A Guide To The Southern Italy Wine Regions

20th February 2023

Vineyards of Sicily

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

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

Let’s begin!

What are Southern Italy’s most important Wine Regions?
Southern Italy is well-known for its rich cultural heritage, beautiful landscapes and of course, its exceptional wine.

It boasts four of the most important wine-producing regions in the country: Campania, Basilicata, Puglia, and Sicily.

These regions have a long history of winemaking and continue to produce some of Italy’s best-known wines.

What’s Southern Italy’s climate like?
Southern Italy’s climate is dominated by hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters, with coastal areas receiving cooling breezes from the Mediterranean Sea.

The soils in the region are diverse, ranging from the volcanic soils in Campania to the limestone soils in Basilicata and Puglia.

In particular, the island of Sicily is known for its unique climate, which is influenced by its location in the center of the Mediterranean and its proximity to Africa.

The combination of hot summers, mild winters, and abundant sunshine creates the perfect conditions for growing a wide range of grapes, which are used to produce some of Italy’s most distinctive and flavorful wines.

The Campania Wine Region
Campania is one of Italy’s oldest wine-producing regions, with a history of winemaking that dates back to ancient Roman times.

The region is famous for its production of red wines made from the Aglianico grape, as well as white wines made from the Fiano grape.

Both of these wines are DOC-protected, meaning they meet strict quality standards set by the Italian government.

Expect bold, full-bodied reds with flavors of dark fruit and spices, and crisp, citrusy whites with notes of green apple and pear. In addition to these, Campania is also known for its production of exceptional white wines made from the Greco grape.

The Greco di Tufo DOCG is one of the most famous of these wines, known for its minerality and crisp acidity, as well as notes of citrus and stone fruit.

Another white wine from Campania that deserves a mention is the Fiano di Avellino DOCG, known for its rich, complex flavors of pear, honey, and nuttiness.

The Puglia Wine Region
Puglia is one of Italy’s largest wine-producing regions, with a long history of winemaking dating back to ancient Greece.

The region is best known for its production of crisp, refreshing whites made from the Verdeca grape and rich, full-bodied reds made from the Primitivo grape.

Both of these wines are DOC-protected, meaning they meet strict quality standards set by the Italian government.

Expect bright, citrusy whites with flavors of lemon and green apple, and bold, juicy reds with notes of dark fruit and spices.

Another notable wine from Puglia is the Salice Salento DOC, made from the Negroamaro grape.

This wine is characterized by its intense ruby color and aromas of dark fruit and spices, making it a popular choice for fans of bold, full-bodied reds.

Negramaro, a variety of the Negroamaro grape, is also a popular wine in Puglia, known for its intense flavors of dark fruit and smooth, velvety texture.

The Sicily Wine Region
Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, is home to some of Italy’s most diverse wine-producing regions.

Nero d’Avola is one of Sicily’s most famous grape varieties, and is widely regarded as the ‘King of Sicilian Wines’.

This grape is known for its rich, full-bodied flavor profile and its versatility, as it can be made into a range of wine styles, from fruity and approachable to structured and long-aging.

Nero d’Avola wines are often characterized by notes of dark fruit, like blackberry and black cherry, as well as hints of spice, leather, and tobacco.

In addition to these classic wines, Sicily is also home to a growing number of international grape varieties, including Chardonnay and Syrah.

Another notable DOC in Sicily is the Sicilia DOC, which encompasses the entire island and is home to a wide range of wine styles and grape varieties.

One of the most distinctive wines from this region is Nerello Mascalese, a red wine made from the eponymous grape variety that is known for its elegant, nuanced flavor profile.

Nerello Mascalese is one of the wines produced in the Etna DOC which is located on the slopes of Mount Etna and is known for its unique volcanic soils.

In Conclusion
If you have read through this article, by now you should have a good understanding of Southern 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 Southern 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.