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FAQs – ALT ITALIAN VARIETALS

Vermentino grapes

Australia has one of the most diverse wine scenes in the world – 100+ grape varieties grown across 65 wine regions. We make great Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling, Grenache, and Semillon – but ‘Alternative’ Southern Mediterranean varieties are so well-suited to our winemaking innovation, curiosity, lifestyle, and warming climate. Brush up on some of the best alt. Italian varieties.

Vermentino

(“vur-men-teeno”) – widely planted in Italy’s Liguria region and Mediterranean islands of Sardinia and Corsica – light/med body, bright acidity – food matches pan-fried tuna, spaghetti with clams, pork & fennel sausages, fish tacos – Sauvignon Blanc meets Pinot Grigio – delicate nose and long, fresh palate – expect almond, citrus oil, lime, grapefruit, green apple and ‘sea spray’.

Try Billy Button ‘The Versatile’ Vermentino

Fiano

(“fee-ahn-no”) – from southern Italy’s coastal region of Campania and Sicily – small berries and low yields creates full-flavoured aromatic wines with notes of honey, nuts, and spices – spectrum from crisp freshness and perfumed aromatics, to a palate that is viscous, textured and deep – food matches roast chicken, soy glazed salmon, spaghetti all’Amatriciana – ranging from lemon and grapefruit through to peach, hazelnut and apricot, to richer, waxy, textural.

Nebbiolo

(“nebby-oh-low”) – from Italy’s alpine Piedmont it makes extremely long-lived wines, Barolo and Barbaresco, revered for their intense perfume of tar, violets and roses – finicky and delicate like it’s Pinot Noir cousin – styles range from fresh and approachable to powerful, high tannin and acidity – food matches beef ragu, roast duck, truffle risotto, pumpkin ravioli – expect tar and roses, cherry, leather, star anise, violets, earthy.

Try Domenica Nebbiolo, Ragazzi Nebbiolo, Billy Button ‘The Elusive’ Nebbiolo

Nero d’Avola

(“nair-oh davo-la”) – Sicily’s most important red wine variety is full-bodied style and bold fruit flavours – think Cabernet Sauvignon – able to thrive in warm, dry conditions ranges from generous, heady, cherry and tobacco style with ageing potential, through to a fresh, light raspberry-tinted rosé – food matches smoked brisket, bbq porterhouse, Mapo Tofu – notes of herbal, raspberry, black cherry, prune, black plum, tobacco, and liquorice .

(Ref Wine Australia and Wine Folly.)