The viticulture in Italy is a substantial restaurant factor. Italy belongs to the most important European wine producers. On a surface of more than 908,000 hectares (collection in the year 2000) more than 60 million Hektoliter wine are produced. Everyone of the 20 Italian administrative regions has their own Thus the wine is not to be excluded from the everyday life life, avowedly in addition, partially handling. The Trio bread, olives and wine became a synonym for mediterrane way of life.
Italian wine is divided as in the rest of Europe in quality wine and board wine. The simplest quality class is called Vino Tavola (board wine) there. IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) is more highly settled, which is comparable in for instance the French Vin de Pays. Under defining IGT a broad spectrum of inconsequential droplets is up to most significant wines, which remain e.g. refused a DOC or a DOCG classification, because they are gekeltert from others than the grapes/clusters for this prescribed. It is remarkable that, differently as in the FRG, not the majority of the wines awarded get a rank than quality wine. Simple board wines or IGT wines apply in Italy as everyday Tischweine and at any time as acceptable.
The stage DOC follows. The next higher and highest official quality class is called DOCG.In Italy gives it over 200 wines with controlled indication of origin like e.g. Chianti or Soave. Besides there are still classifications as in Spain, which refer to the storage, so for instance the descriptors Riserva or Vecchio, which refer to a longer barrel storage than prescribed. The word Superiore usually means a wine, which has a higher alcohol content than the standard DOC wine.
Additionally there are designations like "vino nobile di" " (e.g. with the Montepulciano).
In Italy enriching of wines with sugar (Chaptalisation) is generally forbidden, as it is certified in Germany or in Bordeaux. Permissible however enriching weak wines with strong Most is, e.g. from South Italies.
Viticulture is already operated in Italy since the early antique one. Already the Greeks built wine in South Italies in their colonies, which called her Oenotria, to and also in the etruskischen culture played the viticulture since more jeher an important role. Mentions of historical writers, e.g. at present the idea of Hannibal in the 3. , It permits century before Christ the conclusion that the italischen peoples had no good and reliable qualities despite a surface covering cultivation of wine at that time still developed and available. Completely surely it is however that the most important impulses of that time came from Sicilies. The way of the antique Murgentina vine can be pursued over Pompeji until to Chiusi in the Etrurien at that time.
According to Plinius the older one the year, in which Lucius Opimius Consul was, is thus 121 before Christ, than one of the best wine classes of the time at that time admits become. Historical writings prove that at that time the quality of the wine alone the Rebsorte as well as were awarded to the class, since the viticulture was operated still most unprofessionnel. The term of the wine situation seems itself only starting from that 1. To intersperse century before Christ gradually. At present the Roman empire the quality of the good Falerner is already praised. This italische, strongly remainder-sweet wine was available by Amphorentransport the highest layers of the senators and noble ones. From the strong expansion of the city Rome a large market for wine resulted. From the development the occupied area in Gallien and Spain additionally the Weinbaugebiete lying in port proximity profited. Under this situation primarily the regions Latium and Kampanien lying in close proximity to Rome profited from the positive developments. In addition, Brindisi seems to have been an important commercial centre for the export trade. Amphorenfunde in the countries to the Adria as well as in Greece put this very near. Around 100 after Chr. are already a whole set of viticulture municipalities well-known. From the recordings of that time us the municipalities Genuense (today's Genova) are, Raeticum (with Verona, Venetien), Mutinense (the today's Modena), Lunense (area with Carrara), Patavinum (the today's Padua), Adrianum, Faventinum, Praetutium (wine from Ancona), Spoletinum, Graviscanum, Caeres, Sabinum (wine from the region Sabina, Latium), Picens, Tiburtinum, Nomentanum, Aequicum, Vaticanum, Setinum, Signinum, Veliternum, Ardeas, Fundanum, Caecubum, Falernum, Faustianum, Literninum, Surrentinum, Paelignum, Carseolanum, Marsum, Aricinum, Sulmoniense, Caucinianum, Statianum, Caulinum, Massum, Pompejanum, Labicanum, Albanum, Praenestinum, Formianum, Trebellicanum, Gauranum, Beneventanum, Geminianum, Marianum, Buxentinum, Tarentinum (the today's Taranto), Lagaritanum, Thurinum, Consentinum and Reginum. On Sicilies the municipalities become Aluntinum, Mesopotamium, Mamertinum, Potitianum, Tauromenitanum, Catieniense and Adrumenitanum admit.
The collapse of the Roman realm set no end for the viticulture, but mean the fall the end of the market of the fine quality wines. The situation resembles that one in the time, where the Goten controls and then the Langobarden Italy, from 400 years before. The wine was seen surface covering as important element of the self-support, whereby the special attention was directed on quality rather toward quantity.
The early Middle Ages are a time of the stagnation, in which trade has only very regional meaning. This time of the stop becomes only in the 11. Century broken through, when upper Italy with Genova and Venice ascend to political and economically most important region of Europe. In the next 3 centuries the number of inhabitants of Italy doubled itself on approx. 8 million inhabitant. The inhabitants of the country pulled in particular in the north of Italy into cities. In the consequence it comes to a clear separation from agricultural activity and trade. South of Florenz however it does not come to this exodus from the cities, so that it comes into regions like the Toskana with a Feudalsystem with both activities (agriculture and trade).
As reason for the strength of north Italy the monopolistic position in the trade of luxury goods (wine, wool, silk) is considered to Europe over completely. When it became possible to work with credits Florenz developed to the bank capital of Europe. From this time that originates this very day admitted house Antinori that with the profits from the banking into the commercial activity around the wine of the Toskana invested approximately and acquired likewise large
In Italy the mountains as well as the Mediterranean dominate the landscape. In the north the alps shield the boot before bad weather influences, and within the boot the Apenninen pulls itself over the entire length up to the point in Kalabrien. Verallgemeinerungen cannot be made on a length of more than 1200 km. A common denominator is however that the better quality wine situations are nearly always Hanglagen. The fatter soils of the valley situations are used since more jeher for the cultivation by grain, fruit and vegetable. The more meager Hanglagen are reserved the wine and the olive.