Italy is the world's largest producer of wine and has over 350 common native varieties to choose from. There are four wine regions in Italy; Northwest, Northeast, Central, and Southern & Islands.
The Northwest region consists of the Piedmont, Lombardy, Liguria, and Aosta Valley. The climate is intermediate to cool, which means the growing season is shorter. This makes the reds more elegant, earthy, and aromatic. Whites from these areas will shine with a bright acidity.
The Northeast is made by Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Trentino, and Friuli-Venezia growing regions. The Adriatic Sea influences the climate to be slightly warmer. This leads to fruitier reds, and some of the best whites available.
The Central region of Tuscany, Marche, Umbria, Lazio, and Abruzzo enjoys the warmth of the Mediterranean climate. Varieties like Montepulciano and Sangiovese thrive here, along with many other red wines.
The Southern region and the islands of Sicily and Sardinia are the warmest regions in Italy. The warmth leads to a longer growing season and therefore riper grapes. This causes reds to have more ripe fruit flavors and whites have fuller bodies.