What makes certain Italian wines so special? From Piedmont's hills to the Friuli-Slovenia border and right down to the arid southern tip of Sicily, we often think of those wild Italian grapes that are hardly grown anywhere else. Italy's best wines are, more often than not, the result of an indigenous grape expressing the character of a certain place. We can look to Nebbiolo showing off its delicate side in Valtellina, or Carricante's bizarre hide-and-seek aromas when sourced from the vineyards on Mount Etna.
The most essential winemakers of Italy, listed below, seem to intuitively translate this sense of place while maintaining a national identity of la dolce vita, as even the most complex, "serious" wines never seem to lose sight of pleasure.