the common traits you’ll find in the wines from this region although with many variations on the theme.

Toscana produces a wide high-quality range of red wines from Chianti and Chianti Classico in the north, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano in the south, and Toscana IGT and Bolgheri on the coast.

In the coastal area, you’ll find as well the so-called Super-Tuscan, obtained primarily from Cabernet Sauvignon, which helped Italy regain international visibility and reputation.

The appellation from the north and southern part is primarily DOCG, whereas from the coast is IGT and DOC.

The Lazio Wine Region
Southern from Toscana you find the Lazio region, where Rome is the main city and the Italian capital.
Lazio has a dry and warm climate with long summers. White wines dominate the area.

The most famous DOCG is Frascati DOCG, a white wine blend of Trebbiano and Malvasia grapes from which fresh white wines are usually obtained.

White wines from this region are largely unoaked medium body wines with high acidity, citrus fruit, and floral aromas.

The Marche Wine Region
The Marche region is located in the far eastern part of the Apennine Mountains. It’s predominantly mountainous or hilly with a long relatively flat coastline.

Marche is known for its whites and reds, amongst which Verdicchio dei Castelli Jesi DOC and Pecorino DOC (white) and Conero DOCG (red) are the most important.

Verdicchio and Pecorino are light-body wines with high acidity, lemon, green apple, and almond aromas the first and mineral and herbal the second.

Conero is usually a blend of Sangiovese and Montepulciano and as such, you’ll find similarities with some of the Tuscany wines described above, such as moderate acidity, tannic structure, and red fruit aromas.

The Abruzzo Region
Right below the Marche you’ll find the Abruzzo region. The part of the region facing the Adriatico sea is characterized by a moderate climate, whereas the central area, close to the mountain is more continental.

Similar to Marche you’ll find a variety of both white and red wines, where Abruzzo DOC Pecorino (white) and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC (red) are the most famous.

Abruzzo DOC Pecorino is a fresh and light body wine with floral and fruity flavors, perfect for a summer hot day or an everyday white. You won’t find oaked whites in the area.

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC on the other hand is a medium body wine with good acidity and intense aromas and flavors of black fruits amongst which plums and black cherry are the most dominant.

In this case, you’ll both find an unoaked version and an oaked version of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC, although the aging is just for a short time and hence it won’t be as structured and strong as the version from Toscana.

In Conclusion
If you have been through the article, by now you should have a good understanding of Central Italy’s most famous wine regions.

As you can see there’s a lot to see, discover and taste in each of these regions, and we have only briefly touched on wines here.

We hope the above guide was helpful to you and that now you can make the most of your next trip to Central Italy. Cheers!

Chiara Gomiero

Founder and writer at handywineguide.com Her mission? Simple, make the world of wine more accessible to you and by doing so enhance your experience.